httpd-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Bryan McQuade <>
Subject Re: Fast by default
Date Tue, 01 Jun 2010 00:30:40 GMT
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?

On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 5:24 PM, Eric Covener <> wrote:
>> In case of a regular internet provider or enterprise IT or Linux
>> distribution packager, I think this is very different and they have hard
>> time understanding this and I believe it's important for a team maintaining
>> most popular web server in the world to make such decisions for them as you
>> did with other modules that are compiled in by default.
> nonsense
> --
> Eric Covener

View raw message