SWILL: A simple embedded web server library. We present SWILL, a lightweight programming library that adds a simple embedded web server capability to C and C++ programs. Using SWILL, it is possible to add Internet accessibility to programs that are poorly matched to more traditional methods of web programming such as CGI scripting or web server plugin modules. SWILL also makes it easy for programmers to add web-based monitoring, diagnostics, and debugging capabilities to software not normally associated with internet programming. We like to think of SWILL as an attempt to turn the problem on its head: traditionally, the web server came first, the “programs” later; in our approach, the application is written first, and the server integrated last. For some types of applications, this approach is far more painless. In this paper, we provide an overview of the SWILL library and describe how we have used it to provide web access to a variety of applications including scientific simulation software, a compiler, and a hardware emulator for teaching operating systems.

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