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Ask Apache Software Chairman Greg Stein 117

Posted by Roblimo
from the many-feathers-in-his-cap dept.
Here's a man who obviously has his finger on the pulse of open source software development. I mean, who hasn't heard of Apache? His work history is interesting, too: He's moved from Microsoft to CollabNet to Google. And he's not shy about speaking his mind about open source, as shown in this ZDNet blog entry. Please try to confine yourself to one question per post. (If you have more than one question, post more than once.) We'll send 10 of the highest-moderated questions to Greg tomorrow and run his answers when we get them back.
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Ask Apache Software Chairman Greg Stein

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  • untethered computing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:22PM (#15011157) Journal
    Greg,
    What are your thoughts on Apache's direction in regards to the new roaming AJAX desktops [slashdot.org] we keep hearing about -- what are some of the limitations you foresee in the overall untethered computing experience?

    Kind Regards,
    Scotty
  • Why... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:24PM (#15011171)
    Why do you find it neccesary to help companies like CentOS hack rural town websites?
  • Why Java? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:27PM (#15011191)
    Why does everything the Apache foundation release these days have to be Java based?

    I use http but thats about it. I have looked at the other Apache software but always been offputting to have to set up Java with all the classpaths etc.

    Whats wrong with C or C++? Its portable and easy to install and run.

    This isnt a troll, although it might look like one....
    • Re:Why Java? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by booch (4157) <slashdot2010&craigbuchek,com> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:37PM (#15011719) Homepage
      Another question we might ask is -- why has the Apache Foundation diversified so much? There are a lot of Apache projects out there now, many of which a lot of us are completely unfamiliar with. And some don't even have anything to do with the web. (SpamAssassin comes to mind. It's a great package, but seems to have no relation to Apache HTTPD.) What are the pros and cons of this diversity? Might it cause a lack of focus on the core HTTPD?
      • Re:Why Java? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by p2sam (139950)
        I don't speak for The Apache Software Foundation, but they are not simply managing the Apache HTTPD anymore. They have become more like a sourceforge like thing, except they are very selective about which projects to take on, and whose projects out of incubation are of exception quality.
    • It isn't all java. Look at this list: http://projects.apache.org/indexes/languagecategor y.html/ [apache.org]
    • My thumbs up to that statement. Add in why installation of Tomcat/JK is so unnecessarily complicated over core apache, and plays so poorly with other modules.

      -M
  • Apache 1.x vs. 2.x (Score:5, Informative)

    by filesiteguy (695431) <kai@perfectreign.com> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:28PM (#15011200) Homepage
    I'd like to know what the continuing direction is going to be for support on 1.x - which is being used by the majority of webservers I see - and 2.x - which is what is being distributed in most recent operating system packages, such as Linux. Are you planning on supporting 1.x forever or ending support at some point and forging on with 2.x?
  • Open Source (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rehtonAesoohC (954490)
    Greg,

    Do you believe that open source projects should always remain in the public domain- ie. that no open source projects should turn commercial?
    • Do you believe that open source projects should always remain in the public domain- ie. that no open source projects should turn commercial?

      Most open source projects are NOT public domain since they retain the copyright of the authors.

    • Few open source products are public domain, most are copyrighted. Also, there is no distinction between Commercial and Public Domain, something can be both (or open source and commercial, think Red Hat). Proprietary would be a better word. A very bad question. Slashdot, please edit this if you submit this.
  • Business Sense? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RingDev (879105) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:30PM (#15011215) Homepage Journal
    From TFB: "I predict that in 5-10 years most of the software you use will be free."

    Does he also predict that in 5-10 years most software development position will be gone or significantly value reduced the also?

    The obvious answer is no, the market will find a balance between free and non-free business models to support further development. Some one has to pay the developers to put bread on the table. Someone has to pay the advertisers to get the word out about the project. Someone has to pay the management to keep the project on task and schedule.

    -Rick
    • by RingDev (879105) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:33PM (#15011235) Homepage Journal
      Given your opinion that "in 5-10 years most of the software you use will be free." How do you see the future of software development business plans? Will every software development company depend on the profits of their support department for funding?

      -Rick
    • Does he also predict that in 5-10 years most software development position will be gone or significantly value reduced the also?

      It appears he is predicting that mainstream, commercial software development will be significantly reduced with open-source alternatives taking their place.

