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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject Auth: Start the httpd-2.1 branch finally?
Date Sat, 12 Oct 2002 03:59:21 GMT
Ok, [overly?] provocative title.  Let me illustrate, however;

http://httpd.apache.org/docs-2.0/mod/

See any authn_foo/authz_foo?  No, not at the moment.  Once we
do, how on this green earth do we propose to provide online docs
for 2.0.43 and a hypothetical 2.0.44 with the auth overhaul?  Folks
come back to http://httpd.apache.org/ to answer their questions, 
and completely deprecating and removing stuff mid-sub-revision
is cruel and unusual punishment.

My best guess?  It won't make any sense.

We often add modules during the lifetime of a revision, e.g. in 1.3
we added mod_auth_digest in rev 1.3.8.  But we didn't clobber the
old standby mod_digest then.  That waited for 2.0.

I cannot see how we can make this transition modestly painless
for administrators while providing some semblance of working docs
for both the pre and post auth overhaul.  It just doesn't compute.

Version numbers are cheap.  2.1 reinforces that 2.x is ready for
the big time on many platforms (and is fact already working for
cnet and may other massive volume providers today.)  It allows us
to clean up those lingering bits that really bug us, without adding
confusion to 3rd party module author's lives.

I'm calling for a consensus opinion that the mod_auth changes
are simply too radical to introduce into a current version.  We keep
treating the GA tree as a development branch.  Many newcomers
(with less than a couple of years here in httpd land) and a very few 
old timers persist in doing so.  

We should treat 2.0 as done.  Cooked.  Baked.  Cooling off.

Let's get moving on 2.1 so we can build on Justin's very worthwhile 
rewrite of mod_auth.  I'm not criticizing it.  I'm criticizing the amount
of work to move a running server to the new schema, and the amount
of information necessary to convey to users how to deal with this
change.  Where did the directives go?  Which module is which?
What does what?  These are questions hard to answer in /docs-2.0/
while still providing the information for 2.0.43 and prior users.

There is too much curve here for a smooth transition, although the
transition is certainly good.  Folks bumping by a major or even minor
revision expect a little (temporary) hardship.  But when bumping by 
a subversion?  That's too much.

Let's get cracking and we can have a 2.1 release out by year end,
depending on how far we go with changes in that version.  Certainly
some of the file-based stuff can finally be separated out, even if not
as radically as GStein has proposed.

2.0 is good, and should continue to be bugfixed for many months.
But with 2.1, we can let people start adopting threaded modules
with worker and really let the 3rd party module authors settle in to
dealing with the threading issues, instead of oddball API changes.

Bill






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