Apache Week
Issue 206, 7thJuly2000:

Copyright 2020 Red Hat, Inc

In this issue

O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2000

There's only a week left to register for the O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2000. Monterey, California plays host to the conference between July 17th and 20th, and brings together the leaders of 10 critical open source technologies - including Apache - to give you an inside look at how to configure, optimise, code, and manage them.

Apache Week will be there, along with notable Apache members on the list of speakers. If that doesn't tempt you there is also a feast of activities including the Double Feature Movie night, the Open-Source Caribbean Jam, and the "Buy the Apache Week team a Beer" night. Okay, so we made the last one up.

Apache surveyed

Each month we report on the new figures from the Netcraft and E-Soft surveys of web sites. Both surveys show similar results with Apache far in the lead, as they follow similar methods for collecting their data. This month Netcraft show Apache and Apache-based servers have over 65% of the market share of standard sites, and E-Soft shows Apache at 62% of secure sites.

Because both these popular surveys look at every domain available, they are easily biased by ISPs and companies that give away lots of free virtual domains such as Namezero. Other surveys, such as one from BizNix choose to take a smaller sample such as companies in the Fortune 500 list. These surveys have always tended to favour Microsoft and Netscape servers.

This week the Sunday Times published their list of the top 100 privately owned European e-businesses. UK IT news site, The Register, has an interesting commentary on the top 10 from the list, so Apache Week decided to jump on the survey bandwagon to see what servers these companies run on their public-facing sites. The results show that four of the sites are running Apache-based servers on Unix, three run Netscape Enterprise, and the remaining three are Microsoft IIS.

In the news

TUX and Apache 2.0

In the news this week is a new web server called "TUX" written by Red Hat. TUX is an in-kernel web server and is embedded into the Linux OS. In-kernel servers are not a new idea, with IBM shipping their HTTP Get Engine for AIX that can interface with Apache. The idea is that simple requests, such as requests for static content, can be parsed and fulfilled completely in kernel space that dramatically improves performance. With an in-kernel cache, any request that cannot be handled by the kernel is transparently passed on to a user-space web server. The response from the server is then cached in the kernel where possible.

According to one of the authors in a discussion on Slashdot, "'TUX' comes from 'Threaded linUX webserver', and is a kernel-space HTTP subsystem. TUX was written by Red Hat and is based on the 2.4 kernel series. TUX is under the GPL and will be released in a couple of weeks. TUX's main goal is to enable high-performance webserving on Linux, and while it's not as feature-full as Apache, TUX is a 'full fledged' HTTP/1.1 webserver supporting HTTP/1.1 persistent (keepalive) connections, pipelining, CGI execution, logging, virtual hosting, various forms of modules, and many other webserver features. TUX modules can be user-space or kernel-space. "

The author also claims that "We expect TUX to be integrated into Apache 2.0 or 3.0", although this idea hasn't yet been discussed with the Apache group and is highly unlikely to happen for Apache 2.0.

BXXP and Apache

A new protocol, BXXP, has been developed and is touted to be "HTTP on steroids". One of the features of BXXP is that a single connection can carry multiple simultaneous exchanges of data, which is ideal for exchanging meta-data. The news story goes on to quote that "the odds are good that BXXP will be bundled in the next version of Apache, which is due out this fall," although it has yet to be discussed with the Apache group and no patches have been submitted.

Apache status

Apache Site: www.apache.org/httpd
Release: 1.3.12 (Released 25th February 2000) (local download sites)
Beta: None
Alpha: 2.0a4 (Released 7th June 2000) (local download sites)

Apache 1.3.12 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.3.11 and earlier on Unix and Windows systems should upgrade to this version. Read the Guide to 1.3.12, the Guide to 1.3.11 for information about changes between 1.3.9 and 1.3.11 and the Guide to 1.3.9 for information about changes between 1.3.6 and 1.3.9.

A number of additions and fixes have been made to Apache 1.3.12 with a view to releasing Apache 1.3.13 sometime in July.

Bugs and Features in 1.3.12

  • Apache Bench sends an authorisation header of "basic" although the standard, RFC 2617, always refers to the header as being "Basic". This causes problems with older versions of PHP
  • A security problem was found in Windows Apache recently where a carefully constructed request could return a directory listing. Additional fixes have now been made to protect against other possible pathname length problems
  • When Apache is run on Windows NT and 2000 messages sent to stderr before Apache opens its own log files will be sent to the Application Event Log

Featured articles

Ryan Bloom's latest article in Apache Today explains some of the new technology that is inside the fourth alpha of Apache 2.0. "Looking at Apache 2.0 alpha 4" takes a detailed look at reliable piped logging and the issues of running CGI scripts from a threaded web server.