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From Rodent of Unusual Size <Ken.C...@Golux.Com>
Subject [STATUS] (apache-1.3) Sun Jun 14 23:45:28 EDT 1998
Date Mon, 15 Jun 1998 03:45:31 GMT
Apache 1.3 STATUS:


    1.3.1: In development. Plan to release on June 19, 1998 to
           incorporate the latest additions plus WIN32 compile problems.
           Jim offers to be RM.

    1.3.0: Tagged and rolled on June 1. Announced and Released on the 6th.
    1.3b7: Tagged and Released 26/5/98.

    2.0  : In pre-alpha development, see apache-2.0 repository


    * Ralf: mod_so doesn't correctly initialise modules. For instance
      the handlers of mod_perl are not initialised. An ap_init_modules() could
      be done from mod_so but this is too much. IMHO we need an API function
      ap_init_single_module() which does what ap_init_modules() does but only
      for a particular module. Currently at least mod_perl is broken under the
      DSO situation because of this missing init in mod_so. But perhaps
      there are more modules which have the same problem. This should
      be fixed for 1.3.1!


    * SECURITY: numerous uses of strcpy and strcat have potential
	for buffer overflow, someone should rewrite or verify
	they're safe

    * Win95: when authentication is required for directory /foobar/, direct 
      access to /foobar/bletch is permitted.  PR #2145

Documentation that needs writing:

    * Need a document explaining mod_rewrite/"UseCanonicalName off" based
	virtualhosting.  (If it exists already I can't find it easily.)

Available Patches:
    * Ralf's "[PATCH] Fix module init"
      This fixes the mod_so/mod_perl problems described under "FINAL RELEASE
      SHOWSTOPPERS" by doing a more correct init of the modules after loading
      through two new core API functions.
      Status: Ralf +1

    * Wilfredo Sanchez's port to Rhapsody 5.1 for 1.2.6 - forward port to
      Jim: Hmmm... Rhapsody is not really any longer in Apple's
           game-plan. The focus is OS X now.

    * Ralf's "configure generates config.status":
      A tiny addition for the APACI configure script to provide an easy way
      (like GNU Autoconf) to re-create the configuration
      See: [configstatus]
      Status (for 1.3.1-dev): Ralf +1, Martin +1, Jim +1

    * Ralf's "<IfDefine>...</IfDefine>":
      This patch adds a useful <IfDefine>...</IfDefine> section to the core
      module very similar to the existing <IfModule>...<IfModule> sections.
      The intent is to provide _LOGICAL_ conditions based on arbitrary defined
      parameters. The parameters are specified on the "httpd" command line via
      -D options.
      See: [ifdefine]
      Status (for 1.3.1-dev): Ralf +1

    * Ralf's "substitute some more configuration parameters":
      This patch lets APACI's configure script determine more configuration
      parameters (Group, Port, ServerAdmin, ServerName) via some intelligent
      tests to remove some of the classical hurdles for new users when setting
      up Apache.
      See: [substconfparam]
      Status (for 1.3.1-dev): Ralf +1, Jim +1

    * Ralf's "linking DSO modules against possible libraries from $(LIBS)":
      This patch is a first step for a more powerful and less restrictive DSO
      mechanism: We allow DSO modules to be linked against other DSO libraries
      when the system permits it.
      See: [libshlib]
      Status (for 1.3.1-dev): Ralf +1

    * Ralf's "EXTRA_DEPS to add extra dependecies to httpd target"
      This patch adds an EXTRA_DEPS configuration parameter which can be used
      to add an extra Makefile dependency for the httpd target, for instance
      to external third-party libraries, etc.
      See: [extradeps]
      Status (for 1.3.1-dev): Ralf +1, Marc +1, Jim +1

    * Paul's patch to add integrated restart/shutdown signalling (Win32)
      This patch make Apache listen on predictable event names to allow
      restarts and shutdowns to be initiated. Also adds a new command line
      option to send the shutdown or restart signal to the running parent 
      See: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980510152254.21880O-100000@ecstasy.localnet>

In progress:
    * Ken's IndexFormat enhancement to mod_autoindex to allow
      CustomLog-like tailoring of directory listing formats

Needs patch:

    * get_path_info bug; ap_get_remote_host should be ap_vformatter instead.
      See: <>

    * uri issues
	- RFC2068 requires a server to recognize its own IP addr(s) in dot
	notation, we do this fine if the user follows the dns-caveats
	documentation... we should handle it in the case the user doesn't ever
	supply a dot-notation address.

