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From w..@netscape.com (Wan-Teh Chang)
Subject Re: Mixing Apache and Mozilla
Date Sat, 24 Feb 2001 03:53:02 GMT
There are obviously some misconceptions about NSPR which
I have responded to in private email to avoid a flame war
on this mailing list.  It is also obvious to me that since
both NSPR and APR have to support their current APIs, the
only kind of "merger" that could happen is to implement one
API on top of the other.  That is an interesting exercise
but does not need to be done now.

Until someone implements one API on top of the other, using
NSPR and APR in the same process has only two problems that
I don't think are serious for most Apache users.
1. Larger binary size.  Disks and RAMs are only getting
   cheaper so a modest code bloat should not be a problem
   for a server box running Apache.
2. Incompatible threading libraries.  This is not an issue
   if native threads are used.  Native threads are available
   on the latest releases of almost all the operating systems
   capable of running Apache.

It would seem like a shame that Apache has to develop APR
from scratch.  But writing new code is fun, and APR has the
opportunity to learn from and avoid the mistakes and design
flaws of NSPR.  It is a shame that the MPL that NSPR is
released under prevents the APR developers from using code
in NSPR because a lot of knowledge and experience is embodied
in the NSPR code base.  Some of that didn't come easy, such
as the undocumented (or rather not well documented) features
that we use after confirming with the OS vendors that they
will continue to be suppported, the bug workarounds that
we put in after days of debugging and studying the "knowledge
base" articles of the OS vendors, and the collective experience
of the five Netscape engineers who developed NSPR.  But I am
sure that with this group of highly skilled and motivated
developers and the support many OS vendors give to ASF, APR
will be a fine product.

One good point that Jon Smirl made, which was often overlooked
in the heated discussion, is that there are a lot of Mozilla
technologies based on NSPR, such as XPCOM, NSS, and LDAP SDK,
that can be used in other products.  As I pointed out above, on
platforms with native threads, there is no technical problem
using these NSPR-based technologies with APR.  The only blocker
would again be the MPL under which these open source technologies
are released under.

APR has the opportunity and potential to be better than NSPR.
I'd love to see that happen.  My best regards.


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