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From: Apache Week <email@example.com>
Sent: 24 ÓÅÎÔÑÂÒÑ 1999 Ç. 18:38
Subject: Apache Week issue 173 (24th September 1999)
> This is the latest edition of Apache Week. To read this issue or any
> past issues, see http://www.apacheweek.com/
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> _Apache Week Home | Features | Apache 1.3.4 | Other Issues
> APACHE WEEK
> The essential weekly guide for users of the world's most popular Web
> Issue 173: 24th September 1999
> Over the last few months, we've received many queries about why
> Apache Week had little to report of Apache 1.3 development. Most of
> the Apache developers have been hard at work writing the next
> generation of Apache, version 2.0. This week, developer Ryan
> Bloom takes time out to summarise the story so far.
> _In this special issue_
> * Apache 2.0: The Next Generation
> * Multiple-Processing Modules (MPM)
> * Will Apache 1.3 Modules work?
> * The Apache Portable Run-Time (APR)
> * When, When, When?
> Apache 2.0: The Next Generation
> It has been about a year since Apache 1.3 was released, and the core
> Apache members are now working on version 2.0. The new version will be
> significantly different to the current one, which raises issues such
> as "Why update Apache at all?" and "What does this update mean for
> Apache administrators?"
> We hope to answer those and many other questions in this article and,
> as the release of 2.0 approaches, provide more up to date information.
> It is important to note that presently there is only development code
> available for 2.0 and that downloading it now is not advised for
> anybody other than those who are already familiar with the Apache
> internals. The code in its current state is not guaranteed to compile
> from day to day or to work on many platforms.
> Apache Week will announce any upcoming alpha or beta versions and the
> details of the 2.0 release as soon as they are ready.
> Why Go Beyond 1.3?
> Apache 1.3 is a great web server which serves pages for the vast
> majority of the web, but there are things it can't do. Firstly, it
> isn't particularly scalable on some platforms. AIX processes, for
> example, are very heavy-weight and a small AIX box serving 500
> concurrent connections can become so heavily loaded that it can be
> impossible to telnet to it. In situations like this, using processes
> is not the right solution: we need a threaded web server.
> Apache is renouned for being portable as it works on most POSIX
> platforms, all versions of Windows, and a couple of mainframes.
> However, like most good things, portability comes with a price which
> in this case is ease of maintenance. Apache is reaching the point
> where porting to additional platforms is becoming more difficult. In
> order to give Apache the flexibility it needs to survive in the
> future, this problem must be resolved by making Apache easy to port to
> new platforms. In addition, Apache will be able to use any specialised
> APIs, where they are available, to give better performance.
> Multiple-Processing Modules (MPM)
> The original reason for creating Apache 2.0 was scalability, and the
> first solution was a hybrid web server; one that has both processes
> and threads. This solution provides the reliability that comes with
> not having everything in one process, combined with the scalability
> that threads provide. The problem with this is that there is no
> perfect way to map requests to either a thread or a process.
> On platforms such as like Linux, it is best to have multiple processes
> each with multiple threads serving the requests so that if a single
> thread dies, the rest of the server will continue to serve more
> requests. Other platforms such as Windows don't handle multiple
> processes well, so one process with multiple threads is required.
> Older platforms which do not have threads also had to be taken into
> account. For these platforms, it is necessary to continue with the 1.3
> method of pre-forking processes to handle requests.
> There are multiple ways to deal with the mapping issue, but the
> cleanest is to enhance the module features of Apache. Apache 2.0 sees
> the introduction of 'Multiple-Processing Modules' (MPMs) - modules
> which determine how requests are mapped to threads or processes. The
> majority of users will never write an MPM or even know they exist.
> Each server uses a single MPM, and the correct one for a given
> platform is determined at compile time.
> What MPMs are available?
> There are currently five options available for MPMs. Their names will
> likely change before 2.0 ships, but their behaviours are basically
> set. All of the MPMs, except possibly the OS/2 MPM, retain the
> parent/child relationships from Apache 1.3. This means that the parent
> process will monitor the children and make sure that an adequate
> number are running.
> This MPM mimics the old 1.3 behaviour by forking the desired
> number of servers at startup and then mapping each request to a
> process. When all of the processes are busy serving pages, more
> processes will be forked. This MPM should be used for older
> platforms, platforms without threads, or as the initial MPM for
> a new platform.
> This MPM is based on the PREFORK MPM and begins by forking the
> desired number of child processes, each of which starts the
> specified number of threads. When a request comes in, a thread
> will accept the request and serve the response. If most of the
> threads in the entire server are busy serving requests, a new
> child process will be forked. This MPM should be used on
> platforms that have threads, but which have a memory leak in
> their implementation. This may also be the proper MPM for
> platforms with user-land threads, although there has not been
> enough testing at this point to prove this hypothesis.