    * Amdalh UTS 2.1.2
	Message-Id: <>
	Message-Id: <>
	Jim: Sounded like the version of the OS that required
	     the patches were WAY old and would bugger the newer
	     versions... Not sure if we want to do that.

    * Problems dealing with .-rooted domain names such as "twinlark." versus
	"".  See the thread containing
	Message-ID: <> for more details.
	In particular this affects the correctness of the proxy and the
	vhost mechanism.

    * PR#1799: we need to add a "default" or "none" handler to deal with
	filenames such as which aren't image maps, and shouldn't
	be considered such.  See discussion in
	(feb98 archives)
	Jim: I thought that we decided "default", although Ken
	     thought it ugly
	Ken: I just don't like using "Add" when reverting something; not a -1

    * proxy_*_canon routines use r->proxyreq incorrectly.  See

    * LynxOS has system-level conf.h file
	Seems that Lynx has a system level conf.h file that ours overrules,
	so it doesn't compile correctly. To accomodate, we would need to
	rename our conf.h to something "safe". Possible choices:

	    apconf.h       :
	    applatforms.h  :
	    apdefaults.h   :
	    apdefines.h    :

Open issues:

    * How should an Apache binary release tarball look?
      NOTE: This should be resolved before 1.3.1 !!

      1. The "old" way where it is just a source release tarball
         plus a pre-compiled src/httpd-<gnutriple>. It is created
         via the apache-devsite/ script which
         - creates the build tree
         - creates the src/Configuration file with standard modules
         - runs "make"
         - renames src/httpd to src/httpd-<gnutriple>
         - runs "make clean"
         - packs the build tree stuff together
         Already known discussion points:
         - should src/httpd be renamed or now because a lot
           of PRs say they cannot find the httpd :-(
         Pros: <gets filled tomorrow>
         Cons: <gets filled tomorrow>
         Status: Ralf -0, Ken +0

      2. The way other projects release binary tarballs, i.e.
         a package containing the installed (binary) files.
         It can be created by a script which
         - creates the build tree
         - runs "./configure --prefix=/usr/local/apache \
                             --enable-shared=remain \
                             --disable-module=auth_db \
                             --enable-suexec ..."
         - runs "make install root=apache-root"
         - packs the stuff together from ./apache-root only!!
         Already known discussion points:
         - should there be a prefix usr/local/apache in 
           the tarball or not?  Some people think
           it's useful while others dislike it a lot.
	 - it doesn't include the source.
	 - should suexec be prebuilt in a binary tarball?
         Pros: <gets filled tomorrow>
         Cons: <gets filled tomorrow>
         Status: Ralf +1, Martin +1, Ken -1 (not a veto)

    * Redefine APACHE_RELEASE. Add another 'bit' to signify whether
      it's a beta or final release. Maybe 'MMNNFFRBB' which means:
        MM: Major release #
	NN: Minor release #
	FF: "fix" level
	R:  0 if beta, 1 if final release
	BB: beta number

      See: <>
      Status: Jim +1, Ben +1, Martin +1

    * Someone other than Dean has to do a security/correctness review on
      psprintf(), bprintf(), and ap_snprintf().  In particular these routines
      do lots of fun pointer manipulations and such and possibly have overflow
      errors.  The respective flush_funcs also need to be exercised.
       o Jim's looked over the ap_snprintf() stuff (the changes that Dean
         did to make thread-safe) and they look fine.
       o Laura La Gassa's looked over ap_vformatter & other related code
       o Martin did a "source review" as well.
       o Could still use 1 or 2 more sets of eyeballs.
       Status: Is this still valid??

