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From Torsten Foertsch <>
Subject Re: Dynamic configuration for the hackathon?
Date Tue, 01 Apr 2008 15:21:42 GMT
On Tue 01 Apr 2008, Akins, Brian wrote:
> In pseudo config, like niq is suggesting, you could have something like:
> <If HTTP_HEADER{Host} =~ cnn\.com$ || TCPPort == 8080>
>    #cnn specific stuff here...
>    DocumentRoot /htdocs/cnn
>    CutomLog "|/usr/bin/logger cnn" my_format
>    ErrorLog /var/log/cnn.error
> </If>

I don't like that. I think there are security considerations why logfiles are 
opened from the parent process as root. But with other logging mechanisms 
that provide write-only semantics it is good. In my setup the apache logs to 
a named pipe to a process outside the chroot.

To really create vhosts on the fly I think a new hook in the MPM would be good 
that is called from a configuration provider module. It reconfigures the 
parent apache and does a graceful restart. This way almost anything can be 
reconfigured. A question is whether the provider should send changes to the 
apache or a complete new config. In the former case we'd need something like

UnListen localhost:80
CloseErrorLog ...
DeleteVirtualHost localhost:80

In the end the server_rec would go away. We have one server with a list of 
loaded modules, a PidFile and an AcceptMutex that is listening on a list of 
ports. The rest is configurable this way:

<if localport==443 and localaddr=>
  SSLCertificateFile ...
  Protocol http             # expecting HTTP to be spoken on the wire
  <if header_in{Host}=~cnn\.com>
    Timeout 10
    ErrorLog ...

Or rather the request is passed to the config module that checks localport and 
localaddr and issues the SSLCertificateFile directive. Then it checks the 
Host-header ...

As for dynamic request configuration, I'd wish some configuration provider 
with intelligent conftree caching. That provider then implements a language 
as it likes, LUA, Perl, Apache-style <if>...</if>, ... It generates a list of

directives that is compiled into a conftree.

As I understood it the main problem with the current mod_rewrite based config 
is that it is too complex. The new language has to watch out not to end at 
the same place. One thing that I think is messy is the use of subprocess_env 
to pass information from module to module and even from administrator to 
module: no-gzip, force-gzip, downgrade-1.0, nokeepalive, redirect-carefully 


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