WorldWideWeb: A small, free web server for the iPhone

Web developers can test HTML, CSS, and JavaScript anywhere with WorldWideWeb. The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

WorldWideWeb: A small, free web server for the iPhone

With a small web server for iOS, iPadOS and macOS, the US developer Craig Hockenberry wants to enable web developers to quickly test something in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The app is available free of charge in the corresponding Apple app stores.

WorldWideWeb is expressly not intended as a web server for production operations, writes Hockenberry in his blog – and the app also lacks essential functions: On Python, Ruby or PHP, users must do without. Various scripts or databases that many developers work with cannot be used with it. However, this also makes maintaining the app easier because there are far fewer dependencies.

Tried it out: the server works so well

In our test of the app, we liked how quickly it was ready to use: First of all, it has to a file folder can be defined in which the websites are located. This can either be local on the device or in the iCloud – in any case, it follows the sandbox principle known from Apple. In the next step, the server only has to be started with a button. The URL and a small number of retrieval statistics are displayed on the main page. The page can also be checked directly in an internal browser window via a separate tab.

If you use iCloud as a web folder, you may have to check whether files provided by other computers are actually downloaded from the iPhone. If necessary, this can be done manually by tapping in the files app. However, Hockenberry’s approach is probably aimed more at editing the files on the device itself with a text editor, such as the Runestone code editor.

In the settings, the port of the server, the standard file type (initially HTML ), directory listing display, and background operation. The server can continue to run in the background for five minutes when the app is inactive. After this time it will be stopped to save the battery.

Hockenberry promises a low memory consumption and a low system load. The server is REST-friendly, so it is also suitable for generating JSON or XML responses, for example, which can be used to simulate API access.

The idea of ​​integrating a web server into an app is anything but revolutionary. Some developers use this option, for example, to enable easy access to files on an iPhone or iPad via network and browser.

Actually only planned for the Mac

The little helpers The developer provided the app for free. Originally, he only wanted to write an app for the Mac using the Swift programming language, since Apple has abolished the previous ability to use a web server in the Mac ex works. During development, however, Hockenberry found that the app could easily be transferred to iPhone and iPad as well. He wants to give something back to the web community.

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