Apache Week
   Issue 119, 12th June 1998:  

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

In this issue

Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.3.0 (Released 6th June 1998) (local download sites)
Beta: None

Apache 1.3.0 is now the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.2.6 and earlier should look at upgrading to this version, which provides additional features and has been subject to extensive testing.

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 in 1.3.0

These bugs have been found in 1.3.0 and will be fixed in 1.3.1.

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

  • Compiling Apache 1.3.0 source fails in the rewrite module. There is a patch available to fix this.

Other Bugs

  • If a custom log format was defined in the main-server part of the configuration file, it could not be used in virtual host sections. PR#2090.
  • Hostnames or IP numbers were being truncated in the log files. This only affects people using mod_usertrack to issue cookies to clients, because this code was truncating the hostname or IP address at the first period (dot) when a new cookie was issued. PR#2190, PR#2229, PR#2366.
  • Apache was converting the Content-Type from CGI scripts to lowercase, which normally had no effect. However scripts which sent back a server-push boundary with uppercase characters would not work. PR#2400.
  • Updates for QNX, HPUX (for shared objects), SVR4 (when using configure with maximum number of shared objects), alpha linux and other 64-bit systems (mod_unique_id), SCO 5 (compilation), NCR (configuration and SIGHUP restarts), NEXTSTEP (compilation).
  • Add support for UTS 2.1.2.
  • Symbolic links cannot be used above the document root. This only affect people using the configuration files which came with 1.3.0, which include a <Directory /> section containing Options None and AllowOverride None. This is a performance boost because it prevents Apache reading .htaccess files above the document root, but it also disallowed symbolic links. To enable symbolic links above the document root, Options None should be changed to Options FollowSymLinks. PR#2363.

Patches for bugs in Apache 1.3.0 will be made available in the apply_to_1.3.0 subdirectory of the patches directory on the Apache site. Some new features and other unofficial patches are available in the 1.3 patches directory. 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.

The next planned release will be 1.3.1 which will contain mainly bug fixes for 1.3.0, with a few minor additional features. There may be a beta period for 1.3.1, but this has not yet been decided.

Testing Configuration Files

If a configuration file (such as httpd.conf) contains a syntax error, Apache will display an error message and fail to start. While this is acceptable when starting from the command line, if Apache is restarted while it is running (by sending a HUP or USR1 signal), the error will cause Apache to stop. To help avoid this, a new command line option has been added which will check the syntax of the main configuration files. Running httpd -t will make Apache read its main configuration file conf/httpd.conf and the other standard configuration files if they exist, and then exit. If there are is an error in the configuration file it will be reported as normal, and Apache will exit with a non-zero status. If there are no errors, Apache will say "Syntax OK" and exit with a zero status. This can be used interactively to check for syntax errors in the configuration files, or in a script to avoid sending a USR1 or HUP signal to a live process if a syntax error is found. Note however that this will not find all possible errors in the configuration files, and it does not check .htaccess files.

Proxy to Perform Garbage Collection in the Background

The proxy module has been updated so that a separate process is spawned to do the garbage collection. This happens whenever the total size of the cached files exceeds the limit configured with the CacheSize.

Apache 1.3.0 Reference Card Available

Andrew Ford's Apache quick reference card has been updated for Apache 1.3.0. It lists the syntax for every Apache 1.3.0 directive (including a note of which directives which are new for 1.3 or have changed since 1.2.*). In addition, it also lists the httpd command line options, CGI environment variables, custom log format directives and SSI directives. All this can be printed on a single double-sided sheet in either US or international paper sizes, and is available as Postscript or PDF.

Apache Site Now Searchable

It is now possible to search the Apache site, source code and bug reports. The search page is at http://www.apache.org/search.html. By default it searches the pages on the Apache site itself (www.apache.org), but by selecting the options under "Limit search to" it can search the Apache developers' site, the current Apache source, or the bug tracking database (or any combination). The search phrase itself can be one or more words, with optional use of "AND", "OR" or "NOT" to build up complex queries.

PHP3 Released

PHP3, the Hypertext Preprocessor language, is now available as a full release. This is a major update over PHP2, with much of the internal code completely rewritten for much better performance, more consistent language syntax, and a large number of new features.

PHP is a language which can be embedded into HTML pages. This is similar to server-side includes, but much more powerful. PHP comes with an Apache module which builds the whole PHP language into Apache, so performance is much better than external CGI scripts. PHP is particulary good for links with databases, including Oracle, Sybase, Solid, MySQL, mSQL, and PostgreSQL.

PHP3 can be obtained from www.php.net.

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