Apache Week
Issue 117, 29thMay1998:

Copyright 2020 Red Hat, Inc

In this issue

Beta 7 Out Now

Apache 1.3b7 was released on Tuesday 26th May. The new features were listed in last week's Apache Week. All users of 1.3b6 and earlier 1.3 betas should upgrade to this version. However there is a problem in 1.3b7 when using CGI on Windows, where environment variables are not being passed on and the current working directory for the CGI is not being set correctly. This will be fixed in the next release.

Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.2.6 (Released 24th March 1998) (local download sites)
Beta: 1.3b7 (Released 26th May 1998) (local download sites)

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

Bugs in 1.3b7

These bugs have been found in 1.3b7 and will be fixed in the next beta (1.3b8).

Because of the major differences between Windows and Unix, these are separated into bugs which affect Windows systems only, and other bugs (which may affect Windows as well). Unix users can ignore the bugs listed in the Windows section.

Windows-specific Bugs

  • Environment variables are not being passed to CGI processes. PR#2294.
  • The current working directory was not being set to the directory containing the CGI program

Other Bugs

  • SSI directives were not correctly handling $ as marking the end of a regular expression. PR#1921, PR#2249.
  • On Unix, configure had to be run as root to configure suEXEC. While installation of suEXEC does require root, configuring and building Apache and suEXEC can be done as any user, starting with the next release.
  • A few symbols missed out on the big Apache API rename: is_default_port(), default_port() and http_method(). These are all renamed to start ap_ in the next release.

Patches for bugs in Apache 1.2.6 may be made available in the apply_to_1.2.6 subdirectory of the patches 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 1.2.6). 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.

Proxy Errors Now Handled as Normal Errors

At present, errors found by the proxy module are handled within that module. This meant it was not possible to customise the error response with ErrorDocument. From the next beta, proxy errors will be treated like other errors found by Apache, so that ErrorDocument can be used to provide a custom error message or to perform other actions when an error occurs. The actual text of the error message is available to the error handler in the environment variable ERROR_NOTES.

Apache in the News

An article in WebTechniques covers Load Balancing Your Web Site. This explains how to use Apache to load balance an active site transparently across serveral different servers. One method is via a round-robin DNS, and another by using Apache as a front-end ("reverse proxy") to the actual servers. The latter method makes use of some advanced features in the rewrite and proxy modules.