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The Apache Modules Book: Application Development with Apache 1st Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132409674
ISBN-10: 0132409674
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Do you learn best by example and experimentation? This book is ideal. Have your favorite editor and compiler ready-you'll encounter example code you'll want to try right away. You've picked the right book-this is sure to become the de facto standard guide to writing Apache modules."

-Rich Bowen, coauthor, Apache Administrators Handbook, Apache Cookbook, and The Definitive Guide to Apache mod_rewrite

"A first-rate guide to getting the most out of Apache as a modular application platform-sure to become a must-read for any Apache programmer, from beginner to experienced professional. It builds up carefully and meticulously from the absolute basics, while including chapters on everything from the popular Apache DBD Framework to best practices, security, and debugging."

-Noirin Plunkett, documentation committer to the Apache httpd project, and member of the ASF conference committee

The Only Comprehensive Guide to Developing Apache 2.x Modules and Applications

Apache is more than the world's most popular Web server-it's also an extraordinarily powerful and extensible development platform. Now,'s Nick Kew has writtenThe Apache Modules Book, the first start-to-finish, example-rich guide for every developer who wants to make the most of Apache.

Kew begins with detailed, accessible introductions to Apache's architecture and API, then illuminates all the techniques you'll need, from request processing through code security. He brings together the best of both worlds: powerful C-based techniques for accomplishing tasks Perl or PHP can't handle, implemented with tools that deliver all the productivity you'd expect from higher-level languages. Utilizing realistic code samples, Kew introduces techniques documented in no other book-and, often, nowhere else at all.

Coverage includes

  • Using Apache Portable Runtime (APR) to streamline C development and avoid its pitfalls
  • Leveraging Apache DBD to build applications far more scalable than classic LAMP software
  • Working with the latest Apache 2.x features: filter modules, XML support, and smart proxies
  • Mastering best practices, from thread safety to multi-platform development
  • Utilizing the Apache Authentication Framework
  • Tracing and debugging problems in both Apache and your custom modules
About the Author 
Chapter 1 Applications Development with Apache
Chapter 2 The Apache Platform and Architecture
Chapter 3 The Apache Portable Runtime
Chapter 4 Programming Techniques and Caveats
Chapter 5 Writing a Content Generator
Chapter 6 Request Processing Cycle and Metadata Handlers
Chapter 7 AAA: Access, Authentication, and Authorization
Chapter 8 Filter Modules
Chapter 9 Configuration for Modules
Chapter 10 Extending the API
Chapter 11 The Apache Database Framework
Chapter 12 Module Debugging
Appendix A Apache License
Appendix B Contributor License Agreements
Appendix C Hypertext Transfer Protocol: HTTP/1.1

About the Web Site contains code examples from the book, all designed for easy use and integration into existing applications.

About the Author

Nick Kew is a leading developer of Apache applications, many of which can be found at his company's site, He is a member of the Apache Web server core development team and of the Apache Software Foundation. He is active in both user and developer support, and gives tutorials and presentations at relevant conferences such as ApacheCon. He created and maintains, and writes on Apache topics for a range of leading online publications.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132409674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132409674
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,454,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By I Feel Fine on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book easily earns five stars despite a few glaring issues. Why? It's the best, most consitent, and approachable guide you'll find to writing Apache modules.

I spent two weeks scouring the net for APR examples and explanations. I started with the O'Reilly books only to find they are incredibly out of date. I moved on to Apache sanctioned module source code. I dissected source code for other modules only to find that the examples fluctuated on approach and, apparently, on the author's grasp of the entire APR libraries. Some folks wrote against previous APR version libraries and macros. Others used the updated APR. Still others rolled their own versions of functions that were already written, just not discovered. Tutorials varied in reliability with similar issues. And my desk quickly filled with highlighted and sticky-noted annotated examples.

This book replaced all those loose inconsistent notes with a solid example-centric nicely bound guide. Five stars. Just for that.

This book is not without problems though. First, it makes reference to programming paradigms which, frankly, I've never heard of before and which this book inadequately explains. Brigade buckets is an example. Bridage buckets are incrementally explained as a ring data store (eh?), a doubly linked list (okay, firm ground), and then a mechanism for passing data through layered IO (another eh?). I couldn't get much from the explanation. Googling "brigade bucket" led to IEEE DSP circuit design and a heated debate on using solid state delay effects for guitar pedals. Apparently brigade buckets don't quote share the same prolific status as, say, something more Knuth-ess.

The book explained thread safety in a similarly gap toothed summary.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Gentry on August 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
I tried to write an Apache module using only the documentation and reference material available on the net, and failed. The documentation you can find on the net (even on's own website) is either completely out of date or maddeningly vague. If you spend enough time in trial and error you might get your module to work. Then again, you might not.

If you're trying to write or maintain an Apache module, this book is an invaluable tutorial and resource. It saved me a great deal of time and frustration.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Lawrence VINE VOICE on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was (pleasantly) surprised by this.

I drive my website with Perl cgi scripts - basically a home grown CMS that gives me the control I want. I'd never thought much about the inner workings of the modules I do use, and certainly never thought that I could replace a tremendous amount of my cgi Perl code with a direct module. But after reading this, I realized it wouldn't be all that hard to do.

Now it is true that I haven't done much with C for a long, long time. In spite of that, I feel reasonably confident that I could extend the examples given in Nick's book to do exactly what I need much more quickly and efficiently - sure, there are higher level tasks that might be more than I could tackle, but the basics seem quite easy and attainable.

Well written, easy to follow (and downloadable) examples, and at least as far as I can tell, quite comprehensive. Good job!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brooks A. Sizemore on May 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book came recommended to me from a well-learned Apache module developer, and I can't laud it enough. It is simply impossible to find another reference text out there that covers this topic with this level of completeness. I'm not really sure why the HTTP RFC and the Apache Software License is tacked on to the end of the book, but the real content of the book make it well worth the relatively hefty price tag.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Apache is more than a popular Web server; it's a versatile and complex platform covered well in THE APACHE MODULES BOOK, the first guide for developers who already work with Apache and want to make the most of its features. From code security and basic processing to C-based shortcuts and techniques, APACHE MODULES BOOK uses real-world code examples and techniques to provide an excellent manual of basics. Perfect for any serious programmer's Apache reference collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Johanson on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How does one rate a book that is very incomplete, but is essential, and is the "only" book in existence on the topic? I guess I picked 3 stars for it.

The good:
It's the best book out there, because it's the only book out there. The information that is in the book is very useful and indeed necessary, because it contains good explanations that are not easily found on Google and the only documentation (which is terrible).

The bad:
Don't expect this book to contain everything you need to write your own non-trivial module. It's not going to happen. Major topics of critical importance are simply missing coverage here. For example, want to do a "one-time" initialization for your module during start up? Well, Google is your friend. How can such a basic topic NOT be covered in this book? For example, do you want to have a global variable in your module? No information in this book about that either-- which is a shame because you cannot simply declare a global variable in your module and expect it to work as expected (Requests are served by multiple httpd processes which don't share variables). The book teaches how modules interact with Apache server using "callback hooks". Want a list of all the different ways you can hook your callback functions (at startup, at shutdown, at initialization, at each request, etc.)? Hmmm, no dice again, Google and are your friends. This is just basic information missing from the book. Lastly, don't expect to understand brigades and buckets from this book, which are absolutely fundamental if you want to write a filter module. There is a small section that provides an introduction to buckets and brigades, but you get barely enough information to even get started.
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