httpd-cvs mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
Subject cvs commit: httpd-2.0 ABOUT_APACHE
Date Mon, 04 Dec 2000 17:39:03 GMT
fielding    00/12/04 09:39:02

  Added:       .        ABOUT_APACHE
  A short history of the Apache Group (outdated) and the ASF.
  Revision  Changes    Path
  1.1                  httpd-2.0/ABOUT_APACHE
                       The Apache HTTP Server Project
                                 July 2000
  The Apache Project is a collaborative software development effort aimed
  at creating a robust, commercial-grade, featureful, and freely-available
  source code implementation of an HTTP (Web) server.  The project is
  jointly managed by a group of volunteers located around the world, using
  the Internet and the Web to communicate, plan, and develop the server and
  its related documentation.  These volunteers are known as the Apache Group.
  In addition, hundreds of users have contributed ideas, code, and
  documentation to the project.  This file is intended to briefly describe
  the history of the Apache Group, recognize the many contributors, and
  explain how you can join the fun too.
  In February of 1995, the most popular server software on the Web was the
  public domain HTTP daemon developed by Rob McCool at the National Center
  for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
  However, development of that httpd had stalled after Rob left NCSA in
  mid-1994, and many webmasters had developed their own extensions and bug
  fixes that were in need of a common distribution.  A small group of these
  webmasters, contacted via private e-mail, gathered together for the purpose
  of coordinating their changes (in the form of "patches").  Brian Behlendorf
  and Cliff Skolnick put together a mailing list, shared information space,
  and logins for the core developers on a machine in the California Bay Area,
  with bandwidth and diskspace donated by HotWired and Organic Online.
  By the end of February, eight core contributors formed the foundation
  of the original Apache Group:
     Brian Behlendorf        Roy T. Fielding          Rob Hartill
     David Robinson          Cliff Skolnick           Randy Terbush
     Robert S. Thau          Andrew Wilson
  with additional contributions from
     Eric Hagberg            Frank Peters             Nicolas Pioch
  Using NCSA httpd 1.3 as a base, we added all of the published bug fixes
  and worthwhile enhancements we could find, tested the result on our own
  servers, and made the first official public release (0.6.2) of the Apache
  server in April 1995.  By coincidence, NCSA restarted their own development
  during the same period, and Brandon Long and Beth Frank of the NCSA Server
  Development Team joined the list in March as honorary members so that the
  two projects could share ideas and fixes.
  The early Apache server was a big hit, but we all knew that the codebase
  needed a general overhaul and redesign.  During May-June 1995, while
  Rob Hartill and the rest of the group focused on implementing new features
  for 0.7.x (like pre-forked child processes) and supporting the rapidly growing
  Apache user community, Robert Thau designed a new server architecture
  (code-named Shambhala) which included a modular structure and API for better
  extensibility, pool-based memory allocation, and an adaptive pre-forking
  process model.  The group switched to this new server base in July and added
  the features from 0.7.x, resulting in Apache 0.8.8 (and its brethren)
  in August.
  After extensive beta testing, many ports to obscure platforms, a new set
  of documentation (by David Robinson), and the addition of many features
  in the form of our standard modules, Apache 1.0 was released on
  December 1, 1995.
  Less than a year after the group was formed, the Apache server passed
  NCSA's httpd as the #1 server on the Internet.
  The survey by Netcraft ( shows that Apache
  is today more widely used than all other web servers combined.
  Current Apache Group in alphabetical order as of 27 July 2000:
     Brian Behlendorf       Collab.Net, California 
     Ryan Bloom             Covalent Technologies, California 
     Ken Coar               IBM Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
     Mark J. Cox            Red Hat, England
     Lars Eilebrecht        CyberSolutions, Munich, Germany 
     Ralf S. Engelschall    Munich, Germany.
