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From Joshua Chamas <>
Subject ANNOUNCE: Apache::ASP v1.93
Date Wed, 05 Jul 2000 16:15:21 GMT

I've released the latest Apache::ASP after after months of 
hard work on some new exciting features.  The change log below 
is HUGE, but worth a good read if you are up for it.

The big features on table are custom tags handled by perl 
subroutines, very powerful, and full dynamic XML::XSLT 
integration. You can read about each of these features at

and see them in action at

Also the session manager is much more robust, and 
StateDir will now work over NFS for web clusters even 
without NFS network locking.  

There is a quick start bundle too!  Just use CPAN
to install Bundle::Apache::ASP, and if you want to 
use the XML/XSLT feature, install Bundle::XML,
which should include XML::XSLT

ASP 3.0 $Server->Transfer() has been implemented, which is 
the $r->internal_redirect for ASP, preserving the current 
objects for the new scripts transferred to.  You must
$Response->Clear() first in order to get full $Response->Redirect

Enjoy!  -- Joshua

=== ABOUT Apache::ASP  < > 

This perl module provides an Active Server Pages port to the Apache Web Server with
perl as the host scripting language. Active Server Pages is a web application platform that
originated with the Microsoft NT/IIS server. Under Apache for Unix and Win32 platforms it
allows a developer to create dynamic web applications with session management and
embedded perl code. 

Apache::ASP's features include: 

 * Natural and Powerful Scripting SYNTAX 
 * Rich OBJECTS Developer API 
 * Web Application EVENTS Model 
 * Modular SSI Decomposition, Code Sharing 
 * User SESSIONS, NFS Web Cluster Friendly 
 * XML/XSLT Rendering & Custom Tag Technology 
 * CGI Compatibility 
 * PERLSCRIPT Compatibility 
 * Great Open Source SUPPORT 

=item $VERSION = 1.93; $DATE="07/03/00";

 + = improvement; - = bug fix

- sub second timing with Time::HiRes was adding <!-- -->
  comments by HTML by default, which would possibly
  break specific programs looking for precise HTML output.
  Now this behavior must be explicitly turned on with
  the TimeHiRes config setting.

  These comments will only appear in HTML only if 
  Debug is enabled as well.

  Timed log entries will only occur is Debug if 
  system debugging is enabled, with Debug -1 or -2

=item $VERSION = 1.91; $DATE="07/02/00";

 +Documented XMLSubsMatch & XSLT* configuration
  settings in CONFIG section.

 +XSLT XSL template is now first executed as an 
  ASP script just like the XML scripts.  This is 
  just one step away now from implementing XSP logic.

 +$Server->Execute and $Server->Transfer API extensions
  implemented.  Execute is the same as $Request->Include()
  and $Server->Transfer is like an apache internal redirect
  but keeps the current ASP objects for the next script.

  Added examples, transfer.htm, and modified dynamic_includes.htm.

 +Better compile time error debugging with Debug 2 or -2.
  Will hilite/link the buggy line for global.asa errors, 
  include errors, and XML/XSLT errors just like with 
  ASP scripts before.

 +Nice source hiliting when viewing source for the example

 +Runtime string writing optimization for static HTML going
  through $Response.

 +New version numbering just like everyone else.  Starting at 1.91
  since I seem to be off by a factor of 10, last release would have
  been 1.9.

=item $VERSION = 0.19; $DATE="NOT RELEASED";

 +XMLSubsMatch and XSLT* settings documented in 
  the XML/XSLT section of the site/README.

 -XMLSubsMatch will strip parens in a pattern match
  so it does not interfere with internal matching use.

 +XSLT integration allowing XML to be rendered by XSLT
  on the fly.  XSLT specifies XSL file to transform XML.
  XSLTMatch is a regexp that matches XML file names, like \.xml$,
  which will be transformed by XSLT setting, default .*
  XSLTCacheSize when specified uses Tie::Cache to cached XML DOMs 
  internally and cache XSLT transformations output per XML/XSL 
  combination.  XML DOM objects can take a lot of RAM, so use
  this setting judiciously like setting to 100.  Definitely 
  experiment with this value.

 +More client info in the error mail feature, including
  client IP, form data, query string, and HTTP_* client headers

 +With Time::HiRes loaded, and Debug set to non 0, 
  will add a <!-- Apache::ASP served request in xx.xx seconds -->
  to text/html output, similar to Cocoon, per user request  
  Will also add this to the system debug error log output
  when Debug is < 0

 -bug fix on object initialization optimization earlier
  in this release, that was introduced for faster event
  handler execution.