      He seems to feel that "communities" will drive software and that professionals will most likely make their revenue from installing, supporting and configuring said software or combinations thereof.

      One issue I have with
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why aren't more people using version 2 apache?
    • 2.2 - wait for it (Score:4, Informative)

      by PhYrE2k2 (806396) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @03:22PM (#15012515)
      Wait for 2.2 (currently 2.1) to go stable.
      The lingering daemon functionality that was provided externally in 1.3 is back and in core 2.2.

      This will be a huge boost for large providers to serve more connections and provide good reason.

      At present, I recommend 2.x just because it's closer to 2.2 (and hence involves less configuration and setup quirks later on)- They're about equal now with the prefork.

      I'd say that people expected a huge benefit, but didn't quite get it right away. In a Web server, it just needs to work, and both worked- so why upgrade for slightly slower performance and no additional features. What people failed to realize is that changing this framework around provides long-term growth and renews the project to increase its extensibility such as module ordering in the long term.
      As that long term comes now, you'll see a lot more move to that as the gains keep showing up, now that the framework is stable.
      -M
  • Free & Open software is great on the most part, but developers need to pay bills too. If all software was free and open, who'd want to learn to make it?
    • ...for the money, anyway? We do it because we like it, because we are of an inquisitive character who likes to learn and figure out how stuff (maths, physics, electronics, computers, ...) works.

      Everyone should just get a real job! *ducks* (I tend to say that about all things I like doing, since I consider it more fun than work and gladly do it for free.)
    • Free & Open software is great on the most part, but developers need to pay bills too. If all software was free and open, who'd want to learn to make it?

      What is with all these uninformed business plan questions? Most major open source projects are funded by users. Developers get paid to work on them by people who want to use them and want some given feature. It is not as though open source coders are working for free all the time. Some are as a hobby, but for the most part it is just not the case. Now

    • All those people who want to work in a corporate IT department where the vast majority of software development is done. In any case do you think the people who work on OSS stuff at Redhat, SUSE, IBM, Sun etc etc don't get paid?
  • by Soko (17987) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:35PM (#15011249) Homepage
    The Apache license allows for non or commercial distribution of Apache or a direct derivetive (with attribution), but I don't see any other products or projcts based on the Apache codebase (I know there are some) that are nearly as popular as Apache itself. Can you answer why this is?

    Soko
    • The Apache license allows for non or commercial distribution of Apache or a direct derivetive (with attribution), but I don't see any other products or projcts based on the Apache codebase (I know there are some) that are nearly as popular as Apache itself. Can you answer why this is?

      Which license do you mean? The newest one that made OpenBSD fork httpd? Now why does that remind me of XFree86 and Xorg?

  • My question (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:35PM (#15011251)
    Can you slip a few "accidental" holes into 1.x so there's an excuse to bump the version number all the way to 1.3.37? Please?
    • Unfortunately, that would be impossible unless it was a vendor import in CVS. When you have an odd number of dots (periods) in a version number, it denotes a branch, and branch numbers are always even numbered. 1.3.37 would be a branch number, and would have to have been a vendor import.

      Even version 1.3.3.7 would still have to be a vendor import, because that would be branch 1.3.3.
      • what the hell are you talking about? the versions are completely arbitrary in regards to the repository. at most there is some kinda tag like R_1_3_37 (i don't really know how apache tags their shit) but there is no correlation between the release version and the repo numbering.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:35PM (#15011255) Journal
    Greg,
    After reading your homepage and following many of the links, it's obvious that you are a pretty solid game enthusiast -- from your work on MUDs, playing MTG in your younger years, to enjoyment of TES:Oblivion. Do you think that open-source software has a significant role to play in mass-market gaming? Do you think that opening the code of games would enhance game devlopment?
  • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:36PM (#15011258) Homepage
    Apache Chief.

    In which case I'd ask him two things. First, if he has any juicy gossip about the other Superfriends. And second, if he could have other powers instead of the one he's got, would he want them, and if so, what would they be?

  • Critics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @12:37PM (#15011268)
    How do you respond to critics who allege that Apache has gotten bigger and more bloated in recent releases, particularly the 2.x series?
  • Apache Live CD? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fishyfool (854019)
    will there ever be an Apache live cd distro?
    what i'd like to see is a live bootable cd for a server that the first time you boot from it with a clean storage drive, it asks for setup preferences and writes those to the hard drive or flash drive.
      on subsequent boots it reads those preferences from the hard drive and sets itself up automaticly.

