Apache is now the most popular web server in the world. The
April WWW server site survey by
Netcraft found that more web servers where using Apache than
any other web program. Apache is now in use on 29% of all web
This good news is the subject of an press
release that the Apache group have sent out to various
Happy first birthday - Apache is also a year old this week.
The Apache developers server and mailing list were
established in late March 1995. If you don't know where
Apache came from, here's a short history lesson. In late 1994
and early 1995, the NCSA server was stuck at version 1.3.
Patches being submitted for the NCSA server didn't get
incorporated. So a group of people who wanted to keep
developing the server got together, and using the public
domain code from NCSA 1.3 developed their own server. There
was also some doubt over what the license would be for the
next version of NCSA. Because the new server developed from a
need to integrate outstanding patches, it became known as "a
While it started off because of a desire to patch NCSA 1.3,
Apache was largely re-written to allow external "modules" to
be incorporated. Anyone can write C modules to work with
Apache, and in fact much of the default functionality of
Apache is incorporated into modules. The author of the module
features and the programming interface, Robert Thau, is going
to present a paper on the Apache modules API at the
International WWW Conference.
Apache now has a lot of new features over and above NCSA 1.3,
and while the NCSA server is back in development, Apache has
become the most popular web server.
Version 1.0.3 is the current public release. The next version
will be 1.1, initially as a beta release (1.1b1), and
possibly in April.
The "ScanHTMLTitles" directive used to generate descriptive
directory listings was found to be case dependant. It managed
to extract the title only from the <TITLE> HTML
Here's a list of the major developments this week...
The Apache group continue with testing multithreading. An
example multithreaded server based on Apache was written as
a proof-of-concept. It is likely to be some time before we
see a fully multithreaded Apache being available.
The statistics module has been extended to show the current
requests that are currently being served and the hostname
of the requestor. The module has already come in handy to
aid tracking a bug in the 1.1 developers release.
Rumours are that NCSA and Apache may be able to share modules
at some future date.
In the last issue we mentioned a new module
that authenticates users against a Postgres database. Thanks
to Adam Sussman for noticing that we actually meant Postgres95,
a different beast altogether.