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From Nick Kew <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Apache 1.3 vs 2.0
Date Tue, 02 Mar 2004 09:01:06 GMT
On Tue, 2 Mar 2004, Rasmus Lerdorf wrote:

> On Tue, 2 Mar 2004, Nick Kew wrote:
> > I have the impression the PHP folks are stuck two or three years in
> > the past (and growing).  Now we have it from the top ...
> None of this really has anything to do with PHP, but since you seem to

Pardon?  That was "the PHP folks", not PHP.  It seems to me to be key
members of the PHP community who are spreading FUD about Apache 2.

> You can add UNIX to this list of things stuck in the past then.  There are
> a lot of commonly used UNIX libraries that are not threadsafe.

Who in the Unix community is spreading FUD of this kind?
I don't think "SCO" is an answer: their FUD is firmly centered on legal
arguments, which makes it qualitatively different.

> > Could this be (subconsciously) an artifact of how PHP grew?  Apache 1.x
> > was a simple webserver, with limited extensibility outside the main
> > handler, so almost all web applications had to live in the handler (e.g.
> > CGI and PHP) or separated out (e.g. Tomcat apps).  With 2.x offering an
> > altogether more powerful applications platform, PHP's reason to exist is
> > by no means eliminated, but is much reduced.  And its weaknesses become
> > more important, both because of threaded MPMs being less forgiving,
> > and because the alternatives are more attractive.
> I didn't really parse this.  PHP is not limited to a single handler.  You

I didn't say it was.  I meant how the Great Unwashed - those who read
the FUD on the PHP website and don't upgrade - use it.  How many users
(as opposed to programmers) do advanced work with PHP, as opposed to
installing canned scripts and glorified SSI?

> And yes, PHP works with Apache2 as both a filter and a handler.

But the FUD at the website gives a different impression.

>	  And which
> weaknesses do you mean?  I guess you are alluding to a lack of thread
> safety.  PHP itself is threadsafe, but many common UNIX libraries that
> people like to link into PHP are not.

Indeed, and there seems to be a lack of awareness of this, even in
the core PHP developer community.  But it's not just threading that
bothers me.  I have in mind in particular one talk at ApacheCon, from
someone with a high profile in PHP.  Leaving aside thread safety, I found
the speaker's ignorance on his *application* positively scary, and his
armwaving "it's very fast" lacked any credibility.

> There is nothing wrong with having a more powerful applications platform,
> but the person asking this question asked for a web server, not an
> applications platform.  They likely don't care that Apache2 can be made
> into a pop3 server or an ftp server.

Neither do I.  But I do care about having a more powerful and versatile
platform for my web applications, using HTTP.

> > > Even if you don't need any of the many new features in 2.0, you should be
> > > aware that almost all development work goes into that codebase.
> >
> > Point of order: shouldn't that be 2.x - since 2.0 is the current stable
> > version, with some people describing 2.1 in terms like "pretty stable"?
> Ah, so we really should be telling everyone to switch to 2.1 at this
> point?

Who said that?  I was referring to Joshua's comment about where
development work is happening.  No, I use 2.0 operationally, and would
recommend it to anyone else, barring a compelling reason to do otherwise
(for values of "otherwise" that are as likely to mean Zeus as Apache1.x).

> reports on these to indicate that people are actually using them.  Until
> we see some traction which would require Apache2 to get well beyond its
> current 5% marketshare we are going to concentrate our efforts where the
> users are.

Should we take that as a statement of committment to Windows/MSIE?

Nick Kew

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