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From Sean McDermott <s...@itc.icl.ie>
Subject Re: Response to the NT announcement (+NT suggestions)
Date Thu, 24 Jul 1997 14:52:14 GMT
I don't understand.  What is the need for people with a background in NT
user interface code? Is it just for an installation program?

Stuff on NT ports in general:

My current projects are similar cross-platform Internet server products
which originated on UNIX but now include Windows NT.  Some of the issues
which we decided upon are:

1. Installation on NT was via InstallShield and not our own basic
   "unix-style" version - no self-extracting zip-files here!  
   Also part of the installation was installing a service which would 
   run as a particular user [-> would eliminate user/group settings
   in Apache]

2. Configuration should be stored in the registry on NT.  This was after 
   much discussion on the benefits of files on all platforms vs. 
   specialization for a single platform.  A small Win32 GUI was used for 
   configuration.  The GUI supports importing and exporting of 
   configurations.  The main reason configuration info is stored in
   the registry on NT was because it's the "proper" Microsoft way of
   doing it.  [ I'm no Microsoft fan ;-) ]

3. Statistical analysis (including performance and log analysis) was
   done using a Java applet talking to the (possibly remote) 
   administration server.  The reason this is in Java and not Win32 is
   that it can be used for all platforms.  It is a possibility we will
   include a configuration applet for UNIX also (currently it is up
   to the user to edit the config files - as for Apache).

Well, that's the way our products work...now for the Apache bit..

Some suggestions I have for Apache are below - not necessarily
short-term tasks but here goes...

1. *Always* have a binary distribution for NT (even for "alpha"
releases).  The binary release should cater for different module
configuration options, probably by loading DLLs.  It's normal to have
source-code only for UNIX but not for NT.

2. Keep usable external makefiles for NT.  This usually means several
versions of the MSVC++ compiler can be used to compile.  Using internal
makefiles (or workspaces) usually ties you to a particular version.  A
base version of MSVC++ 4.0 is usually a good idea for external
makefiles.

3. Develop a cross-platform configuration and analysis tool for Apache. 
This can be in Java or HTML - but must be cross-platform and consistent.
This is perhaps one of the areas where Apache really has to catch up
with the likes of Microsoft and Netscape esp. on NT.  Storing config in
the registry is just a preference.

4. A general Apache suggestion.  How about a public access news server
similar to Microsoft & Netscape where users can read & post to. 
Nowadays the percentage of Internet users without NNTP access is rapidly
increasing so newgroups aren't the best any more.  It also means you can
have lots of newsgroups targetting particular areas e.g. one for
comments on Apache.


I'm always willing to lend a hand if you need it.  And congrats to
Ambarish, Ben and all working on the NT port - well done!  I'm looking
forward to seeing Solaris X86 vs. Windows NT X86 benchmarks...

- Sean
-- 
Sean McDermott,                         WWW: http://www.itc.icl.ie/
ICL Information Technology Centre.      Tel: +353 1 2956644

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