 +Apache::ASP::Parse() takes a file name, scalar, or
  scalar ref for arguments of data to parse for greater
  integration ability with other applications.

 +PodComments optimization, small speed increase at
  compilation time.

 +String optimization on internal rendering that avoids 
  unnecessary copying of static html, by using refs.  Should 
  make a small difference on sites with large amounts of 
  static html.

 +CompressGzip setting which, when Compress::Zlib is installed,
  will compress text/html automatically going out to the web
  browser if the client supports gzip encoding.

 ++Script_OnFlush event handler, and auxiliary work optimizing
  asp events in general.  $Response->{BinaryRef} created which
  is a reference to outgoing output, which can be used 
  to modify the data at runtime before it goes out to the client. 

 +Some code optimizations that boost speed from 22 to 24 
  hits per second when using Sessions without $Application,
  on a simple hello world benchmark on a WinNT PII300.

 ++Better SessionManagement, more aware of server farms that 
  don't have reliable NFS locking.  The key here is to have only
  one process on one server in charge of session garbage collection
  at any one time, and try to create this situation with a snazzy
  CleanupMaster routine.  This is done by having a process register
  itself in the internal database with a server key created at
  apache start time.  If this key gets stale, another process can 
  become the master, and this period will not exceed the period
  SessionTimeout / StateManager.

  ** Work on session manager sponsored by LRN,  **
  ** This work was used to deploy a server farm in production with  **
  ** NFS mounted StateDir. Thanks to Craig Samuel for his belief in **
  ** open source. :)                                                **

  Future work for server farm capabilities might include breaking
  up the internal database into one of 256 internal databases 
  hashed by the first 2 chars of the session id.  Also on the plate
  is Apache::Session like abilities with locking and/or data storage
  occuring in a SQL database.  The first dbs to be done will include
  MySQL & Oracle.

 +Better session security which will create a new session id for an 
  incoming session id that does not match one already seen.  This will
  help for those with Search engines that have bookmarked
  pages with the session ids in the query strings.  This breaks away
  from standard ASP session id implementation which will automatically
  use the session id presented by the browser, now a new session id will
  be returned if the presented one is invalid or expired.

 -$Application->GetSession will only return a session if
  one already existed.  It would create one before by default.

 +Script_OnFlush global.asa event handler, and $Response->{BinaryRef}
  member which is a scalar reference to the content about to be flushed.
  See ./site/eg/global.asa for example usage, used in this case to
  insert font tags on the fly into the output.

 +Highlighting and linking of line error when Debug is set to 2 or -2.

 --removed fork() call from flock() backup routine? How did 
   that get in there?  Oh right, testing on Win32. :(
   Very painful lesson this one, sorry to whom it may concern.

 +$Application->SessionCount support turned off by default
  must enable with SessionCount config option.  This feature
  puts an unnecessary load on busy sites, so not default 
  behavior now.  

 ++XMLSubsMatch setting that allows the developer to 
  create custom tags XML style that execute perl subroutines.
  See ./site/eg/xml_subs.asp

 +MailFrom config option that defaults the From: field for 
  mails sent via the Mail* configs and $Server->Mail()

 +$Server->Mail(\%mail, %smtp_args) API extension

 +MailErrorsTo & MailAlertTo now can take comma
  separated email addresses for multiple recipients.

 -tracking of subroutines defined in scripts and includes so 
  StatINC won't undefine them when reloading the GlobalPackage, 
  and so an warning will be logged when another script redefines 
  the same subroutine name, which has been the bane of at least
  a few developers.

 -Loader() will now recompile dynamic includes that 
  have changed, even if main including script has not.
  This is useful if you are using Loader() in a 
  PerlRestartHandler, for reloading scripts when
  gracefully restarting apache.

 -Apache::ASP used to always set the status to 200 by 
  default explicitly with $r->status().  This would be 
  a problem if a script was being used to as a 404 
  ErrorDocument, because it would always return a 200 error
  code, which is just wrong.  $Response->{Status} is now 
  undefined by default and will only be used if set by 
  the developer.  

  Note that by default a script will still return a 200 status, 
  but $Response->{Status} may be used to override this behavior.

 +$Server->Config($setting) API extension that allows developer
  to access config settings like Global, StateDir, etc., and is a 
  wrapper around Apache->dir_config($setting)

 +Loader() will log the number of scripts
  recompiled and the number of scripts checked, instead
  of just the number of scripts recompiled, which is
  misleading as it reports 0 for child httpds after
  a parent fork that used Loader() upon startup.  	

 -Apache::ASP->Loader() would have a bad error if it didn't load 
  any scripts when given a directory, prints "loaded 0 scripts" now

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