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From Alexei Kosut <>
Subject NCSA httpd
Date Sat, 31 Aug 1996 21:57:04 GMT
There has been some discussion lately about the end of NCSA httpd
development, and Apache replacing it for once and all, and so forth
and so on... anyhow, I just thought I'd take this opportunity to point
out what NCSA httpd 1.5.2 does that Apache does not currently do,
feature and config-file wise:

* NCSA supplements the Redirect directive with the
  RedirectTemp and RedirectPermanent directives, to allow for 301
  redirects as well as 302. This is very simple to do.

* NCSA optionally supports Kerberos authentication. I know there's a
  module out there that does as well; is it compatible with the NCSA

* Speaking of auth syntax, NCSA's dbm implementation is different than
  ours. Namely, where we use

AuthUserFile /some/flat/file
AuthDBMUserFile /some/dbm/file

  NCSA uses:

AuthUserFile /some/flat/file standard
AuthUserFile /some/dbm/file dbm

  (the "standard" is optional). This also applies to AuthGroupFile
  and AuthDigestFile. Unfortunately, this isn't really possible with
  the current Apache config-file handling. I wonder if maybe we
  shouldn't extend the config-file handling routines to allow more
  than one module to have the same directive (with the same mask and
  arg list, hopefully), and allow them to "decline" to handle it,
  as handlers work. This shouldn't be that hard. I'll look into it.
* Satisfy. There are enough patches floating around - can't we just
  commit one already? (one that works, hopefully)

* The KeepAlive syntax in NCSA httpd is different from
  ours. KeepAliveTimeout is the same in both, but we use KeepAlive where
  they use MaxKeepAliveRequests (and 0 means different things in the
  two), and they have an additional "KeepAlive On/Off" directive. It
  can be made to work, it just doesn't now.

* NCSA supports CERN imagemap format as well as NCSA. Do we? (I
  forget. We should.)

* NCSA supports SSI-parsed CGI output optionally. I don't think we
  should do this, at least not until 2.0 (ssi could be rewritten as a
  filter of sorts, implemented with a stacked discipline or some

* You can use "referer allow|deny" in access control sections to deny
  or allow requests based on the Referer header. This is what
  mod_block.c (in /dist/contrib/modules) does, but with vastly
  differnent syntax.
* Redirect doesn't require a full URL - if you omit the server name,
  it will redirect to the local server.

* "Redirects in .htaccess files can now take regular expressions." I
  have no idea what this means, but that's what it says in the release
  notes. I can find no evidence of anything regular-expression-like
  in the code.

* Built-in FastCGI support. This would be trivial; just grab mod_fastcgi,
  and add it to the distribution (they even include a mod_fastcgi.html
  in just the right format to add to our docs. Nice of 'em). Their
  license even lets us do it without asking them first (though it
  would probably be polite to). This might be a good idea (or not; the
  thing's 97k, even larger than mod_rewrite and mod_proxy), FastCGI
  seems pretty nice and well-designed (even if half of their web site is
  an ad for their web server). Does anyone have any experience with

I think that's about it.

Alexei Kosut <>      The Apache HTTP Server

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