    * Paul would like to see a 'gdbm' option because he uses
      it a lot.

    * Maybe a http_paths.h file? See
	+1: Brian, Paul, Ralf, Martin
	+0: Jim (not for 1.3.0)

    * Release builds: Should we provide Configuration or not?
      Should we 'make all suexec' in src/support?
	+1: Brian, Jim, Ken +1 (possible suexec path issue, though)

    * root's environment is inherited by the Apache server. Jim & Ken
      think we should recommend using 'env' to build the
      appropriate environment. Marc and Alexei don't see any
      big deal. Martin says that not every "env" has a -u flag.

    * Marc's socket options like source routing (kill them?)
	Marc, Martin say Yes

    * Ken's PR#1053: an error when accessing a negotiated document
      explicitly names the variant selected.  Should it do so, or should
      the original URI be referenced?

    * Proposed API Changes:

	- r->content_language is for backwards compatibility... with modules
	  that may not link any longer without some minor editing.  The new
	  field is r->content_languages.  Heck it's not even mentioned in
	  apache-devsite/mmn.txt when we got content_languages (note the s!).
	  The proposal is to remove r->content_language:
	    Status: Paul +1, Ralf +1, Ken +1

	- child_exit() is redundant, it can be implemented via cleanups.  It is
	  not "symmetric" in the sense that there is no exit API method to go
	  along with the init() API method.  There is no need for an exit
	  method, there are already modules using cleanups to perform this (see
	  mod_mmap_static, and mod_php3 for example).  The proposal is to
	  remove the child_exit() method and document cleanups as the method of
	  handling this need.
	    Status: Rasmus +1, Paul +1, Jim +1, 
	            Martin +1, Ralf +1, Ken +1

    * Should we re-enable nagle now that we're non-buffering CGIs?  See
      various messages from Marc in March 98.
Win32 specific issues:

 In progress:

    * Ben's ASP work... All agree it sounds cool.

    * DDA's adding a tray application to the Windoze version for ease of
	Status: Ken +1, Sameer +1, Martin +1, Ben +1 (as long as
	we get a single executable)
	Paul: No like Win95 specific stuff
	Ken: What's W95-specific about it?


    * SECURITY: check if the magic con/aux/nul/etc names do anything
	really bad

    * chdir() for CGI scripts and mod_include #exec needs to be 
      re-implemented now that CreateProcess is being used.

    * process/thread model
	- need dynamic thread creation/destruction, similar to 
	  Unix process model
	- can't use WaitForMultipleObjects in the same way we
	  do now, since that has a limit of 64(!) objects.  Grr.

    * some errors printed by CGIs to stderr don't end up making it
      to the server log unless an extra debugging message is added
      after they run? (PR#1725 indicates this may not be just Win32)

    * handle bugs that make it pop up errors on console, ie. segv 
      equiv?  Can we do this?  Need to make it robust.

    * install
	- make installshield work
	- config in cvs tree?
	- install docs, etc.?
	- location for install

    * the mutex should be critical-regions, since the current design
      is creating a mess of SO calls that are unnecessary

    * we don't mmap on NT.  Use TransmitFile?

    * CGIs
	- docs on how they work w/scripts
	- use registry to find interpreter?
	- WTF is the buffering coming from?
	    - we don't have a way to make non-blocking files on NT!

    * performance

    * documentation:
	- running the server without admin
	- how CGIs work
	- update README.NT
	- short/long name handling
	- better status page on current state of NT for users

    * http_main.c hell
	- split into two files?

    * who should run the service?  Who exactly is the "system account"?

      docs say:

      Localsystem is a very privileged account locally, so you shouldn't run
      any shareware applications there. However, it has no network privileges
      and cannot leave the machine via any NT-secured mechanism, including
      file system, named pipes, DCOM, or secure RPC.


      A service that runs in the context of the LocalSystem account
      inherits the security context of the SCM. It is not associated with
      any logged-on user account and does not have credentials (domain
      name, user name, and password) to be used for verification. This
      has several implications: [... removed ...]

