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From Stefan Arentz <>
Subject Re: Apache Scripting Architecture
Date Fri, 06 Nov 1998 16:23:26 GMT
On Fri, Nov 06, 1998 at 10:29:32AM -0500, Rasmus Lerdorf wrote:
> > What do you think of the following? I would really like to see this
> > become a standard module of Apache, but that decision remains to the
> > Apache core group of course :-)
> > 
> > This is just a quick start, I would like to start coding once I have
> > a specification and enough input from people on the list. (Is this
> > the correct place to discuss this?)
> > 
> > Waddayathink?
> First, consider this biased due to my involvement with PHP.  

No worries, I thank you for the input :-)

> I have a document which looks a lot like this one.  It involves
> abstracting areas of the PHP internal API to allow multiple parsers to be
> plugged in, much like ASP.

Is that document available? Can I use it in this project?

> PHP already uses the <% %> tag-style for
> example, and if you hook in an ECMAScript engine, for all practical
> purposes you have mod_asp.

No. Maybe the name is misleading. mod_asp will not implement a language,
just the API. I think it's good to have a standard API for several

 Could save a lot of work for people working on such things
 Is a great argument in the Apache vs IIS debate (see the Halloween doc.)

> It would use all the database connectivity
> modules already written for PHP which includes a whole whack of native
> library modules plus ODBC support which is essential to any ASP
> application.
> Now, this has been in the works for well over 3 years.  And there is still
> a lot of work to do.

Yes, i totally agree. But you are working on a higher level. I'm thinking
of just the API for hooking in a script interpreter. I'm not even sure if
database access should be part of this API. It's a whole other discussion,
but it would be great to see a generic Database Access API like we have
for Perl with DBI. Something that you easily plug into any scripting

> There is also an Apache::ASP mod_perl module which has been under
> development for at least 6 months while the database connectivity stuff
> has been under development for years and is quite mature.

Apache::ASP is nice, I have played with it, but it's not the same thing
as mod_asp. It's a solution based on Perl. I know mod_perl is flexible
enough to do almost anything with Apache, but some of us don't want or
can't use it. And it's besides the point of the module I'm talking about,
I want something generic with not too much bells and whistles on which
others can build more serious things.

> You didn't say anything about how you are planning to provide database
> connectivity from this language.  Just writing that code could take you a
> couple of years.  You would be better off taking either Perl's or PHP's
> database connectivity code.  Or maybe using JDBC, I suppose.  But once you
> start doing that it would make more sense to join one of these existing
> projects and try to work within the framework of that to attach an
> existing ECMAScript parser engine.

ECMAScript is nice, but some of us want Tcl, Guile, a VB clone or even an
in-house scripting language. That's the whole point of this module, provide
a framework in which you can easily plug in a scripting language of choice.

I'm not sure where to draw the line between 'basic functionality' and 'more
sophisticated things' like database access. I like to keep things simple, and
I think that that's also in the spirit of Apache, provide a standard way
and let others build on that.

> I am as interested as you in getting full ASP support in Apache, but it is
> not a trivial job and if it is to be done, I don't think it is in our
> best interests to start from scratch.  Let's leverage some of the work
> that has already been done.

Absolutely, but sometimes it's also good to start from scratch with a fresh
mindset and build on the experience of existing projects.



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