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From Stephen Collyer <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Apache 1.3: Aliases no longer working
Date Mon, 12 Dec 2005 10:52:21 GMT
Boyle Owen wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Stephen Collyer []
>>I'm not familiar with the Apache code base, but I guess this
>>implies that there's no trace code in there ? Seems to be
>>something of an omission for a project as large as Apache, if so.
> I disagree strongly. Apache's greatest strength is its reliability
 > and robustness. If you pollute the code-base with help, info and debug
 > messages and all the associated switches and conditionals, you create a
 > fertile bug environment.

Well, that's one thing we'll certainly disagree about. I've worked on
many projects with code bases that dwarf Apache's, and without
exception, they all include trace facilities of greater-or-lesser
utility and sophistication. And the reason for this is that of simple
experience: fallible humans have found far easier to debug a product
if it tells you what it's doing, rather than having the fallible human
guessing. (and these features are typically even more important in
more complex apps, where you may have multiple processes or threads
running, and essentially vital in embedded systems, where you have
to debug the interaction of code and hardware, where it's v. difficult
to reproduce the precise conditions obtaining at any particular point
in time - they didn't invent logic analysers for fun, you know).

And as for complexity: you jest ? Any trace code I've ever seen (or
written) is trivial compared to the general complexity of the app.
If it's not then the app probably isn't complex enough to require

>Incidentally, I believe your assertion that you found nothing in the 
 >error log to be inaccurate. If the problem was due to an access control
 >restriction, then you would have received a message "access denied by
 >server configuration".

Well, if we're going to be picky, I guess you're right: I should
have said that I found nothing that helped me. Yes, I got an "access
denied by server configuration", but let's face it, if you get a 403
then it doesn't take a genius to guess that it's the server config;
the question is *where* in the config, and that's where verbose
trace would help.

 > This should have been enough to indicate what the problem was.

I've no doubt that it would have been more than enough for you.
A lesser mortal such as myself would prefer something a little
more specific, though.


Stephen Collyer
Netspinner Ltd

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