Activity Statement

Work on the Jigsaw server is being managed as part of W3C's Architecture domain.

  1. Introduction
  2. Role of W3C
  3. Current Situation
  4. What the Future Holds
  5. Contact


The Jigsaw software provides the Consortium's Java-based Web server. With a modular architecture and full HTTP/1.1 compliance, the Jigsaw server is a premier experimental platform for W3C and the Internet community. The server uses an object-oriented approach when it comes to the storage of files and the processing of incoming requests, making it both more efficient and easily extensible.

Role of W3C

The Jigsaw server software is being developed at W3C by a small group based primarily at INRIA. Yves Lafon leads the Activity.

The design of the Jigsaw server puts the emphasis on flexibility and extensibility, while still providing a usable Web server. For these requirements to be achieved, we produce:

Current Situation

Jigsaw 2.0 beta 1 was the first stable and complete version of Jigsaw 2.0, offering improved extensibility, with the ability to serve resources using multiple protocols. This was motivated by the desire to support both the HTTP-NG and HTTP/1.1 specifications. The design is also useful for comparing the performance of multiple protocols for the exact same configuration.

Features included:

Most of these protocols are implemented as extensions to the Jigsaw server core, consisting of a small set of APIs which are still under construction. Although the size in terms of lines of code is quite large, much of this is associated with extensions rather than the Jigsaw core.

By implementing as many HTTP-related protocols as possible, we gain precious experience and understanding of HTTP. This is useful in designing new protocols related to the Web.

Most recent releases of the Jigsaw server

On 8 January 2003 we released Jigsaw 2.2.2. Many bug fixes aimed at code stabilization and HTTP compliance, CPU and memory optimizations, and some new features:

On 8 April 2002 we released Jigsaw 2.2.1. Many bug fixes, including a security update, and some new features:

On 13 March 2001 we released Jigsaw 2.2.0. New features include:

On 5 July 2000 we released Jigsaw 2.0.5 with JSP and Servlet 2.2 support.

The Jigsaw Proxy Package

NOTE: A new version using the latest 2.1 cache will be out soon.

On 5 May 1999 we released the Jigsaw Proxy Package 2.0.2 which is a "ready to run" Jigsaw server configured as a proxy. It is:

Use of the Jigsaw server within W3C

Work on servlets has helped in building the Cascading Style Sheets validator used for both the CSS2 press release and the W3C-LA work package for the CSS language. Other work has focussed on support for the PICS specifications and for the Resource Description Framework (RDF). The Jigsaw server is being increasingly used by the W3C Team to update the W3C Web site with full version control. This utilizes the JigEdit service.

Since May 2002, the W3C Mailing List Archive server is Jigsaw.


Each release includes:

Releases of the Jigsaw server

The W3C has made the following releases of the Jigsaw server:

Date Release
May 1996 First Member release
June 1996 First public release
September 1996 Second Member release (HTTP/1.1 support)
October 1996 Second public release
January 1997 Third Member release (main improvement is code cleanup, debugging)
February 1997 Third public release (1.0alpha5)
July 1997 Fourth Member release, first beta (1.0beta)
August 1997 Fourth public release, first public beta (1.0beta1)
January 1998 Jigsaw 1.0 beta 2 (last 1.0 release)
January 1998 Jigsaw 2.0 alpha 1
April 1998 Jigsaw 2.0 beta 1
July 1998 Jigsaw 2.0 beta 2
October 1998 Jigsaw 2.0 beta 3
December 1998 Jigsaw 2.0.0
January 1999 Jigsaw 2.0.1
March 1999 Jigsaw 2.0.2
July 1999 Jigsaw 2.0.3
September 1999 Jigsaw 2.1.0
January 2000 Jigsaw 2.0.4
March 2000 Jigsaw 2.1.1
July 2000 Jigsaw 2.0.5
August 2000 Jigsaw 2.1.2
November 2000 Jigsaw 2.1.2 + WebDAV
March 2001 Jigsaw 2.2.0
April 2002 Jigsaw 2.2.1
January 2003 Jigsaw 2.2.2

What the Future Holds

The last release is 2.2.2, which includes a security fix, and some HTTP compliance fixes. 2.2.0 was the first version of the new stable release.

A Jigsaw 2.2.2 release will be released before end of June 2003, and the "experimental" section will be updated as soon as new bug fixes are made available. Also, the public CVS server contains the up-to-date codebase.


The Activity lead is Yves Lafon, Jigsaw Team