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May 05, 2000, 21:06 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Blair Ireland)

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"One of the hottest topics on the Internet today is a little project known as Apache. No, I'm not talking about some cool military helicopter, but the Apache web server. If you never heard of Apache before, you probably think it was named that because it's a killer Web server, so they named it after a killer helicopter. Well, you are right about one thing. It is a great, powerful, popular Web server, but thats not why it was named Apache. The real reason is because it's "a patchy server." Back in the day -- February of 1995 to be exact -- the most popular Web server was the public domain HTTP daemon developed by Rob McCool at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Rob left the NCSA in mid-1994 though, so development of the daemon had stalled. Webmasters then had to start developing extensions and bug fixes to continue their use of the server. Soon thereafter, a group of 8 webmasters banded together and started co-ordinating bug fixes and patches to the web server. In the end, 8 core contributors formed the original Apache Group, with the first public release of the Apache server (v. 0.6.2) in April 1995."

"Since the released version used NCSA httpd 1.3 as a base, the developers knew they need to re-design and overhaul the code. It was in June of 1995 that this started, and features for 0.7.x were added, including pre-forked child processes and API for extensibility. With all the work by the developers going on in the background, they were able to release a fully beta-tested server by December 1, 1995. By that time, the server had also been ported to several obscure platforms, with a new set of documentation. Within a year of the Apache server's release, it became the #1 server on the Internet, a record it still holds today. In fact, according to Netcraft's latest web server survey, 60.05% of all web servers are running Apache."

"Recently, as you might have heard, the alpha version of Apache 2.0 was recently released. Changes are extensive, including Unix threading, multiprotocol support, and a new build system. The code has also been redesigned to better fit the large community of developers maintaining and enhancing the code. There has been an absolute enforcement of an "Apache Style" for code, and more API hooks have been made in the process...."

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