Apache Week
   
   Issue 107, 20th March 1998:  

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

In this issue


Another Survey Shows Apache Leads

Another server survey shows that Apache is used by 50.7% of the primary web servers within the non-geographic top-level domain names (.com, .edu, etc). ServerStats surveyed just the main server within each domain, for example, www.company.com, and not any servers with other names or in sub-domains such as "server.company.com" or "www.dept.company.com". This makes the results reflect the single server that the domain uses for its most visible site, and not the full range of servers used on the Web.

The results are in line with other Internet surveys. Apache on its own accounts for 50.7%. When the Apache derivatives are also included this rises to 57%. Microsoft are on 19.9% of surveyed sites, and Netscape on 10.3%.

They also present figures where multiple servers on the same case C subnet are regarded as served by a single server (a class C subnet is basically the group of IP addresses where the first three numbers are the same, for example, 1.2.3.0 through 1.2.3.255). This is an attempt to eliminate "virtual hosting", and to get to a better figure for the number of distinct installations. When processed like this the figures show that Microsoft has 36.% and Apache 30.2%. However, as they point out, this processing is not very accurate because it can collapse real separate servers into one, such as when servers are located at a "server farm".


Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.2.5 (Released 5th January 1998) (local download sites)
Beta: 1.3b5 (Released 19th February 1998) (local download sites)

Apache 1.2.5 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.2.4 and earlier should upgrade to this version since it fixes a number of bugs and potential security problems. A new version, 1.2.6, is expected soon.

The bugs listed below now include a link to the entry in the Apache bug database where the problem is being tracked. These entries are called "PR"s (Problem Reports). Some bugs do not correspond to problem reports if they are found by developers.

Bugs found in 1.3b5

These bugs have been found in 1.3 and will be fixed in the next beta (1.3b6)

  • If the final line in a configuration file did not have a trailing newline, Apache would not read it correctly PR#1869
  • Multiple SetEnvIf directives may not be evaluated in their configure file order, if the same header and regular expression is used. From the next beta, all SetEnvIf directives will be evaluated in configuration file order.
  • If the module which handles a particular "handler" is not compiled in, the default handler will be used. From the next release, Apache will log this as a warning, since it probably indicates a mistake.
  • A workaround has been applied for the next beta to avoid possible problems when the proxy is accessing a site via another proxy. PR#1741
  • When proxying FTP files, Apache previously was not returning the file's content length. It will now add a content length if the file is transferred in binary mode. PR#1183.

Patches for bugs in Apache 1.2.5 may be made available in the apply_to_1.2.5 directory on the Apache site (this directory may not exist if no patches are available). Some new features and other unofficial patches are available in the 1.2 patches directory (these may not apply cleanly to 1.2.5). For details of all previously reported bugs, see the Apache bug database and known bugs pages. Many common configuration questions are answered in the Apache FAQ.

Development has slowed down to prepare for the release of Apache 1.3. During the beta release cycle Apache is in a "feature freeze" where no major new features will be added.

Shared Modules on OSF/1

Support has been added to Apache for building shared modules on OSF/1.


Apache in the News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apache's free software gives Microsoft and Netscape fits. This is a detailed article on Apache, which shows that some major companies do run Apache despite the views of some industry analysists: McDonalds, Digital, Kimberley-Clark and Texas Instruments are listed as Apache users. Apache is not backed by a commercial organisation, so some people think it will be poorly supported. However there are increasing reports from people who prefer the support they do get from Apache: "It takes most vendors several weeks, sometimes months, to get fixes out. We need it within days," says Steve Madere, chief technology officer of Deja News Inc.

This article also describes Apache as written by people "working in their spare time over gin and tonics at home". Unfortunately, gin and tonics are actually not very common Apache development aids.


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