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From "CUTMAN ~CW~" <>
Subject [users@httpd] standing naked at the door of infinity with only a butterknife
Date Sat, 27 Dec 2003 11:40:34 GMT
Greetings all,

I'm setting up a non-production server to learn with.  I've done c/c++ 
programming over the years(mostly in Win32) and intentionally never used the 
connectivity technologies.  I've decided to do take that step now though.

I'd like to try my hand with various things from both sides of the server.. 
-as a server administrator as well as a website engineer.. -be set to 
eventually be able to participate in the open-source community.

To be honest I'm not even sure what would pique my interests but 
SOMETHING... I want to do something with the connectivity technologies.

The machine:
* Win-98SE box
* IE5.5-SP2 over cable internet

I'll be just running this server locally when i'm ready to start and stop 
the thing on various occasions.  The server won't run publically for any 
reason, but on ocassions I would have people from the outside take a visit.  
Also, the server will not be run 24/7 but only on occasion when I want to 
put it up.

The server-side:

Apache-2048 with cgi, and php.  I don't exactly know what I want here to be 
honest, but if that setup would let me start learning php and doing dynamic 
website content then great.  I'm interested to deal with the website 
engineering, but inevitably the server admin dealings will be required.

And because of my ignorance on the matter, I don't know whether Perl or 
MySQL is relevant,  or any of the huge list of mods available in Apache 

At this point I do not feel I will need to be dealing with SSL, encryption, 
compression, multiple-users, security or any of the other things I have no 
clue about.

If you are willing to offer any suggestions as to what I probably SHOULD 
approach here, then I would certainly appreciate the direction and offering. 
  On a minimum level I'd like to be able to mess with cgi through c 
consoles.  Also, php really seems it should be an obvious interest, but I 
can take things one-at-a-time as needed here.

Perhaps you can point me to a diagram of the relationships among a server 
such as this.  A revealing about the conceptual relationship of the 
components.  I am really at the beginning of a multi-faceted conglomeration 
of stuff that I am not familiar enough with.

What I'm looking for is a good basic starting point and a way to find out 
the general CONCEPTS that this scenerio will require.  I've been learning a 
great deal already about Apache, and I've installed MySQL, but the "click 
here, -then type this line" stuff doesn't get me what I need.  I've 
installed numerous variations of some combinations of stuff, and the more I 
do that the more I learn, but I'm missing the concepts enough to where even 
troubleshooting a problem leaves me scratching my head.

What is Perl?  I assume it's a programming language that uses scripts and 
are run by an interpreter(perhaps like the concept of BASIC).  I don't know 
a thing about Perl, but I think I've seen this used as a cgi, right?  I can 
do C.. -I'm familiar with C(comfortable with it too)..  I found the cgic 
library here:  Anybody know if I can just build 
mini console apps and they'll interface as the cgi under Apache?  Actually, 
I don't have a clue what I'm talking about, but this seems conceptually 
correct and logical too.

And php is strictly interpreted script, right?  -and so Apache runs and 
controls an interpreter for this?

See what I'm saying?  I don't understand all the relationships here..

If you can direct me toward any material or design concepts and the like, 
for this I would be undoubtedly endebted.  I need to find a path for 
learning about these things and hopefully taking them in an appropriate 
order.  Right off I would assume I just need to start with getting Apache 
running with cgi ability and that's all.  I can take each piece as it would 
come when I learn more and more things.  I guess I should be taking some 
kind of college courses or something but I'll be going at it alone.

I thank you for taking any time you are willing to offer for me.

-standing naked at the door of infinity with only a butterknife,


The rest of this message is just further ranting but does reveal more of 
some of my assumptions, or lack of knowledge, about the whole dynamic 
website thing... -perhaps helpful or not.

I've read alot over the websites and I've just been forcing myself to skim 
the emails from the mailing lists so I can pick up on some of the issues.  
Currently I find alot of info about WHAT various things are or HOW TO 
implement certain things, but I'm not finding info on the WHY...

I've been playing with Apache and other programs quite a bit, not even sure 
of WHY I do the install `this way or that'.. -or WHY I am making settings 
such as `this or that'.

For example, on one occasion I installed these installations under the root 
of my c drive:


on another occasion:


and yet another:


and then the latest thing that seems logical:


and have also have used a variety of combinations thereof.  I can't imagine 
in what cases it would or should make a difference, but I guess I feel 
SOMETHING does about it.

I realize approaching all things at once is not going to be effective, so 
I've tried to take simple approaches to just get one thing happening such as 
a php test script to run(which actually I have accomplished).  I've tried 
various tests from a variety of these installations and I have gotten 
various degrees of success on different occasions but mostly failures.  
Either I can't get to the database, or there will be `access denied' 
failures.  I don't know if I should start mysql or apache first, or even 
whether it makes a difference.  It seems like access problems could stem 
from MySQL, the Apache scheme OR php... -so I just continue to try to read 
and maybe stumble on another thing to try.

Upon trying to just start out with some `plug-in-play' type stuff I tried to 
get phpBB2 running, and I tried phpNuke as well.  I figured maybe this would 
be an easy task and at the very least I could have something running that I 
could then learn to operate... -give me some actual production.  I was 
successful in getting both of these installations to go up to initial set-up 
screen where you create an administrator, but any time after that I get 
`access denied'.  I don't know if I need proper rights to the mysql server 
or a specific database of the server.. -I just don't know here.  I thought 
perhaps Apache is preventing things from happening because it is using 
`rights' settings that do not allow anything to happen.  I can not tell 
whether I am having a problem with MySQL or Apache... -I mean I KNOW the 
problem, and that's that I just don't know enough of what I'm doing, so it's 
a user error or an admin error, but that's why I want to learn more.  And 
too, it would be nice if I could have some sense of accomplishment as I go 
along here.

I'd love to just open the whole thing wide open... -no security, no 
super-users, no users in fact.. it's only me, and anybody else who would 
drop by would be either a friend or someone who has come to help me in which 
case security isn't an issue... -plus I have a firewall so no activity will 
take place until I click "permit".

If any of you would be willing to give me some hints about some things or 
point me to some good resource that might be inline with some of these 
things I've mentioned I would surely appreciate it.  I'm just getting 
frustrated re-installing all these things and hoping for some different 
outcome if I do it in a different order..  -it's just not been very 
productive.  Thank you.

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