Looking at Apache 2.0 Alpha 4 Page 3

There are issues with using mod_cgid that are not present with mod_cgi. It is possible for the CGI daemon process to die unexpectedly, although it is unlikely because the daemon is a very small process that does very little. On platforms that support reliable piped logs, Apache uses the same technology to restart the CGI daemon if anything happens to it. However, on other platforms it is not possible to restart the CGI daemon process from within Apache.

Bug Fixes
Of course, any alpha release of Apache 2.0 is going to include many bug fixes. I am not going to take much time discussing any of these in great detail, but I do want to run through some of the more important bug fixes.

Better error reporting: In previous alphas if Apache failed, very often it wasn't clear what had caused the problem. This problem has been solved and the error reporting is in much better shape now. If Apache fails for some reason, errors reported in the log should be meaningful.

CGI error reporting: If a CGI reports errors to stderr, those errors will now be written to the error_log. This is a necessity for debugging CGI programs.

Portable build environment: One of Apache's best features is that it works on almost every platform. This has not been true for Apache 2.0 until now. The build system was very finicky about which platforms it worked on. This has been fixed with the fourth alpha. (If you have waited to try 2.0 because it didn't support your platform I suggest trying it again.)

Config.nice is created: Apache 1.3 used the APACI configuration scheme to generate the build environment for various platforms. One of the best features of APACI is that it created config.status, which had the exact command used to configure the server. Apache 2.0 has switched to autoconf. As a result, config.status was missing in earlier alphas. With the latest alpha, Apache 2.0 generates config.nice, which replaces config.status.

Apache works on OS/390: While this isn't of interest to most people, it does prove that Apache is an incredibly portable program. Imagine being able to run the same program on a Windows 95 machine and on a OS/390 mainframe!

How To Help
With the release of this fourth alpha, Apache 2.0 is closer than ever to a beta release. What can you do to help? Even if you are not a programmer, there are things that you can do to help improve Apache 2.0. Apache has a group of developers that are very committed to this release, but we can't possibly test everything in the server. Download the latest alpha and try it out. If you find a bug with the program, please let the developers know. There have been issues with reporting Apache 2.0 bugs recently, but those should all be handled now. If you have a bug to report, please visit the Apache web site (http://www.apache.org/httpd) and read the page about submitting bug reports. All of the instructions for submission are there. The 2.0 developers take bugs very seriously when they are reported. If a bug is reported, it is likely that the developers can fix it, but we must know about it first. We work very hard to ensure that known bugs do not last long. If you think you have nothing to offer the Apache developers, think again. Your experience is vitally important to the success of Apache.

For a discussion of the different MPMs, please see my previous article, "An Introduction to Apache 2.0."

This article was originally published on Jun 30, 2000
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