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From Issac Goldstand <>
Subject Re: Fast by default
Date Tue, 01 Jun 2010 07:37:59 GMT
On 6/1/2010 3:30 AM, Bryan McQuade wrote:
> I had a conversation with a well known hosting provider recently and
> they told me they use the default Apache configuration for their
> shared hosting service. When I asked if they provide gzip as an option
> for their users, they said no, since it was not enabled by default.
> When I explained to them that enabling gzip has significant benefits
> for end users they were very interested in turning on gzip. This
> company just used the default Apache config, assuming that it was
> reasonably well tuned by default. You can claim that they're making
> bad, uninformed decisions, or whatever you want to, but the fact
> remains: some Apache users assume that the default config is a
> reasonably good config, and use it as-is.
> There are two classes of users out there: power users that want to
> tune every knob manually, and typical users that just want Apache to
> work out of the box. Apache developers on this list are part of the
> former group, which I assume is why the default Apache config is very
> simple. It's designed by power users, for power users.
> But there are non-power users out there. It would be nice if the
> Apache community provided configuration hints for these users.
> In 2010, IMO there is no good reason to have gzip disabled by default.
> Almost all websites enable it. There are a handful of prominent
> websites that do not. I've had conversations with a few of these
> sites. Most of them have not turned it on because they don't
> understand what it does, not because they don't have enough CPU. gzip
> has been used on the web now for well over 10 years. Only *very* old
> browsers, proxies, etc don't have perfect support for gzip.
> I can respect that the default httpd.conf is designed to be simple and
> minimalist. But it would be helpful to have an additional example
> configuration in svn trunk and as part of Apache releases, that enable
> things like mod_deflate. The current comments in httpd.conf explain
> that there are additional directives and "you have been warned" but
> IMO this is not very helpful or specific. We can do better.
> I propose providing an additional httpd.conf in the svn trunk and as
> part of future Apache releases that enables modules and directives
> that are commonly recommended on Apache performance tuning websites.
> This includes mod_deflate, mod_expires, etc. This will allow power
> users to continue to start with the current httpd.conf while typical
> users can just use the well optimized configuration.
> Hopefully this suggestion isn't too controversial. If there are
> concerns about some of the specific directives suggested in this
> thread, I'm sure we can work those out through discussion.
> Can we agree that it would be useful to provide an additional
> configuration file for non-power users that enables commonly
> recommended modules by default?


The PHP project does something similar, and so did MySQL (they might 
still - haven't done a source install there lately).

One could point out that most "out-of-the-box" users (the linux ones, at 
least) use their distribution's binaries (which is another story) but I 
don't feel that that alone justifies not doing something like this.

I propose that the "recommended production deployment" httpd.conf enable 
the features that we feel should be adopted by the internet community, 
as a whole, regardless of individual use cases, and we can put a 
prominent notice that it can and should be tuned by system 
administrators.  In addition to folks who still use it out-of-the-box 
we'll also get lots of power-users looking at what we consider to be new 
and important features for the future of the community.

I'd also like to see TLS/SNI as a recommended feature for this proposed 


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