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VNU Net: Apache Server Commentary [Book Review]

By Sam Newman, VNU Net

This is one in a series of books which sets out to give an
insight into the various Open Source products currently on the
market. It is aimed at those who either want to write extension
modules to Apache or customise the underlying code.

But despite its noble intentions, the book doesn’t get off to a
very good start. It opens with 400 pages of source code – hence the
title’s large-width format – but, given that this code is also
provided on the CD, it does seem like a waste of paper. Even worse
is the fact that little of the promised commentary is actually
lavished on the code itself.

The book only starts to deliver on its promise in Part II, which
comprises an overview of the various sections of Apache.
Unforunately, this isn’t presented in a logical fashion: for
example, there’s no top-level overview to show how the various
modules fit together, and flow diagrams are few and far
between.

In fact, Apache Server Commentary appears to be little
more than a reference guide for those who already understand the
concept of Apache and just want help on specific modules. It
certainly isn’t the architectural document I was expecting.

While I’m sure there’s a need for such a book, the target
audience would have been better served by something more condensed.
Once opened, this hulking behemoth takes up more desk real estate
than my monitor and keyboard put together.