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From Dave Jones <>
Subject OpenVMS patches, porting issues
Date Thu, 08 Jul 1999 11:58:44 GMT
I posted a set of patches for Apache 1.3.6 that allow it to run under
OpenVMS at that reflect
the current state of porting efforts.  There are roughly 15 differences
files and a zip file containing 2 dozen new files (mostly build scripts) for 

The biggest headaches in the port are, naturally, forking and signals -
they just don't map well to VMS.  I knew forks were going to require
workarounds, but was blindsided by subtle bugs caused by the assumptions
Apache makes about signal handling.  In VMS, C I/O functions like
accept() and read() are not kernel calls and don't abort when a signal
is delivered.  What happens therefore are things like:

   - The timeout signal handler for keep-alive waits gets an EBUSY
     error when it tries to close the connection to the client, leaving
     the connection open and the client hanging.  The client tries to send
     a request on the open connection but the server thinks the connection
     has been closed (apache doesn't check the close status) and thus doesn't 
     read it.

   - The USR1 signal handler that sets the deferred_die flag assumes the
     accept() call the idle child is blocking on will abort with an EINTR
     error, see deferred_die true, and exit.  In VMS, returning from the
     signal handler resumes the accept() call and the process continues
     waiting, clearing deferred_die when a new connection is received.

I've put in kludges to work around these signal-related issues.

David L. Jones               |      Phone:    (614) 292-6929
Ohio State University        |      Internet:
140 W. 19th St. Rm. 231a     |     
Columbus, OH 43210           |     

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