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From Rasmus Lerdorf <ras...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Apache 1.3 vs 2.0
Date Tue, 02 Mar 2004 07:39:01 GMT
On Tue, 2 Mar 2004, [ISO-8859-15] André Malo wrote:

> * Rasmus Lerdorf <rasmus@apache.org> wrote:
>
> > > Did you say the same thing to people asking you whether they should
> > > upgrade from php2 to php3 to php4 to php5 Rasmus?
> >
> > In some cases sure if indeed that was the honest answer at the time.
>
> A pointer would have been nice here.

A pointer to what?  Frankly we don't have this problem in the PHP world.
It is rather the opposite.  People start using non-production versions of
PHP before we even suggest it.  Apache2 is 2 years into its production
server status at this point and it has approximately 5% marketshare.
Apache-1.3.x is still up around 65%.  People are not migrating in droves
despite it being marked production-quality for 2 years and bundled as the
default server in most major Linux distros and hence it has not become
mainstream yet.  My point is pretty simple here.  Someone asked which
server to use for a hassle-free experience.  The vast majority of people
out there use Apache-1.3.x with great success.  It has been battletested
by some of the biggest names in the business for years.  I would not
personally launch any sort of critical production site on Apache2 at this
point and when people ask me which server they should use I will tell them
honestly that they should stick with what works unless they need some of
the features specific to 2.0.

This is not a slight against Apache2, but rather a testimony to the fact
that Apache1 is a solid piece of software that does what it was designed
to do extremely well.  There is nothing wrong with telling people to
continue to use something we know works.

> > As
> > far as I am concerned advising people to stick with 1.3 is the honest
> > answer at this point.  I know you disagree with that and that is fine.
> > But for the average user who just wants a working web server where he can
> > plug in all sorts of existing modules and just have it work reliably with
> > a minimum of hassle, 1.3 fits the bill.
>
> So does 2.0.

If you know what you are doing, perhaps.  But you have to understand the
differences between the mpms to begin with.  Most of the people I run
across who have problems with 2.0 don't even know which mpm they are
running when I ask them.  They don't know that certain mpms don't work
well on certain operating systems and that they shouldn't use any sort of
threaded mpm with various combinations and configurations of third-party
modules.  And I know all these things and I am still not convinced myself
because I worry about the caveats I have missed.

When I build something I like to start with really simple building blocks
I can understand.  There will be enough complexity added by my own system
and I don't want to worry about my underlying platform adding complexity.
This complexity comes in the form of what I still consider an overly
complicated and inefficient filter API, the complexity of multiple mpms
with different characteristics, the almost insurmountable complexity of
threading if a threaded mpm is chosen and the complexity of a new codebase
with a completely new and unfamiliar API.

I know I annoy people who spend a lot of time on 2.0 with my seeming lack
of enthusiam for it, but this is one of the benefits of working on open
source as opposed to being a proprietary software company.  Open Source is
transparent.  There is no PR department that hides the opinions of
troublesome employees behind a corporate facade and makes everyone who
speaks publically tow the party line.  Users get to see both sides of a
discussion like this which would normally be hidden because a software
company would want to hype it latest products to drive revenue.  And this
is also the answer to one of the original questions in this thread which
was about why are both versions still actively maintained.  We are not
driven by revenue, we don't have anything particular to gain by pushing
people to a new sparkling version.  Our goal is to produce good and useful
software that works.  If we do that everything else is secondary.

-Rasmus

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