January 22, 2008 is a date to remember for the web development community, celebrating the release of a fine piece of serverside software: Jaxter , created by Aptana (the makers of the outer excellent free Aptana Studio IDE).

You’ve always been told and believed javascript is client side, right? From now on, think twice: Jaxter enables you to run javascript on the server, which is executed on page load or via ajax calls.

Obviously, this will not help for “animating that div up and down” javascript, but definitely for server-client communication, a typical ajax thing. There, Jaxter improves your application on such aspects as file I/O, network connectivity, database access, email access, etc… All related to client/server communication.

John Resig (jquery‘s father and member of Aptana ‘s Advisory Board) wrote a pretty convincing article on Jaxter, where he builds a quick app that saves a file on the server and feeds its content back in a textarea.

What’s nice is that Jaxter works alongside a web server to process content. For now, it can work with Apache 2.x using the mod_jaxer Apache module bundled with Jaxer. It can also already work with Java-based web server Jetty, using the jaxer filter servlet now packaged with Studio and soon to be available standalone. It also works with Tomcat (details coming soon) and will be compatible with other Java web and application servers.

Jaxter API seems quite straightforward and, since it is built on top of the Mozilla engine, can run any javascript that browsers like Firefox or Camino can.

Jaxter is available for both Windows and Mac, not yet for Linux unfortunately, though it should be available soon, with all those unix/linux-based servers outthere…

If you’re like me and you can’t wait to try it out without installing it yet, appjet provides free ajax applications hosting ! Code along…