Apache Week
   
   Issue 243, 20th April 2001:  

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

In this issue


Under Development

The Under Development section returns this week after a short break for coverage of ApacheCon 2001.

The Apache 2.0 beta release, 2.0.16, sufferred from some issues with thread handling in the threaded MPM which Paul J. Reder and others have been trying to solve. A new release, 2.0.17, was made ready for testing but some problems still remain affecting server shutdown.

There has been a large amount of discussion surrounding the research done by Harrie Hazewinkel on adding multi-protocol support to Apache. The goal of this work is that support for protocols such as FTP or POP3 can be added as modules to Apache, and that the HTTP protocol itself is just another Apache module. This has proved somewhat controversial as some group members argue that such a fundamental change should not hold up Apache 2.0 development and should be delayed until a later release. Nevertheless, an initial patch from Ryan Bloom has been reviewed and refined and may be committed soon.

Development of the Apache 2.0 proxy module has continued at a brisk pace over the last few weeks, the code now having working support for HTTP/1.1, the CONNECT method, proxying to FTP servers, and experimentally, IPv6. Graham Leggett, leading the development team, has also used the Apache 2.0 "generic hooks" mechanism to split the protocol-specific handling (HTTP and FTP) into separate modules from the proxy core.

As covered in previous issues, the mod_proxy CVS tree was recently separated from the Apache 2.0 repository. After the uptake of development and maintenance of this module, Chuck Murcko has proposed that the development tree is merged back in.

The Apache Bench ab program received a major overhaul from Dirk-Willem van Gulik. Sander Temme discovered that integer over-runs and error handling problems were causing ab to produce plausible but incorrect results: Dirk fixed these, and added basic SSL support as well as some extra statistical analysis. The changes have been checked in to both the Apache 2.0 and 1.3 trees.

Apache 1.3 has also seen the integration of support for the Cygwin platform. Cygwin is a Unix emulation layer for Windows.


Featured articles

In this section we highlight some of the articles on the web that are of interest to Apache users.

In "Performance Tuning by Tweaking Apache Configuration", Stas Bekman demonstrates how to fine-tune the MinSpareServers, MaxSpareServers, StartServers, MaxClients, and MaxRequestsPerChild directives to maximise the usage of your system resources and to ensure good performance. He uses the ApacheBench (ab) utility to benchmark the Apache Web server with around ten different combinations of parameter settings in the tweaking process.

IBM developerWorks provides a tutorial (free registration required) about the Apache directory structure. It looks at a few methods on how to determine the directory layout of your Apache installation before moving on to creating your own customised layout.

From the Developer Shed, we have "Democracy, The PHP Way" which is all about building a simple Web-enabled online polling system using PHP and mySQL database. After this, you'll know how to create a poll with three possible responses for each question, a graphical report in the form of a bar graph and a form to allow new questions to be added easily to the system while picking up on image and cookie manipulation PHP functions.

Oier Blasco shows us how to write a suite of tests using PhpUnit to verify that PHP code is working correctly in "Debugging PHP". For those into Extreme Programming (XP), this will fit right in the testing process as all the tests can then be executed automatically in a single step thus saving a lot of time.


ApacheCon 2001

Last week (Apache Week issue #242) we covered events at ApacheCon 2001 in Santa Clara. We made a couple of mistakes in the story, firstly it was Doug Tidwell and not Giacomo Pati that gave the talk on Cocoon 2 (we got it right later in the article). We've also been informed that the inflatable camels were really inflatable kangaroos given away by Synop Pty, Ltd, which could explain the strange looks I got when walking around the show floor asking everyone for an inflatable camel.


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