     Roy T. Fielding        eBuilt, California 
     Tony Finch             Covalent Technologies, California
     Dean Gaudet            Transmeta Corporation, California 
     Dirk-Willem van Gulik  Covalent Technologies, California 
     Brian Havard           Australia
     Ben Hyde               Gensym, Massachusetts
     Jim Jagielski          jaguNET Access Services, Maryland 
     Manoj Kasichainula     Collab.Net, California
     Alexei Kosut           Stanford University, California 
     Martin Kraemer         Munich, Germany
     Ben Laurie             Freelance Consultant, UK 
     Rasmus Lerdorf         Linuxcare, California
     Daniel Lopez Ridruejo  Covalent Technologies, California
     Doug MacEachern        Covalent Technologies, California
     Aram W. Mirzadeh       CableVision, New York 
     Chuck Murcko           The Topsail Group, Pennsylvania 
     Sameer Parekh          California 
     David Reid             UK
     William A. Rowe, Jr.   Freelance Consultant, Chicago area
     Wilfredo Sanchez       Apple Computer, California
     Cliff Skolnick         California
     Marc Slemko            Canada 
     Greg Stein             California
     Bill Stoddard          IBM Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC
     Paul Sutton            Seattle
     Randy Terbush          Covalent Technologies, California 
  Apache Emeritus (old group members now off doing other things)
     Rob Hartill            Internet Movie DB, UK 
     David Robinson         Cambridge University, UK
     Robert S. Thau         MIT, Massachusetts
     Andrew Wilson          Freelance Consultant, UK 
  Other major contributors
     Howard Fear (mod_include), Florent Guillaume (language negotiation),
     Koen Holtman (rewrite of mod_negotiation),
     Kevin Hughes (creator of all those nifty icons),
     Brandon Long and Beth Frank (NCSA Server Development Team, post-1.3),
     Ambarish Malpani (Beginning of the NT port),
     Rob McCool (original author of the NCSA httpd 1.3),
     Paul Richards (convinced the group to use remote CVS after 1.0),
     Garey Smiley (OS/2 port), Henry Spencer (author of the regex library).
  Many 3rd-party modules, frequently used and recommended, are also
  freely-available and linked from the related projects page:
  <>, and their authors frequently
  contribute ideas, patches, and testing.
  Hundreds of people have made individual contributions to the Apache
  project.  Patch contributors are listed in the src/CHANGES file.
  Frequent contributors have included Petr Lampa, Tom Tromey, James H.
  Cloos Jr., Ed Korthof, Nathan Neulinger, Jason S. Clary, Jason A. Dour,
  Michael Douglass, Tony Sanders, Brian Tao, Michael Smith, Adam Sussman,
  Nathan Schrenk, Matthew Gray, and John Heidemann.
  How to become involved in the Apache project
  There are several levels of contributing.  If you just want to send
  in an occasional suggestion/fix, then you can just use the bug reporting
  form at <>.  You can also subscribe
  to the announcements mailing list ( which we
  use to broadcast information about new releases, bugfixes, and upcoming
  events.  There's a lot of information about the development process (much
  of it in serious need of updating) to be found at <>.
  If you'd like to become an active contributor to the Apache project (the
  group of volunteers who vote on changes to the distributed server), then
  you need to start by subscribing to the mailing list.
  One warning though: traffic is high, 1000 to 1500 messages/month.
  To subscribe to the list, send "subscribe new-httpd" in the body of
  a message to <>.  We recommend reading the list for
  a while before trying to jump in to development.
     NOTE: The developer mailing list ( is not
     a user support forum; it is for people actively working on development
     of the server code and documentation, and for planning future
     directions.  If you have user/configuration questions, send them
     to the USENET newsgroup "comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix".
  There is a core group of contributors (informally called the "core")
  which was formed from the project founders and is augmented from time
  to time when core members nominate outstanding contributors and the
  rest of the core members agree.  The core group focus is more on
  "business" issues and limited-circulation things like security problems
  than on mainstream code development.  The term "The Apache Group"
  technically refers to this core of project contributors.
