Apache Week
   Issue 132, 2nd October 1998:  

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

In this issue

Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.3.2 (Released 23rd September 1998) (local download sites)
Beta: None

Apache 1.3.2 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.2.6 and earlier should look at upgrading to this version. Read Guide to 1.3.2 for information about changes between 1.2 and 1.3.2.

Most bugs listed below 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.

These bugs have been found in 1.3.2 and will be fixed in the next version.

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

  • CGI child processes may not be killed if the client aborts the connection. This is because the child process has some file handles open which it inherited from the server. PR#2884, PR#2910.
  • Paths such as D:/ were being converted to D: which is the current directory on the given drive rather that the root directory. PR#3001.
  • Drive letters also cause problems in sub-requests. PR#3074.

Other Bugs

  • Missing .htaccess files could sometimes be mistaken for errors, resulting in a "403 Forbidden" response.
  • Directories in an auto-index directory list are shown as having a size of "0k" instead of "-". PR#3130.
  • Using TABS to separate arguments to the require directive causes errors because only spaces are allowed between arguments. Fixed to allow any whitespace characters between arguments.
  • The SERVER_NAME environment variable was not being set correctly in sub-requests such as CGI's called from SSI's or in RewriteCond directives. PR#3111.
  • Does not link on SCO 3.0. PR#3108.

Patches for bugs in Apache 1.3.2 will be made available in the apply_to_1.3.2 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.

Spelling matches passed to ErrorDocuments

The mod_speling module can be used to correct small typos in URLs. It works by looking on the file system for similar directory and filenames. Sometimes there is more than one close filename, so it returns a "300 Multiple Choice" error message which contains links to the matching files (this does not actually work in Apache 1.3.2, but works in previous versions and will be fixed in the next release).

New in the next release will be that the list of possible matching files will be stored in an environment variable. This will allow ErrorDocument CGI programs to display the list of matches in customised formats. The list will be passed in the environment variable VARIANTS (actually REDIRECT_VARIANTS because the error document is an internal redirect). See also PR#2859.

IndexOptions can be turned on or off

In all current releases, using IndexOptions will set the named options, overriding any options already set in higher-level .htaccess or <Directory> sections. From the next release, it will be possible to use the same syntax as Options to turn individual options on and off. For example,

  IndexOptions -IconsAreLinks +SuppressSize

will remove the IconsAreLinks option (if it is currently in force) and set the SuppressSize option. Note that like Options, using an option without a leading + or - will turn off all current options. For example

  IndexOptions FancyIndexing

will cause the FancyIndexing option to be the only option set.

Signature passed to CGI's and SSI's

The ServerSignature directive in Apache 1.3.2 can be used to set the amount of information appended to pages generated by the server. From the next release, this text will also be passed to CGI programs and SSI pages in the SERVER_SIGNATURE environment variable. This will let dynamic pages output consistent signatures.

Paths in configuration files

All the paths and filenames in the default configuration files (httpd.conf etc) have been surrounded by quotes from the next release. This is required for paths which contain spaces, which are valid on Unix, although not very common. However Mac paths often contain spaces, and the same configuration files are used on Mac OS X. The default configuration files for Windows already contain quotes around pathnames.

New Ports

Apache has been ported to DRS 6000, and will now recognise UnixWare 7.0.1.

ApacheCon '98

There is now only just over a week until the first ever conference dedicated to Apache. There is still time to register (although now at the higher rate). To see the agenda or register, visit http://www.apachecon.com/.

Comments or criticisms? Please email us at editors@apacheweek.com