Apache Week
Issue 267, 19thOctober2001:

Copyright 2020 Red Hat, Inc

In this issue

Under development

The last fortnight has seen a high volume of traffic concerning input filtering in 2.0, particularly regarding mod_ssl. Although the debate became heated at times, some changes to the bucket brigade interface were eventually decided upon.

This week the Apache HTTP Test suite was exercised against Apache 2.0; after enough bugs were fixed that all the tests passed, the tree was tagged in preparation for a new release, 2.0.26. One problem remaining is that segfaults in child processes are not handled correctly, though Jeff Trawick is working on a fix. Several positive reports have been sent in from users testing mod_ssl and mod_proxy in the current 2.0 code: it looks possible that 2.0.26 will be released as the next 2.0 beta. The code was also tested on the live site at apache.org; this highlighted a bug in some recent optimisation work, which was quickly fixed.

Back in 1.3 land, there was some discussion about customisation of the Server version string (as used by Netcraft et al. to determine which software a web site is running), and the SERVER_SIGNATURE string used in the default error response pages and elsewhere. Dirk-Willem van Gulik submitted a patch making these highly configurable using a format string (like the CustomLog directive).

In the news

The CIO Magazine tell their readers "Let's stop wasting $78 billion a year", the amount they estimate faulty software costs businesses. The action plan includes adopting open-source technologies such as Linux, Apache, and Sendmail.

The recent Gartner report caused a flurry of press activity, including news from Sun that they were slashing the price of their web server software. An article by Total Telecom however believes that it is the "companies that sell services around the free Apache software [who] stand to benefit more from businesses switching platforms than Sun."

Featured articles

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

In "Tuning Your Apache Web Server", Don MacVittie shows us how to configure the directives in the httpd.conf file to achieve maximum performance. Users have to ensure that their hardware can support the volume of connections they are aiming for, before starting with the optimisation. As there are no hard and fast rules for tweaking the settings, the best configuration is obtained by trial and error - benchmarking the server after changing the directives each time.

Apache Week editor Mark Cox talks to searchWebManagement about the Apache 1.3.22 release in "Bugs fixed in latest Apache version". The article touches on the development of Apache 1.3.22, how it compares to Apache 2.0, the most important enhancement, and the relationship with third party vendors.

For those using Mac OS, here's a straightforward step-by-step tutorial on building Apache 1.3.22 and PHP 4.0 for Mac OS X 10.1 However, the instructions don't include integrating mod_perl or mod_ssl.

Read the success story about how a team at eToys.com build a large-scale e-commerce site using mainly open-source software such as Apache, mod_perl, and commodity hardware. This comprehensive case study provides you with an insight into the secrets of their feat and warns you about the various pitfalls to avoid. If they can do this with a minimum of cost and effort, you can too!

Ibrahim F. Haddad explains the results he got for testing the performance of three open-source web servers: Apache, Jigsaw and Tomcat on his experimental Linux cluster platform. He performs four type of tests, each with a different server and on 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 CPU systems but only presents three comparison cases: Apache 1.3.14 vs. Apache 2.08a on one CPU, Apache 1.3.14 vs. Apache 2.08a on eight CPUs and Jigsaw 2.0.1 vs. Tomcat 3.1 on one CPU in this report. His conclusion is that Apache is considerably faster and more stable than the other web servers.

"Learning PHP: The What's and the Why's" is the first article in a new series that aspires to teach everything about PHP, beginning with the basics of PHP to advanced subjects such as databases and XML support. This introductory piece briefs us on what PHP is, its history, and the reasons for choosing it over other languages.

This issue brought to you by: Mark J Cox, Joe Orton, Min Min Tsan