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From Rasmus Lerdorf <ras...@lerdorf.on.ca>
Subject Re: [PATCH] XML Handling, Part 2
Date Wed, 14 Jul 1999 05:29:17 GMT
> If a module is introducing new functionality, then they may be okay with
> saying "the XML feature requires 1.3.7". It is really up to the module
> author; and you're right... they may say "well, if I can't offer it to
> all 1.3 users, then I won't." IMO, that is short-sighted :-), and I'd
> point out to those authors the simple fact that we continue to add
> capabilities in recent versions. For example, a 1.3.2 user finds he
> needs virtual hosting, so they upgrade or they don't use it. A 1.3.4
> user finds they what XML Feature A from some module, so they upgrade or
> they don't use it. :-)

It does become a support nightmare though, and people are not happy about
upgrading.  Quite a few people complained when Apache 1.1 support was
dropped from PHP and we still have thousands of sites running PHP on
Apache-1.2.x servers.  In the case of PHP it also needs to run as a CGI
and with other web servers, so no matter what we need to be able to
provide XML capabilities without relying on them being present in Apache.  

It is a bit like back when a regex library was added to Apache.  I think
that happened between 1.1 and 1.2 and it happened to be different from the
regex library I was bundling with PHP at the time.  It also had
conflicting symbols and I ended up having to dump the regex library I was
bundling and instead bundle the same one Apache bundled to alleviate the
nightmare.

In general I think it is a good idea for Apache to provide these sort of
essential functionalities to modules that need them, but we have to
realize that it can also be a pain in the butt for larger and more
extensive modules.  Especially when the bundled library may or may not
actually be there as with this whole WANT_HSREGEX deal where you have to
go check which regex library a particular build is using.

-Rasmus


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