A proposal to add two new modules to the Apache httpd
distribution (mod_macro and
mod_define) reopened two age-old debates; what
set of modules should be included in httpd, and whether or not a
richer macro language should be allowed in configuration files.
The latter question gained the usual consensus that external
tools such as m4 should be used to preprocess the
configuration file, rather than supporting a new programming
language inside Apache. On the former question, there appears
to be growing support for the idea of a CPAN-like distribution
of extension modules, a system also recently adopted by PHP with
the PEAR project.
Rich Bowen identified a case
where a directory permissions problem could cause Apache 1.3 to
return a 403 error code for a GET request, but not log an
error message - a situation which can cause significant
confusion for many server administrators. The bug, which turned
out to have been introduced as a workaround for another problem, has
been fixed in the 1.3 tree.
Preparations for a 2.0.46 release are well underway; the
stable tree has been tagged twice for testing and is running on
the live apache.org server. The new release includes bug
fixes for a variety of minor problems. There is a suspicion
that a performance hit of a few percent has been introduced
since 2.0.45, though the problem remains to be identified. A
new 1.3 release, 1.3.28 may also be forthcoming in the next few
Inspired by our feature, "Vendor
patches to Apache", NewsFactor Network talks to Apache Week
editor Mark Cox in their story "Patching
There are hundreds of distributors of the software, and most of
them make tiny changes to the code to suit their own needs. Keeping a
tight rein on modifications seems like a difficult proposition, but
the politics of the open-source community have kept Apache largely
intact. Still, some vendors are going their own way with the software
and finding that certain improvements do make sense.
In this section we highlight some of the articles on the web
that are of interest to Apache users.
"Integrating Tomcat with Apache"
shows you how to install Tomcat 4.1.18 and mod_jk
from a binary distribution, build mod_jk from
source, and configure the Apache's httpd.conf and the Workers files to
make them work together. The steps provided can also be applied to
the latest release of Tomcat 4, version 4.1.24. It also gives
you a few pointers on what to look out for if you encounter errors
while testing your installation.
SecurityFocus presents a short step-by-step tutorial on
setting up a secure Apache 1.3.27 web server
on FreeBSD 4.7. First, it specifies the functionality required and security
assumptions made for the web server, then it installs, builds and
configures Apache to use only the minimum required modules in a
chrooted environment, and ends by writing a start-up script. Some
of the items not covered by this set up are SSL web servers,
dynamic web pages, and CGI scripts.
"Deploying Apache Tomcat on FreeBSD",
Tony Arcieri walks you through the steps of building a native
JDK 1.3 for FreeBSD, installing Apache 2 and Tomcat 4.1.12, and
configuring Apache 2 to use mod_webapp as
the connector module. He succeeded in proving that it is not difficult to set up a
FreeBSD-based Java Application Server.
"Open Source Web Development with LAMP"
by James Lee and Brent Ware scores full marks in
Alan Eibner's review at Slashdot.
Chapter 5 - MySQL
of the book is now available online in PDF format.