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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review - Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)
This is a fairly comprehensive, 600-page guide to the Apache web server software. The book begins with an overview of what a web server and browser clients do, how they work, and planning/installing Apache. The book covers versions 1.3.x and 2.0.x, and the differences between them. After installation, the next few chapters explain the initial configuration required to...
Published on November 4, 2003 by Dan Clough

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of paper
Most of the time you can trust O'Reilly technical books. But this dog should be drug out back and shot. It's out of date, it's poorly written, it meanders all over the place. I'm pretty tolerant of technical writing as long as I'm learning what I need to along the way. But at a time when I was highly motivated to get up to speed on Apache I literally gave up and threw...
Published on December 1, 2006 by M. McAulay


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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review - Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition), November 4, 2003
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This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
This is a fairly comprehensive, 600-page guide to the Apache web server software. The book begins with an overview of what a web server and browser clients do, how they work, and planning/installing Apache. The book covers versions 1.3.x and 2.0.x, and the differences between them. After installation, the next few chapters explain the initial configuration required to get a working webserver, including the various directives blocks, access control, and setting up virtual hosts.
Chapter 5 discusses how to implement authentication, passwords, and more on access control, such as using .htaccess files. Following chapters describe how to change settings for various web filetypes, indexing, imagemaps, and redirection of web page requests. Chapters 9 and 10 explain using a proxy, and the multitude of logging and status options which can be configured.
One of the longer (and important) chapters, Chapter 11, goes into excellent detail about the security aspects of running a webserver. It includes discussion and examples on signatures, certificates, using SSL, and firewalls. General security precautions, real life scenarios, and even potential legal issues are addressed.
The next section goes over building and administering a large website, and the issues associated with that. Also there is a chapter on adding web applications to your site to allow flexible user interaction, such as forms submission. There are then several chapters regarding add-ons and extensions to get even more from the webserver. These include PHP, CGI, Perl, mod_perl, XML, and Cocoon. There are numerous examples of coding provided, although most of them are somewhat basic in nature. One subject that I thought should have been addressed more was integrating the webserver with a database (such as MySQL), as this is a very common requirement.
The last two chapters go over the Apache Application Programming Interface (API), and how to write Modules for Apache. This may be useful to more serious developers, but is probably too technical and difficult for the average casual user. The book closes with a good Index and there is also a very handy foldout inside the back cover which contains quick-reference data for the most commonly used configurations and commands.
Overall this book seems to "cover all the bases". It was useful to me as a beginner to set up a testing webserver, and yet has extra details and information for those more advanced webmasters. The quick reference section especially, should be very useful to experienced Apache users. I would highly recommend the book for anyone wanting to start or improve their knowledge in running the Apache webserver.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of paper, December 1, 2006
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This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
Most of the time you can trust O'Reilly technical books. But this dog should be drug out back and shot. It's out of date, it's poorly written, it meanders all over the place. I'm pretty tolerant of technical writing as long as I'm learning what I need to along the way. But at a time when I was highly motivated to get up to speed on Apache I literally gave up and threw this on the floor in frustration. Buy any other book on Apache. This one sucks.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but questionable..., September 11, 2008
This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
This book reads like a journal of somebody who has never configured a web server at all, literally saying things like, "We tried this, and we got this error message". While the author is trying to create a noob friendly book here, it comes off like it was written by noobs (which probably isn't actually the case).

There are also some questionable things, for example, they create a shell script that must run in a particular directory. They actually say "you must cd to the directory first" and then use the shell built-in 'pwd' instead of the dot operator for the current directory -- twice on one line! This comes off as pretty noobish to me. In the old days, this would cause 300,000 lines of kernel code to execute an external program and return, but at least the shell implements pwd as a builtin these days. Still, it was one of those small things that makes you wonder about a book...

