Poised to be the largest gathering of Apache users to date,
ApacheCon 2001 is being held in Santa Clara, USA in April.
Registration at the
ApacheCon site is now open and if you don't want to pay
to see the talks why not go along to the free two-day
The conference will feature presentations from top developers
about key Apache-related and many new open source
technologies as well as number of keynotes. These include
Science Fiction author David Brin, who will answer the
questions of whether the Open Source Movement represents one
of the most hopeful signs that a complex civilization may be
able to adapt to changing times. His talk will explore a
range of possible changes challenges we may face in the near
future and touch upon some plausible visions of the territory
just beyond. Another keynote speaker, Jon "maddog" Hall,
Executive Director of Linux(R) International will look at "a
large company in the Pacific north-west" that says that
people wish to keep on using PCs and "a large company in
Redwood Shores, California" that says that people wish to
store all of their data in large server machines, then use
"thin clients". While an argument can be made for either,
Hall will make a stronger argument for both.
Apache Week will be there as always to cover the events, but
if you don't attend you'll miss out on all the fun and the
chance to meet the Apache gurus.
The last two weeks saw interest in mod_proxy development
liven up as Graham Leggett committed his patches to start
supporting HTTP/1.1 to the Apache 2.0 mod_proxy development
tree. The changes which have been made to the Apache 1.3
mod_proxy have also been ported over to bring the 2.0 tree up
Ryan Bloom made another alpha release of Apache 2.0 on March
12th, this one 2.0.14. The changes
are minor since 2.0.13, including an improvement to
mod_include and some important bug fixes.
Bill Stoddard has committed another of the changes made by
the SGI Accelerating Apache project, to remove the need to
always use the 'sscanf' function to parse the HTTP protocol
number in requests. Bill highlighted the reasons why the
Accelerating Apache patches were largely ignored by the
Apache group: this small and useful patch was hidden inside a
large patch which covered many unrelated changes, making it
very hard to review.
It was believed that some of the problems with Apache 2.0
were due to pipelining of requests. Pipelining in HTTP/1.1
allows the client to send multiple requests at once without
having to wait for a response from each. Although the
majority of clients do not yet use pipelining, new versions
of the mozilla browser have the option of enabling them. A w3c paper
explains how pipelining works and the
performance gains that can be expected by using it.
The Velocity project this week announced the release of the
first beta of version 1 of the Velocity template engine.
Velocity is a powerful template engine written in Java and
released as open source software under the Apache Software
Velocity is ideal for web development as it separates the
Java code from the web pages, making the web site more
maintainable. This is a different approach to that taken by
other scripting languages such as Java Server Pages (JSP),
ASP, and PHP. This enforced abstraction prevents web page
designers from seeing the complexity of the Java code, and
prevents the programmers from unduly influencing the look of
information on Velocity is available.
In this section we highlight some of the articles on the web
that are of interest to Apache users.
Jeffrey Carl gives a few tips on handy tools to use when
troubleshooting server problems in "The
Web Server First Aid Kit". Its approach can be applied to
most Unix and Linux systems but it occasionally refers
specifically to the Apache Web Server. Some of the problems
it tackles are: figuring out the cause of slow response from
server, unauthorized entry, and network misconfiguration.
Take23 shows us how to use
Apache::PortCorrect (a Perl module) to redirect
users from a nonsecure port over to a secure SSL port based
on the URL that they are trying to access. This article is
for those who are more at home using mod_perl
with the Apache Web Server and mod_ssl than
setting up a set of mod_rewrite rules to perform
the same task.
On the PHP front,
"The need for speed" looks at a few solutions such as the
Zend Optimizer, caching modules, and web content compression
to improve the performance of a PHP-enabled web site. Keith
Reichley uses PHP and mySQL to shorten long URLs or "hide"
the actual link to a web page in "Jump-Start
to easy URL's".
to Internet Services" explores the fundamentals of
connecting to other Web sites or services through the socket
functions available in PHP 4. The example code uses the Geektools
Whois Proxy to gather information regarding specific
The Developer Shed demonstrates how to use JSP to manipulate
data from a mySQL database and dynamically generate a web
page from it in "The
JSP Files (part 5)". The techniques can also be applied
to all major databases.