The conference ran from March 8th to March 10th, at the
Caribe Royal Suites in Florida, USA. The hotel is situated
very close to the main Orlando attractions and the sessions
took place in the conference center of the hotel. In total,
just over 1000 people attended the conference and this
included a large number of Apache Software Foundation
members. At the very first session of the conference, the
opening plenary, the previous record for the most Apache
developers in the same place at the same time was broken.
Apache Week counted 18 developers during the session, 4 more
than at ApacheCon 98. While most people came from the US and
Canada, there were also a significant number of people from
Europe and beyond. This was the second official Apache
conference, the first being held in San Francisco in 1998
with over 500 attendees.
pictures from around the conference are available from
the Apache Week site. In addition, personal pictures from
attendee Kevin Burton are available.
Ken Coar opened the conference on Wednesday with a plenary
session and a song. Joining him on stage was a selection of
the current Apache Software Foundation members. Roy Fielding,
current president of the ASF, said that the conference
provided a unique opportunity to talk to the people who
actually write the code. The floor was opened to questions
which mostly revolved around the function of the foundation,
the Java and XML Apache projects, and the upcoming 2.0 alpha.
Roy said that 2.0 would be available "real soon now" and Ryan
Bloom promised that an alpha would be available during the
week of the conference, or at least a few days after it.
The first keynote speech was from Dr Alfred Z Spector,
Senior Technical Strategist with IBM. Dr Spector outlined
IBM's contribution to open-source and particularly their work
on Apache 2.0 and that Java and XML Apache projects. The
increasing importance of modularity by creating customisable
building blocks and code reuse was stressed. The conclusions
of the talk were that developers need to be given access to
libraries of standard components and better tools to utilise
them, and that the education system should be changed to put
more emphasis on the use and reuse of components.
Brian Behlendorf gave an energetic look at the
internals of the ASF in his keynote session "State of the
Foundation". His talk covered some of the reasons that the
ASF was formed which includes protection for the individual
contributors against lawsuits and the abilty to control the
Apache identity. The ASF is the umbrella organisation behind
the Apache httpd server as well a number of other open-source
projects such as Jakarta and Apache XML. Brian announced that
the ASF had currently received over US$35,000 in donations
which was quite an accomplishment given that it is not
publicised that the Foundation accepts donations. The
difficulty for the ASF now is working out how to spend the
donations. The FreeBSD project was cited as a good model as
it gives grants to developers who needed additional resources
for example. For the future a goal for the ASF is to develop
a structure to help support new projects, aided by creating a
standard framework of developer tools and procedures for
running open-source projects.
There were four parallel tracks running throughout the
conference, with a total of over 40 classes. Unlike the last
ApacheCon the tracks were not themed, and some of the classes
took place as "Nightschool" events.
Over the next few weeks the ApacheCon site will be
updated to include links to all the talks and papers that
were presented. Popular talks on Wednesday included a series
of tutorials on starting with mod_perl, Comanche a GUI for
Apache, and the Catherdral Meets the Bazaar. The mod_perl
tutorials continued into Thursday and was joined by talks
about XML, HTTP, and APR. The day classes ended with a well
received talk on load balancing for Apache using the Backhand
Around sixteen companies exhibited at the trade show during
the conference. Companies present included IBM, Sun
Microsystems, LinuxMall, and Covalent Technologies. The
exhibition was very popular and reinforced how Apache has
built an associated industry. The exhibitors we talked to
were very happy with the quality, interest, and response of
people that they met at the conference.
Next week Apache Week will have coverage of the last day of
ApacheCon 2000 as well as the Saturday meeting of the ASF
The first alpha of Apache 2.0 was released today to coincide
with the ApacheCon 2000 conference. Apache 2.0a1 has received
only limited testing and has known issues such as a memory
leak and problems with the default regular expression library
on some platforms. As such it should be considered as a
"developers version" and not used in production environments.
Apache users who are not happy compiling and debugging code
should wait until a beta release when more bugs have been
fixed and more of the open issues have been resolved. Apache
2.0a1 is available from the Apache site.