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From r..@ai.mit.edu (Robert S. Thau)
Subject New distribution-level CHANGES draft...
Date Thu, 03 Aug 1995 09:14:33 GMT
The distribution-level CHANGES file was missing mention of a few
significant changes; here's a new draft.  This may be a useful
beginning for an announcement...

----------------------------------------------------------------
New features with this release, as extensions of the Apache functionality
(see also more detailed CHANGES file) in the source directory.

*) API for server extensions --- see below for a brief sermon on
   philosophy, or see src/API.html for an actual overview.  Most server
   functionality (including includes, CGI, and most forms of access
   control) are actually implemented as API-conformant modules; you
   can also do other neat stuff (we've included a sample module, for
   instance, which one of us is using to track click-trails using the
   Netscape cookie mechanism, for visitors who come in through
   Netscape clients).

   The API is not yet quite stable (see src/TODO for some possible
   changes), but anything done now will be easily adapted for future
   versions --- after all, we have more modules to adapt than you do.

*) <VirtualHost> is more general --- just about any srm.conf or
   httpd.conf command can go in a <Virtualhost> section, with the
   following specific exceptions: ServerType, UserId, GroupId,
   StartServers, MaxRequestsPerChild, BindAddress, PidFile,
   TypesConfig, ServerRoot.  

*) Support for content negotiation of languages through MultiViews
   (*.fr, *.de, *.en suffixes), via the new AddLanguage and LanguagePriority
   commands (code written by Francois Guillaume).

*) Significant internal cleanups and rearrangements.  The two externally
   visible consequences of this are that just about all of the unchecked
   fixed limits are gone, and that the server is somewhat pickier about
   config file syntax (noting and complaining about extraneous command
   arguments or other stuff at the end of command lines).

*) XBITHACK is a run-time option, and can be selectively enabled per
   directory --- the -DXBITHACK compile-time option just changes the
   default.  The command which configures it is "XBitHack", which is
   allowed everywhere "Options" is; this takes an argument ---
   "XBitHack Off" turns it off; "XBitHack On" gets you the NCSA
   -DXBITHACK behavior; and "XBitHack Full" gets you the Apache GXBIT
   stuff on top of that.  (-DXBITHACK makes "Full" the default;
   otherwise, it defaults "Off").

*) TransferLog can specify a program which gets the log entries piped to it,
   a la 'TransferLog "| /var/www/my-perl-script -arg valu"' --- this should
   give the same SIGTERM/pause/SIGKILL treatment to the logging process on
   server restarts that a CGI script gets on an aborted request.  NB the
   server is counting on the logging process to work, and will probably hang
   or worse if it dies.

We also have a few experimental modules which indicate directions for
a future release (NB these experimental, meaning they haven't been
tested as much as the rest of the code here; also, they are not in
final form yet, and what appears as supported may not be quite what
you see now, though it will support at least the same functionality):

*) Configurable logging module --- this is a replacement for the
   standard plane-jane Common Log Format code, which supports a
   LogFormat directive which allows you to control the formatting of
   entries in the TransferLog, and add some new items if you like (in
   particular, Referer and User-Agent).

*) The optional dld module is a proof-of-concept piece of code which 
   loads other modules into the server as it is configuring itself (the
   first time only --- for now, rereading the config files cannot
   affect the state of loaded modules), using the GNU dynamic linking
   library, DLD.  It isn't compiled into the server by default, since
   not everyone has DLD, but it works when I try it.  (Famous last
   words). 

   This module defines two commands:

     LoadModule module_sym filename
     LoadFile filename filename filename...
     
   LoadModule tells the server to link in the file "filename", and add
   the module structure named "module_sym" to the list of active
   modules (this is the "foo_module" in "module foo_module = {..." at
   the bottom of all the mod_*.c files).

   LoadFile links with additional object files or libraries which may
   be required for some module to work.  Filenames are taken relative
   to ServerRoot unless they begin with '/'.  Note that for some
   reason, "LoadFile /lib/libc.a" seems to be required for just about
   everything.

   NB that DLD needs to read the symbol table out of the server binary
   when starting up; these commands will fail if the server can't find
   its own binary when it starts up, or if that binary is stripped.

   Sample usage:

     LoadModule ai_backcompat_module modules/mod_ai_backcompat.o
     LoadFile /lib/libc.a

   (assuming mod_ai_backcompat.o is in fact in the 'modules'
   subdirectory of ServerRoot).



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