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From "Frank Faubert" <>
Subject Re: binary backwards compatability.
Date Mon, 03 Apr 2000 20:25:03 GMT

> Greg, I'm a bit surprised by this attitude. It is non-trivial to stay
> current with Apache minor releases. It is also quite silly to have to
> modules for 1.3.0-12 just to support a difference in MMN with no
> difference in the API. With more third-party module vendors offering their
> applications on Apache, we only increase public acceptance of this
> That is a great thing for the project.

I've been a lurker on this list on and off for several years now and stay
quiet most of the time.  I've tried to stay out of this debate, but would
like to throw my two cents in.  The company I work for distributes an apache
module to complement our main product.  This module is free and optional and
is not required to use our product.  We also have "server plugins" available
for IIS [ISAPI] and Netscape [NSAPI] servers.  Except for Apache, our
plugins are distributed in binary form, and we have a version of our plugin
available for each major release of the server.  We would love to distribute
a binary plugin for Apache, but we simply don't have the resources to build,
maintain, and support 12 versions of the plugin for each platform that our
software is supported on (roughly 16).  Not to mention that it would confuse
the hell out of our customers who probably know they are running Apache 1.3,
but not 1.3.6.  It would be wonderful if Apache had something similar to
NSAPI that would allow a module to work with any dot release of a major
version release.

I've seen arguments that a goal for binary backwards computability caters to
people who don't want to distribute source, and that it would send the wrong
message.  In our case, we _like_ giving out the source and have no intention
of stopping, but believe it or not, _end users of apache_ are requesting
binary modules.  In larger organizations the people running the Apache
server are not necessarily the people who set them up.  Many times I've seen
situations where the original person has left and some 'newbie' has had to
take over, not having a clue what to do.  In Netscape/IIS environments it is
trivial for these people to drop in a new binary plugin, but they want
nothing to do with recompiling apache.  Its too much work for them to get
the exact version of the source, along with the source for all the other
modules, and rebuild trying to exactly match everything in the original

Just my two cents.

Frank Faubert
Sane Solutions, LLC

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