Despite this, the book IS useful for a noob to learn some Apache basics and make the conf files more readable. I had a 10 year old Apache Bible with Y2K material in it that in some ways was more helpful. Still, I am still reading the relevant sections and the book is helping me get a task done at work.
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40 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, horrible, horrible, October 9, 2004
By 
Maynard Handley (Pasadena, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
This is a horrible, stunningly horrible, book. It has, sadly, persuaded me

that I cannot simply trust the O'Reilly brand as signifying, if not the

best book in a particular area, at least a worthwhile book.

The central problem is that this book has no idea what it wants to be.

It tries to be a tutorial, a cookbook and a reference, all intermingled.

One paragraph it's trying to talk to newbies, the next it assumes you are

a long time Apache veteran.

One role, however, that it seems to have no interest in playing is that

of giving the big picture, of describing exactly what Apache can (and

can't) do in a given area, and why you might care, before getting into various nitty gritty.

I'm afraid I can't recommend a good book on Apache to buy; I would

however urge you to stay away from this one. The worst shovelware out,

Sams Teach yourself Apache in 24hrs or Apache for Dummies, cannot be

worse than this sad failure.

(This reviews version 3 of the book. I have no idea if versions 1 and 2

were less dreadful.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks important details, January 19, 2011
This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
I read this over the summer. You would be better off saving yourself the money and going to apache.org. This book lacks important details for anyone that is new to apache. She expects to much out of the reader. The way she suggests to implement apache is confusing and useless. I believe this book is outdated as well. I just purchased Web Application Design and Implementation: Apache 2, PHP5, MySQL, JavaScript, and Linux/UNIX (Quantitative Software Engineering Series)by Steven Gabarro. Hopefully it will be better than this train wreck definitive guide.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PLEASING; BUT WITH SOME SETBACKS, January 26, 2003
By 
reviewer (Zurich, Switzerland.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
Regardless of the fact that the publishers of this book claimed that it will help readers discover how to obtain, set-up, and secure the software on both Unix and Windows systems, do not bank on these claims if you are a Windows user.
The truth is that these publicity-claims are applicable to Unix, Linux and BSD platforms. Windows systems users need a lot of prayers, for events to shape-up as they would like.
Conversely, for non-Windows users, there is a lot to celebrate. This updated edition covered (the latest) Apache 2.0 without compromising on the older 1.3 version. Also, there are new sections on Cocoon, Tomcat, mod_perl, PHP, and several others.
Overall, this is a good book; but would have been impeccable, if all the claims its publisher advertised have real life applications.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Website Coding, February 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
Great source of information. It helped me get past connection problems with my code.It would recommend it to any Apache coder.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK for the basics, and sadly not much more., July 9, 2013
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What I hoped for: A book that would plumb the depths of Apache's complexity and help me achieve the configurations I want in my day to day work life.

What I found: A very basic getting started with Apache guide. It's fine but feels a bit scatter brained. Honestly, I think the average user would be much better off with any one of the platform specific introduction guides out there.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated and facile, May 22, 2013
There is nothing "definite" about this "guide" - the information is outdated and unstructured, from time to time it resembles a Linux newbie tutorial with huge ls -la listing spanning couple of pages... I cannot review anything on the Windows descriptions but who the heck uses Apache on Windows for produciton... Nevertheles, waste of time and money
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book served its purpose., January 18, 2005
This review is from: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
Now you may think that there are better books out there. And there maybe. However this book is a "five star" book. I bought this book for a beginning apache class. We were able to follow the instructions and down load the Apache server from the Internet. The only problem we had was with the NIS system that was not anticipated in this book. It was a lot more important to use this book to read the flat files and see how they were related to each other. The section on Extra Modules (chapter 12) gave a way to improve the server and go outside the scope of this book. This book covered more details than I was looking for; this ways different people can use the book to target their particular needs. You can safely say:

"This book has everything you need to set up an apache server."

Apache Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for Apache Administrators
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Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)
Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition) by Ben Laurie (Paperback - Dec. 2002)
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