Generally, when I am in a middle of prototyping a concept or in a need of quickly executing Ajax requests or using browser features which would need the page to be hosted on a web server, I use Python’s SimpleHTTPServer module.

Python’s SimpleHTTPServer is a great way of serve the contents of the current directory,all one needs to do is change directory and execute a command which will expose all contents as if they were hosted in a web page.

cd myfolder
python -m SimpleHTTPServer  

you don’t need a line of code or a even a python file anywhere inside the directory for this to work, the module works all on its own and just needs a port number.

If there is a file called index.html inside the root, then its served when the user types localhost:port.

SimpleHTTPServer is a great module for quick start, however its not a production ready tool and must be used only for lightweight use.

Another use of this module is a quick utility Proxy. This does need a few lines of code though :!

import SocketServer
import SimpleHTTPServer
import urllib

PORT = 3333

class Proxy(SimpleHTTPServer.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler):
   def do\_GET(self):
       self.copyfile(urllib.urlopen(self.path), self.wfile)

httpd = SocketServer.ForkingTCPServer(('', PORT), Proxy)
print "serving at port", PORT

Hope it helps.