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From Nick Kew <>
Subject Re: Perception of bloat & complication
Date Thu, 13 Dec 2007 10:57:58 GMT
On Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:22:44 +0000
"Vincent Bray" <> wrote:

> Hey kids,
> As well as spending far too much time in #apache I occasionally chip
> in on the #rubyonrails irc channel. Quite frequently when people ask
> questions about apache there the response is to use this or that other
> web server/load balancer instead. Lighttpd, nginx & pound seem to be
> popular alternative recommendations.

Bear in mind the demographic you're talking to there.  They're exposed
to messages from evangelists for all these servers.  Those messages are
"we're better than Apache because [compelling list of plausible
reasons]".  Being the target of that kind of thing comes with the
territory of being an incumbent market leader.

> So I'm wondering what can be done about any of this. Perhaps:
>  * Remove obsolete modules from the default build
>  * Reduce the size of the default config files

That's mostly in the hands of the distro folks.  They're more likely
to add extra guff in than to strip it down.  Look at the number of
folks who come to us because apache won't start, and the culprit is 
something like unique_id or digest_auth that most users will never use.
We've done what we can by making it modular.

>  * Document minimal/specialist configurations

Perhaps the clever move would be to turn httpd into a product line.
Same software, different packages.  Create a stripped-down version
and a configuration targetted specifically at the tasks the other
servers use to demonstrate their superiority.  You could then repeat
the very benchmarks they publish :-)

>  * Make mod_proxy_balancer less confusing

LOL!  Not mod_rewrite, or LDAP, or DAV, or .... good grief, most of it!

> The third option is the only one here I feel I can help with. Can I
> have a show of hands on the idea of creating a section of the docs to
> demonstrate minimal and specialist configurations? After all, there's
> only *one* mandatory directive (Listen).
>  [ ] Yes please
>  [*] No, because:

It needs to be presented so the folks who've been exposed to
evangelism will notice.  Instead of a specialist configuration,
call it httpd-light, httpd-rails, whatever.

That's a counterproposal.  The documentation you speak of would be
an important part of that project.

Nick Kew

Application Development with Apache - the Apache Modules Book

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