Apache 2.0 offers a variety of enhancements, improvements, and performance boosts over the 1.3 code base. The most visible and noteworthy addition is its support for the lightweight process model known as threads. This modification enables the 2.0 to work well on Windows and significantly improves the scalability of the Apache HTTPD server.
"With the release of the first beta of Apache 2.0, not only are we giving the open source software community access to a 'real' look at 2.0, but module developers gain the ability to start porting the modules to 2.0," Jim Jagieslki, Apache Software Foundation board member said in a prepared statement.
The beta release also features the Apache Portable Run-time, which enables the Apache Web Server to be ported to more platforms and still be easily maintained.
"We've taken the Web server and added some critical elements that will help it grow in the years to come. For instance, Apache 2.0 allows system administrators to tailor their Web server specifically for their site and machines, using the multi-processing module support and the filtered input/output," said Ryan Bloom, vice president of the Apache Portable Run-Time Project.
Apache 2.0 support for filtered I/O allows modules to modify the output of other modules before sending it to the client. For example, a server side include can modify the results of a CGI script.
This release also includes support for IPv6, the next version of the Internet protocol already being tested on Internet 2.
The Apache team has successfully tested the beta on many versions of Unix, BeOS, OS/2, Mac OS X, and Windows.
The beta version is available for download on the Apache site.