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Pro Apache (Expert's Voice) Paperback – February 28, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Wainwright is a developer and software engineer specializing in Perl, Apache, and other open-source projects. He got his first taste of programming on a BBC Micro and gained most of his early programming experience writing applications in C on Solaris. He then discovered Linux, shortly followed by Perl and Apache, and has been happily programming there ever since. When he is not engaged in development or writing books, Wainwright spends much of his free time maintaining the Space Future website at www.spacefuture.com. He is an active proponent of commercial passenger space travel and cofounded Space Future Consulting, an international space tourism consultancy firm.
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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 904 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 3rd edition (February 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590593006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590593004
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
In this voluminous title author Peter Wainwright covers the Apache web server in detail. Chapters include Installing Apache and basic configuration, building Apache the way you want it, configuring Apache the way you want it, deciding what the client needs, delivering dynamic content, hosting more than one web site, improving Apache's performance, monitoring Apache, Securing Apache, Improving Web Server Security, and Extending Apache. It has some excellent sections on advanced configuration, handling robots, dealing with errors and handling them correctly, name-based and IP-based virtual servers, and improving the performance of your server. The section on securing Apache covers authentication (including digest and LDAP) and using SSL (including some advanced configuration techniques).

There are better books that deal with some of the specific areas of this text (for example, Hardening Apache is much more thorough on the subject of securing your server) but you won't find a more comprehensive text in a single volume than this one. Pro Apache, Third Edition is highly recommended and my first choice for anyone looking for a single book to learn how to setup and configure an Apache server or serve as their primary reference.
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This is by far the best standalone book on Apache I've seen. It really is a very good reference for professional web server admins, as well as developers and others, who need help in managing Apache web servers. It's well-written too, something that is becoming increasingly rare in the technical book area.
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Although the latest edition is from 2004, I still find myself going back to this book for the occasional refresher. There are indeed a few items which are out-of-date (for instance the brief overview section on Tomcat integration), and throughout the text, the Author denotes differences between Apache 1.x and 2.x (which may be less relevant today as most companies and individuals have long since migrated to version 2.x of Apache).

This is, nevertheless, an indespensible resource to have, especially if you find yourself having to revisit, support, and/or migrate a legacy Apache installation or need/want to understand the evolution of Apache itself.

Throughout the text, the author gives the reader a lot of great tips/best practices which regardless of the technologies which will change, can be adopted as best practice (for example, his advice on managing config files and include directives).

Although unlikely, in an ideal world, it would be great to have an updated edition of this book as I feel it is one of the more comprehensive Apache books out there. Indeed, at 900+ pages, it almost feels like it could be THE Apache Bible or Definitive Guide.
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It's surprising this book hasn't been updated, I bought it when it came out, and again a decade later. It's actually still fairly relevant, although httpd has changed somewhat. Sure other web servers and proxies have taken a lot of Apache's market share, but I still find it to be excellent, particularly for situations requiring extra flexibility.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains some meaningful information but is largely obsolete.

Some fairly informative chapters contain introduction to common configuration, authentication, configuring SSL, using WebDAV and subversion.

But lot of space in the book is wasted on topics that were cool in the last century like compiling apache and compiling single modules, but not relevant anymore. Today you are likely not going to recompile you server every week, but you SHOULD install security patches every week, if you take your job seriously. IMHO there is only one possibility - to rely on the services of your linux distribution.

By the way, Debian and derived distributions also do a great job combating the mess in the httpd.conf by meaningfully dividing it in multiple configuration files, so you have a good place to put your specific settings making an automated upgrade to the newer apache version easy. So do not listen to the author, never edit your httpd.conf. ;-)

The author describes in detail topics, that are not relevant anymore in the web application development (assumed that you are creating an application, that goes besides "hello world"). Delivering dynamic content (chapter 6) used to be server-side includes and cgi but it is NOT anymore because of poor programming model and poor performance.

Typical scenario nowadays is to use apache as a front end web server, letting apache serve the static content like pictures and providing a wrapper or proxy to a high performance application server (for example mongrel if you using rails) or using mod_python for python or using zope etc. In this context I would wish elaborative description on mod_rewrite, that is pretty complicated.

My conclusion: if you are beginner, search for a better introductory book. If you are advanced developer/admin/hacker, then use primary resources like [....]
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I own and have read numerous Apache books over the last seven years. I believe this publication to be the best reference book for the workplace.

O'Reilly books are definitely well written; however, I find myself ALWAYS going to this book first, even though it was published in 2004. The Apache Directives, topics, and examples covered are timeless. It puts side-by-side code base 1.3 and 2.0, with strength of focus on the 2.0 code base. If you use the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) online documentation along with this book, then you will be able to perform in the workplace. Nearly everything covered in this book is relevant today and even translates to the 2.2 code base.

I can't wait for the next revision to cover the 2.2 code base in depth. Unfortunately, publications can't keep up with ASF releases and the new and re-factored modules. It takes about two years for a solid book to be put into circulation after ASF makes a major release available.

Well done Peter!
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