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From Jim Jagielski <>
Subject Re: ABOUT_APACHE file
Date Tue, 03 Jun 1997 09:22:07 GMT

Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> This will be committed sometime tomorrow, barring any serious objections.
> Corrections can be sent to me in private or to the group as a whole.
> I'd like to add a little more history (1.1 and 1.2 developments) and
> fill-in the gaps within CHANGES as well, but this is the important part.
> ....Roy
>                      The Apache HTTP Server Project
>                                June 1997
> 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`95, 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.
> ============================================================================
> Current Apache Group, 1 June 1997
>    Brian Behlendorf       Organic Online, California 
>    Ken Coar               Process Software Corporation, New England, USA 
>    Mark J. Cox            UKWeb, UK 
>    Roy T. Fielding        UC Irvine, California 
>    Dean Gaudet            Steam Tunnel Operations, California 
>    Rob Hartill            Internet Movie DB, UK 
>    Jim Jagielski          jaguNET ISP, Maryland 
>    Alexei Kosut           Nueva High School, California 
>    Ben Laurie             Freelance Consultant, UK 
>    Chuck Murcko           The Topsail Group, Pennsylvania 
>    Aram W. Mirzadeh       Qosina Corporation, New York 
>    Sameer Parekh          C2Net, California 
>    Paul Sutton            UKWeb, UK 
>    Marc Slemko            Canada 
>    Randy Terbush          Zyzzyva ISP, Nebraska 
>    Dirk-Willem van Gulik  Freelance Consultant, Italy 
>    Andrew Wilson          Freelance Consultant, UK 
> Apache Emeritae (old group members now off doing other things)
>    Robert S. Thau         MIT, Massachusetts
>    David Robinson         Cambridge University, UK
> Other major contributors
>    Rob McCool (original author of the NCSA httpd),
>    Brandon Long and Beth Frank (NCSA Server Development Team, post-1.3),
>    Paul Richards (convinced the group to use remote CVS after 1.0),
>    Kevin Hughes (creator of all those nifty icons),
>    Henry Spencer (author of the regex library), Garey Smiley (OS/2 port),
>    Ralf S. Engelschall (mod_rewrite), Howard Fear (mod_include),
>    Florent Guillaume (language negotiation).
> 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.  In particular, Doug MacEachern
> (mod_perl) and Rasmus Lerdorf (mod_php).
> 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, Martin Kraemer,
> Brian Tao, Michael Smith, Adam Sussman, Nathan Schrenk, Matthew Gray,
> and John Heidemann.
> ============================================================================
> How to join the Apache Group
> 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.
> If you'd like to become an active member of the Apache Group (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".
> The Apache Group 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 core 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 context "diff -c3 oldfile newfile"
> command), and committed to the source repository by one of the core
> developers using remote CVS.
> 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.
> 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 with a convincing
> explanation.
> The above describes our past and current (as of June`97) guidelines,
> which will probably change over time as the membership of the group
> changes and our development/coordination tools improve.
> ============================================================================
> 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!
> ============================================================================
> Roy Fielding, June 1997
> If you are interested in other WWW history, see <>

      Jim Jagielski            |       jaguNET Access Services           |
                  "Not the Craw... the CRAW!"

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