> This MPM is the next step in the evolution of the hybrid
> concept. The server starts by forking a static number of
> processes which will not change during the life of the server.
> Each process will then create the specified number of threads.
> When a request comes in a thread will accept and answer the
> request. At the point where a child process decides that too
> many of its threads are serving requests, more threads will be
> created. This MPM should be used on most modern platforms
> capable of supporting threads. It should create the lightest
> load on the CPU while serving the most requests possible.
> This MPM is designed for use on Windows NT. Before Apache 2.0
> is released, it will also be made to work on Windows 95 and 98
> although, just like Apache 1.3, it is unlikely to be as stable
> as on NT. This MPM creates one child process, which then
> creates a specified number of threads. When a request comes in
> it is mapped to a thread that will serve the request.
> This MPM is designed for use on OS/2. It is purely threaded,
> and removes the concept of a parent process altogether. When a
> request comes in, a thread will serve it properly, unless all
> of the threads are busy, in which case more threads will be
> Multi-processing modules are designed to work behind the scenes and do
> not interfere with requests in any way. In fact, its only function is
> to map the request to a thread or process. One advantage of this
> technique is that each MPM can define its own directives. This means
> that if you are using a PREFORK MPM, you won't be asked how many
> threads you want per server, or if you are using the WINNT MPM, you
> won't need to specify the number of processes.
> Will Apache 1.3 Modules work?
> Modules written for 1.3 will not work with 2.0 without modification.
> There are many changes which will be documented by the time 2.0 is
> In Apache 1.3, each module uses a table of callback routines and data
> structures. Instead of using this table to specify which functions to
> use when processing a request, 2.0 modules will have a new function to
> register any callbacks needed.
> In the past, new features have been added to subsequent releases of
> Apache which required the callback table to be expanded causing
> existing modules to break. In 2.0, each module is able to define how
> many callbacks it wants to use instead of using a statically defined
> table with a set number of callbacks. If the Apache Group decides to
> add callbacks in the future, the changes are less likely to affect
> existing modules.
> Many things have been abstracted in Apache 2.0 and there are many new
> functions available. This means it will no longer be possible to
> access most of the internals of Apache data structures directly. For
> example, if a module needs access to the connection in order to send
> data to the client, it will have to use the provided functions rather
> than access the socket directly.
> The Apache Portable Run-Time (APR)
> APR was originally designed as a way to combine code across platforms.
> There are some sections of code that should be different for different
> platforms as well as sections of code that can safely be made common
> across all platforms.
> Apache on Windows currently uses POSIX functions and types that are
> non-native and non-optimised for communicating across a network. By
> replacing these functions and types with the Windows native equivalent
> there has been a significant performance improvement. For example,
> spawning CGI processes is very confusing in Apache 1.3 because Unix,
> Windows, and OS/2 all handle spawning in different ways. By using APR,
> the logic can be combined for spawning CGI processes, decreasing the
> number of platform-specific bugs that are introduced later.
> APR will make porting Apache to additional platforms easier. With a
> fully implemented APR layer any platform will be able to run Apache.
> APR is small and well defined and once it is fully integrated into
> Apache, will change very little in the future. Apache has never been
> well defined for porting purposes as there was too much code to make
> porting a simple task. In addition, the code was originally designed
> for use on Unix, which made porting to non-POSIX platforms very
> difficult. With APR, all a developer needs to do is implement the APR
> layer. APR was designed with Windows, Unix, OS/2, and BeOS in mind and
> is more flexible as a result.
> APR acts as the abstraction layer in Apache 2.0. To allow the use of
> native types for the best performance, APR has unified functions such
> as sockets into a single type which Apache will then use independently
> of the platform. The underlying type is invisible to the Apache
> developer, who is free to write code without worrying about how it
> will work on multiple platforms.
> When, When, When?
> Apache 2.0 is a major re-working of Apache that will hopefully result
> in a web server that can continue to grow and serve the web. As has
> been traditional with previous Apache releases, the 2.0 upgrade will
> be made available when it is ready and stable. There is no promised
> release date although it is hoped that a beta version will be
> available either late in 1999 or early in 2000.
> This article covers some of the major changes in Apache 2.0, such as
> MPMs, module callbacks, and the abstraction layer. Future editions of
> Apache Week will report on the progress of Apache 2.0 and highlight
> any major developments.
> Comments or criticisms? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Apache Week is copyright 1996-1999 by C2Net Europe Limited.
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