Apache Week
   
   Issue 143, 18th December 1998:  

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

In this issue


Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.3.3 (Released 9th October 1998) (local download sites)
Beta: None

Apache 1.3.3 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.2.6 and earlier should look at upgrading to this version. Read Guide to 1.3.3 for information about changes between 1.2 and 1.3.3.

Bugs in 1.3.3

These bugs have been found in 1.3.3 and will be fixed in the next release.

  • Some dynamically loaded modules were not initialised properly. This caused problems with mod_perl where the perl-script handler was not found.
  • As reported previously, a bug in the AIX C compiler makes Apache given a "Expected </Files> but saw </Files>" error (or the same error for the other container directives). Patches are now available from IBM to fix the compiler, from http://service.software.ibm.com/support/rs6000. PR#2312.

Patches for bugs in Apache 1.3.3 will be made available in the apply_to_1.3.3 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.

Changing command line options

At the moment, the -h command line option gives a list of all the directives that the Apache binary supports. This is several hundred lines long. However many other programs use -h for "help", where it produces details of how to run the program (showing command line arguments and defaults). This can be obtained from Apache with the -? option, which has to be given as -\? on Unix because ? is a special (meta) character. There is also -l which gives a list of the modules compiled into Apache.

There is a proposal to bring the command line options into line with other programs. This would result in some changes where are not backward compatible. The proposal is to change -h to give a short usage message, and use -L to give the long list of every directive (because this list is really an expansion on the short -l module list). The current -L option (which gives an alternate directory for dynamic modules) will become -R.

The benefits of a more obvious set of command line arguments as against the problems with changing long standing behaviour is currently being discussed.

Directory layout with ./configure

As we reported two weeks ago, there has been a lot of confusion because Apache comes with two different default directory layouts: if you use ./configure you get one directory layout (with directories such as sbin and etc, while if you use src/Configure you get directories such as conf. The latter is the traditional layout for an installed Apache.

The preferred solution to this problem is to make ./configure use the traditional directory layout by default. But now some people are familiar with the new layout, so this would be an incompatible change. So it was decided to make neither layout the default, and to insist that the user selects one of the layouts with the --with-layout option. However this has caused some problems with large third-party modules which automatically call ./configure to setup Apache. Now it is being decided whether to make the traditional layout the default anyway.


Java Apache Project extended

The Java Apache Project site has been updated, and now encourages work on a variety of open source Java based projects. Originally designed to develop a free interface between Apache and Java Servlets, there are now additional projects under development to help encourage the use of Java. All these projects are under a license similar to the Apache license, which means that they are free and can be used in commercial applications with appropriate attribution (as specified in the license).


Happy Holidays!

This is the final Apache Week in 1998. We will be back on the 8th January 1999. Have a great holiday season and a happy New Year from everyone at Apache Week.


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