In this issue
Version 1.1 coming soon: a beta test release will be
available from April 19th. In the meantime, 1.0.3 is the
current stable public release.
The incredibly popular Linux
operating system was originally developed Linus Torvalds,
who is still very active in developing the software. He
recently commented on Apache on the Linux developments list:
Apache seems to do the pre-forking the _right_ way, ie not having just
one listener that then gives out the requests to the others, but having all
the servers listen to the port, and then the one that gets there first
gets to serve it too. No fd passing, no overhead, no stupidity.
In short, it seems everybody should use apache.
In these week's technical developments: protecting access via
URLs as well as files, handling PUT and DELETE requests and a
look at HTML parsing languages.
You will know that you can configure directories using the
<Directory> directive in the access.conf file. But
Apache is now being extended to handle URLs in arbitrary
ways - for example, mapping them onto particular cgi files
via handlers. So there needs to be a way of configuring
based on requested URL, even if it doesn't map onto a file
system. This is the job of the new <Location>
directive, which is basically identical to
<Directory>, except that is (a) is applied only if no
<Directory> section matched the file requested (if
any), and (b) it is matched against the requested URL, not
the file it maps onto (if any). It might sound complex, but
it could prove very useful for configuring non-file
accesses, such as the status reports and for protecting the
Handling PUT and DELETE
Apache has been updated to handle PUT and DELETE requests,
as well as extending the handling of GET and POST. You can
specify a script to handle each of these types of requests.
These scripts will only get called if nothing else can
process the the request. This lets site developers use PUT
and DELETE - which is particularily useful for users of
Netscape Navigator Gold, which uses PUT to update pages on
a site. This mechanism can also handle GET and POST
requests (for the GET request, this only happens if the
request contains query string arguments).
The directive to set this up is Script, and it is
used like this:
These are similar to the CERN server Search, POST-Script,
PUT-Script and DELETE-Script directives.
Script GET /cgi-bin/handle-search
Script POST /cgi-bin/handle-post
Script PUT /cgi-bin/handle-put
Script DELETE /cgi-bin/handle-delete
An easy (well, hopefully) way to add new capabilities to
your server without too much programming is to use some
sort of "parsed HTML". This is a souped-up version of
server side includes which lets you use variables,
conditionals, loops and so on. Like SSI, these scripts get
parsed on the server so they work with all browsers. There
are several implementations of HTML scripting now
(linked to apache by a module); XSSI (apache
Forcing a handler or mime type
New directives have been added to force all the files in a
particular directory to be processed by a given handler, or
to be returned with a particular type. To set a handler,
use SetHandler, and to set a mime type use
ForceType. Note that these directives force the
given type or handler to be applied to all files in the
section, irrespective of the usually extension mapping
For example, a download directory could use "ForceType
applicaton/octet-stream" in a .htaccess file to make the
browser save the files, rather than try and display them.
Or, all files in a directory could be treated as CGI
OS/2 Bug Fix
A security bug in Apache 1.0.* for OS/2 has been fixed. The
bug is OS/2 specific and does not affect Apache on any
other platforms. It is recommened that all OS/2 users
upgrade to fixed version Apache for OS/2
Realix & DG/UX
A user has ported Apache 1.0.3 to MODCOMP's Realix
operating system, which is a real-time variant of
Motorola's SYSVR3 running on MOTOROLA 88K and Intel. Apache
1.1 will now also compile on DG/UX systems.
It's the FAQ
project FAQ has been updated to reflect the current
state of development.
Commercial: Run ISAPI under Apache
from Celera Software includes a module to let Apache run
extensions written in Microsoft's Internet Server API.
Comments or criticisms? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org