  The Apache project is a meritocracy -- the more work you have done, the more
  you are allowed to do.  The group founders set the original rules, but
  they can be changed by vote of the active members.  There is a group
  of people who have logins on our server ( and access to the
  CVS repository.  Everyone has access to the CVS snapshots.  Changes to
  the code are proposed on the mailing list and usually voted on by active
  members -- three +1 (yes votes) and no -1 (no votes, or vetoes) are needed
  to commit a code change during a release cycle; docs are usually committed
  first and then changed as needed, with conflicts resolved by majority vote.
  Our primary method of communication is our mailing list. Approximately 40
  messages a day flow over the list, and are typically very conversational in
  tone. We discuss new features to add, bug fixes, user problems, developments
  in the web server community, release dates, etc.  The actual code development
  takes place on the developers' local machines, with proposed changes
  communicated using a patch (output of a unified "diff -u oldfile newfile"
  command), and committed to the source repository by one of the core
  developers using remote CVS.  Anyone on the mailing list can vote on a
  particular issue, but we only count those made by active members or people
  who are known to be experts on that part of the server.  Vetoes must be
  accompanied by a convincing explanation.
  New members of the Apache Group are added when a frequent contributor is
  nominated by one member and unanimously approved by the voting members.
  In most cases, this "new" member has been actively contributing to the
  group's work for over six months, so it's usually an easy decision.
  The above describes our past and current (as of July 2000) guidelines,
  which will probably change over time as the membership of the group
  changes and our development/coordination tools improve.
  The Apache Software Foundation (
  The Apache Software Foundation exists to provide organizational, legal,
  and financial support for the Apache open-source software projects.
  Founded in June 1999 by the Apache Group, the Foundation has been
  incorporated as a membership-based, not-for-profit corporation in order
  to ensure that the Apache projects continue to exist beyond the participation
  of individual volunteers, to enable contributions of intellectual property
  and funds on a sound basis, and to provide a vehicle for limiting legal
  exposure while participating in open-source software projects. 
  You are invited to participate in The Apache Software Foundation. We welcome
  contributions in many forms.  Our membership consists of those individuals
  who have demonstrated a commitment to collaborative open-source software
  development through sustained participation and contributions within the
  Foundation's projects.  Many people and companies have contributed towards
  the success of the Apache projects. 
  Why Apache Is Free
  Apache exists to provide a robust and commercial-grade reference
  implementation of the HTTP protocol.  It must remain a platform upon which
  individuals and institutions can build reliable systems, both for
  experimental purposes and for mission-critical purposes.  We believe the
  tools of online publishing should be in the hands of everyone, and
  software companies should make their money providing value-added services
  such as specialized modules and support, amongst other things.  We realize
  that it is often seen as an economic advantage for one company to "own" a
  market - in the software industry that means to control tightly a
  particular conduit such that all others must pay.  This is typically done
  by "owning" the protocols through which companies conduct business, at the
  expense of all those other companies.  To the extent that the protocols of
  the World Wide Web remain "unowned" by a single company, the Web will
  remain a level playing field for companies large and small. Thus,
  "ownership" of the protocol must be prevented, and the existence of a
  robust reference implementation of the protocol, available absolutely for
  free to all companies, is a tremendously good thing.  
  Furthermore, Apache is an organic entity; those who benefit from it
  by using it often contribute back to it by providing feature enhancements,
  bug fixes, and support for others in public newsgroups.  The amount of
  effort expended by any particular individual is usually fairly light, but
  the resulting product is made very strong.  This kind of community can
  only happen with freeware -- when someone pays for software, they usually
  aren't willing to fix its bugs.  One can argue, then, that Apache's
  strength comes from the fact that it's free, and if it were made "not
  free" it would suffer tremendously, even if that money were spent on a
  real development team.
  We want to see Apache used very widely -- by large companies, small
  companies, research institutions, schools, individuals, in the intranet
  environment, everywhere -- even though this may mean that companies who
  could afford commercial software, and would pay for it without blinking,
  might get a "free ride" by using Apache.  We would even be happy if some
  commercial software companies completely dropped their own HTTP server
  development plans and used Apache as a base, with the proper attributions
  as described in the LICENSE file.
  Thanks for using Apache!

View raw message