What does a web application architecture include?


An architecture of a web application can be as simple as one server with a LAMP stack, or something as complex as hundreds of machines running clusters of different stacks. I came across this question on quora a few days ago – What does a web application architecture include? The OP elaborated saying that he has a few keywords in his head, but has a hard time placing them in the big picture. At first I thought to myself,

“man, this guy must be joking… that’s like asking what components go into a space shuttle – there’s tons of stuff!”

The next thought quickly followed:

“No one is going to answer this guy in enough details”.

And that’s when I decide to dedicate ~15-20 minutes to write up a lengthy answer, that hopefully, will satisfy the OP and give him a better understanding of the terms flying around. One of the reasons I decided to put the effort into as full of answer as I could, is because this isn’t the first time I come across these types of questions. Web architecture and web technologies can be a very confusing topic – especially if you’ve read a tag cloud of buzz words.. things don’t always add up in your head. I shared my answer with my good friend Tom Goren who suggested I post this on the blog. So thanks to him, this is my answer:

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Running command line tools over Tor with Proxychains

Sometimes you want to stay anonymous around the Internet. For that Tor (short for The Onion Router) was created – a series of anonymous proxies around the world enabling you to tunnel through any number of them before reaching your destination.

Tor has a nice little Firefox extension called the Tor button that let’s you turn Tor on and off while you’re browsing through the internet. This works great for browsing, however it doesn’t work for when you want to run other services such as ssh or a mysql client.

I first cam across this when I wanted to use the mysql client to connect to a server but stay anonymous (to hide my source IP address). After googling quiet a bit I finally came across the answer which I want to share with you today. Continue Reading »

Retrieving your own passwords with dsniff

Having a 3 second “goldfish” memory that I have, I just forgot my own password to some FTP server I needed.
Luckily for me, I had the account saved in one of my many FTP clients, and as much as that made me happy at first (seeing that I could log in), I needed the actual password.
Unluckily for me, That FTP client didn’t have a “Show password” button for saved connections. Continue Reading »

Choosing the right tools (awk)

Whenever facing a new problem, a developer must choose how to solve an issue, but more importantly he needs to choose the right tools for the job. Knowing how to use a tool properly (any tool for that matter), is only half, if not less of the solution – first, you have to choose the right tools. If you start off by choosing the wrong tool – even if you utilize the tool correctly, the outcome will probably not suffice (much like feeding a llama with a shotgun stuffed with hay). Maybe not initially, but time, maintenance and large scale deployments will soon bring out the flaws in your design. Continue Reading »