Apache Guide: For More Information ...

Thursday Feb 15th 2001 by Rich Bowen
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I get email every day asking for good sources for more information on a variety of things from Apache to CGI to mod_perl. So, this article is as much for me as for you -- so that I can email back a quick URL to answer their question. ... If you'd like more information on the Apache server, there are just a few places that are highly recommended.

I get email every day asking for good sources for more information on a variety of things from Apache to CGI to mod_perl. So, this article is as much for me as for you -- so that I can email back a quick URL to answer their question.

Apache

If you'd like more information on the Apache server, there are just a few places that are highly recommended. I've split these into the following categories:

Web
Usenet
Mailing list
print

Web resources

On the web, the following resources should be considered, if you want the right answer, and want it fast.

The Apache Server web site

The official Apache Server web site, at http://httpd.apache.org/ , is a part of the web site of the Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org/). It is the most authoritative source of information on the Apache Server. It also has the distinction that when changes are made to the Apache documentation, these changes are almost immediately reflected on the Apache web site.

There are a number of mirrors of the Apache web site. In fact, you can set up your own mirror of the Apache web site if you want. For information on becoming an Apache mirror site, see http://www.apache.org/info/how-to-mirror.html

Apache Today

The Apache Today web site (http://www.apachetoday.com/) is a great source for in-depth tutorials about Apache, written by some of the leading experts in the Apache field. Ryan Bloom, Stas Bekman, and Ken Coar all write for Apache Today, and they are all members of the ASF, as well as active contributors to the project.

Articles appearing on Apache Today frequently will make it into the official Apache documentation.

Apache Week

In addition to producing a weekly mailing list, Apache Week (http://www.apacheweek.com/ contains an enormous wealth of article dating back a number of years, on a variety of topics relating to Apache.

Apache Week is also the best place to get an idea of the history of the Apache project. Looking back through back issues will tell you about all the major events in the life of the Apache server, back to the earliest releases. It is a very important historical archive.

Historical documentation is extremely hard to come by in most computer projects, as people are much more interested in the latest and greatest version, rather than considering where we have come from. Web sites like Apache Week and http://history.perl.org/ are resources that we should support and encourage.

Apache Server Web Ring

Ken Coar's Apache Software web ring, at http://Apache-Server.Com/WebRing/ is a collection of sites that Ken believes are valuable Apache Server web sites. And, if Ken thinks that they are good Apache sites, then they probably are, since Ken is one of the leading experts on the Apache Server.

Usenet

Usenet, also known as Internet Newsgroups, as well as a variety of other names, is a distributed discussion forum. There are just a few Usenet groups that pertain to the Apache server and related subjects.

comp.infosystems.www.servers.*

There are 4 groups that fall into this category, and which one you read depends on your interest. The 4 groups are:

comp.infosystems.www.servers.misc - Contains general discussion of web server issues. Much of the discussion is about Apache, simply because most of the web servers in the world are running Apache.

comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix - Discussion specific to web servers running on Unix. This group is almost exclusively devoted to Apache, since almost all Unix web servers are running Apache.

comp.infosystems.www.servers.windows - Most of the discussion here is related to IIS, since that's what most Windows web servers are running. There is, however, some discussion here of Apache.

comp.infosystems.www.servers.mac - To be honest, I've never read anything in this group.

comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi

There are a few articles in the authoring tree. The CGI one is the one most related to Apache, and a lot of Apache-specific discussion goes on there -- how to get CGI working on Apache, and how to get a particular CGI thing working.

Mailing lists

There are a few mailing lists that provide quality Apache help via email. A very few. Here are three that I recommend.

hwg-servers

The hwg-servers mailing list, operated by the HTML Writers Guild (http://www.hwg.org/) is a mailing list devoted to running a web server and related things. You can find out more about hwg-server at http://www.hwg.org/lists/hwg-servers/index.html

To subscribe to hwg-server by sending email to hwg-servers-request@hwg.org with a message of 'subscribe'.

hwg-languages

The hwg-languages mailing list is more geared to CGI programming, although a lot of non-cgi programming discussion goes on there.

To subscribe to hwg-server by sending email to hwg-languages-request@hwg.org with a message of 'subscribe'.

Apache Week

As mentioned above, Apache Week is a great source of Apache news and articles.

You can choose to receive Apache Week either as a plain text email message, suitable for all mail readers, or in HTML format, for readers which can display HTML.

To join either of the mailing lists, send a message to the address majordomo@apacheweek.com To receive Apache Week in text format, send the following command in the body of the message: 'subscribe apacheweek'

To receive Apache Week in HTML format, send the following command in the body of the message: 'subscribe apacheweek-html'

You can unsubscribe to the lists by following the same instructions, but replacing the word 'subscribe' with 'unsubscribe' in the message body.

Print

There are a lot of Apache books on the market, so I'll try to be selective in what I recommend, without being biased.

Apache Server Unleashed

OK, so there goes my commitment to not be biased. Apache Server Unleashed is my book. I think it's a pretty good book.

Apache Server For Dummies

Despite the uninspiring name, this book, by Ken Coar, is an excellent beginner's guide to Apache that does not assume you're a dummy, and does not strive to keep you one, as do many books in this unfortunately named series.

Apache Server - The definitive guide

Although a little dated, this book from O'Reilly is a great guide to Apache, written by Ben Laurie and Peter Laurie.

Apache Pocket Reference

This little book, by Andrew Ford, covers all the basics, and is a great thing to carry around once you are already familiar with the basics.

Summary

There are a ton of resources available to help you learn about the Apache server. With this list, you should never be left wanting more information.

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