Apache Week

Copyright 1996-2005
Red Hat, Inc.

First published: 29th November 2002

Book Review: Apache Administrator's Handbook

"Apache Administrator's Handbook" by Rich Bowen and two contributing authors, Allan Liska and Daniel Lopez, was first printed by Sams Publishing in March 2002. It is intended to be a practical, hands-on guide on how to install, configure, and administer the Apache Web server for Apache Web server administrators and Web dynamic content developers. It stresses that this book is not meant to be a comprehensive Apache manual so it does not provide a detailed listing of all the Apache directives, usage, and syntax. Neither does it cater for Apache modules developers. It covers mainly Apache 1.3 and only touches briefly on Apache 2.0 as Apache 2.0 was still in beta when the book was published.

The book consists of 27 chapters organised under 5 main sections with 6 appendixes. You may refer to the table of contents listed on its companion website. Currently Part V which comprises chapters 25 to 27 about Apache modules in general is missing from that page. As with most first editions, there are minor errors so a list of errata is also available on the site. Each chapter is short and written in a succinct style so it is easy to read and understand the whole book in one sitting without fear of brain damage even if you are only slightly familiar with Apache. It would be more useful to you if you read this book while sitting in front of your computer and trying out the examples when you encounter them. In fact this is what the author hinted you should be doing.

Compared to other Apache books on the market, this book contains more information about running Apache on Windows. Chapter 12 concentrates solely on the details for installing Apache on Microsoft Windows, and lists the differences between Apache on Windows and Unix, namely the multithreaded versus preforked model. There are also short sections about mod_perl on Windows, and security tips for running Apache and CGI scripts on Windows. Chapter 23 is all about web spiders, what they are, their pros and cons, how to identify spiders that visited your web site, how to block them, and even shows you how to write your own spider with a sample spider written in Perl.

Although the publishers categorise this book under user level intermediate to advanced, I feel that this book is more useful to web server administrators who are totally new to Apache because it explains at a basic level in simple terms on how to get started with Apache, what Apache is all about, general Apache concepts, and does not touch on the Apache source code and any complex configuration at all. If you are already an Apache expert and is only looking to advance your knowledge about Apache, then there is no point for you to get this book. However, if you are migrating to Apache from another web server or thinking of using Apache on Windows, then this is a good book for you to start with.

Order now at Amazon.com 

This feature brought to you by: Min Min Tsan
Comments or criticisms? Please email us at editors@apacheweek.com