      That _really_ sucks.  Can we recommend running Apache as some 
      other user?

    * need a crypt() of some sort.
	- sources are easy; problem is export restrictions on DES
	- if we don't do DES, can do md5

    * modules that need to be made to work on win32
        - mod_example isn't multithreadreded
	- mod_unique_id (needs mt changes)
	- mod_auth_db.c  (do we want to even try this?  We should have some
          db of some sort... what else can we pick from under win32?)
	- mod_auth_dbm.c
	- mod_info.c (PR re exporting symbols for it...)
	- mod_log_agent.c
	- mod_log_referer.c
	- mod_mime_magic.c (needs access to mod_mime API stage...)

    * do something to disable bogus warnings

    * rfc1413.c has static storage which won't work multithreaded

    * mod_include --> exec cgi, exec cmd, etc. don't work right.
      Looks like a code path that isn't run anywhere else that has
      something not quite right...  A PR or two on it.

    * signal type handling
    	- how to rotate logs from command line?

    * Currently if you double click on the conf files or the
      log files you get a useless dialog offering the set of all
      execuables, usually after a very long pause.  Ought
      to stuff .conf in the registry mapping it to text.

    * apparently either "BrowserMatch" or the "nokeepalive" variable
      cause instability - see PR#1729.

Delayed until after 1.3.0, unless someone happens to get to it:

    * Arnt Gulbrandsen <> 03 Apr 1998 21:28:17 +0200
      <> mod_usertrack.c patch:
      The patch provides per-domain cookies (which I use to share user-ids
      among the * web servers) and configurable cookie names.  It
      also marginally increases the efficiency of Apache when the server
      runs with DNS lookups turned off.

      Update: Dean found one part of the patch unacceptable, Arnt is in
        the process of updating it.  

    * TZ should not be dealt with specially any longer now that we have
      "PassEnv".  See
       Jim: IMO it's too late in the game for this... I'm
            sure this would cause some strange bug reports as
	    people's cgi-scripts no longer work correctly
	    ("It worked just fine before I upgraded to 1.3.0")
	    unless we warn people in big nasty letters to add
	    PassEnv TZ to their config files "just in case"
	    and hope they do it :)

    * proxy module doesn't load on Win95.  Why?  Good question.

    * In ap_bclose() there's no test that (fb->fd != -1) -- so it's
      possible that it'll do something completely bogus when it's 
      used for read-only things. - Dean Gaudet

    * ap_pcfg_openfile doesn't use pfopen() to open the file.  Consider
     .htaccess parsing, if a timeout occurs the file may not be closed.  I
     can't imagine that a timeout would be set during this stage... but it'd
     probably be good to just clean this up. - Dean Gaudet

    * Okay, so our negotiation strategy needs a bit of refinement.  See
      In general, we need to go through and clean up the negotiation
      module to make it compliant with the final HTTP/1.1 draft, and at the
      very least we should make it more copacetic to the idea of transferring
      gzipped variants of files when both variants exist on the server.

    * Roy's HTTP/1.1 Wishlist items:
        1) New status codes?
        2) Expect
        3) byte range error handling
        4) update the Accept-Encoding parser to allow q-values
        5) would be nice if the proxy used Via and Max-Forwards, even as HTTP/1.0

    * #ifdef __EMX__ --> #ifdef OS2.

    * use of spawnvp in uncompress_child in mod_mime_magic - doesn't
      use the new child_info structure, is this still safe?  Needs to be 
      looked at.

    * suexec doesn't understand argv parameters; e.g.

        <!--#exec cmd="./ls -l" -->

      fails even when "ls" is in the same directory because suexec is trying
      to stat a file called "ls -l".  A patch for this is available at

      and it's not bad except that it doesn't handle programs with spaces in
      the filename (think win32, or samba-mounted filesystems).  There are
      several PR's to this and I don't see for security reasons why we can't
      accomodate it, though it does add complexity to suexec.c.
      PR #1120
      Brian: +1

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