    • check out lamppix dude. Seriously, its already far surpasses what your asking about. available here
    • That would be convenient, if Apache was an OS. Either you can't tell the difference between the two, or you're laboring under the ignorance that everyone uses Linux.
    • what i'd like to see is a live bootable cd for a server that the first time you boot from it with a clean storage drive, it asks for setup preferences and writes those to the hard drive or flash drive.

      Check out SLAX Server Edition: slax.linux-live.org/download.php [linux-live.org]

      Documentation: saving configurations [linux-live.org] and webconfig [linux-live.org]

      Features: slax features [linux-live.org]

      Note: I am not affiliated with Tomas Matejicek, but his work on this LiveCD is awesome, and I use SLAX for diagnostics, to check out hardware for compatibility with Linux

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Greg,

    Have you ever looked in the mirror in the morning? Seriously dude, you look like a roadie for Ratt. I think I saw you behind a guitar center once drink a beer on top of a Camaro? Seriously, what gives with the hair, clothes, etc? Someone needs to open source some style and ftp it to you pronto I guess. Take care of yourself.
  • Dorkblade (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hey, Greg... why did you choose the dorky online handle, "deathblade"? ;-)
  • I mean, who hasn't heard of Apache?

    I suspect this guy probably hasn't [slashdot.org].

    • Yeah, just imagine he'd seen a bunch of dangerous looking Mohawks or something. He might think it was some sort of hack attack..... [ducks]
      [exit stage left]
  • Time Management? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I am currious how you balance work and familly life. I find it difficult to keep up with all the Apache projects because they grow at such a fast rate. Do you try to keep up on all the Apache projects? How much time do you spend learning vs working on projects? Do you tend to work on weekends and holidays? What do you do with your spare time and do you have enough of it?
  • Howe does it feel to (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scenestar (828656) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:06PM (#15011481) Homepage Journal
    Corner micorsoft with a larger marketshare and a superior product.
  • by fitz (2205)
    So we all know that you have an affinity for Manhattans, but what's your favorite scotch? Favorite as in "stuck on a desert island with one bottle of scotch".
  • What's in a name? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Do you think it's appropriate to use/borrow the name of a people for a large visible public project/undertaking without asking their permission first? Have you ever asked a representative of the Apache people what they think about the fact that their name is used for your project?
    • See the bottom of the main http://apache.org/ [apache.org] page, links right to the Inde website.
    • I find that link to indigenous people'a literature to be completely uninformative. Still questions remain:

      I personally don't find using the name of ethnic group is appropriate for any company, organization, or product. At least we've been spared cartoonish stereotypes. I echo the OP:

      "Do you think it's appropriate to use/borrow the name of a people for a large visible public project/undertaking without asking their permission first? Have you ever asked a representative of the Apache people what they think ab
  • African or European?
  • by booch (4157) <slashdot2010&craigbuchek,com> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:30PM (#15011678) Homepage
    What do you think of the newer smaller competitors? Particularly LightTPD [lighttpd.net]. Would it be worthwhile for Apache to work to "slim down"? While Apache is seen by many as a slimmer alternative to more monolithic servers like IIS, it seems that it may be vulnerable to the even smaller alternatives. And this new round of competitors is nearly as featureful and extendable as Apache. What can Apache do to stay current and competitive?
  • Greg,

    Your xbox blog is legendary (http://xboxgamer.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]). I know you still have a gaming PC for MMORPGs; why aren't they all running on the xbox Live network? What's it going to take before we give up gaming PCs for consoles? It seems like MMORPGs are the last holdout, but I can't figure out why they're holding out.
  • by Leknor (224175) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:36PM (#15011715)
    Apache seems to have a policy against programmers having their name in a comment for the code they contribute to. For much of the open source world, the code is a major medium that programmers express ideas like a canvas is the medium a painter expresses themselves or the pages of book is for a writer. Admittedly programming is more of an engineering skill than it is an artistic skill but well written code still takes an artistic eye. Discouraging a programmer from identifying their contributions is in effect discouraging them from taking the utmost pride in their craft. Why does Apache remove incentives for people to do their best work?
    • Discouraging a programmer from identifying their contributions is in effect discouraging them from taking the utmost pride in their craft. Why does Apache remove incentives for people to do their best work?

      Your source of pride should be the solid piece of code you've freely contributed to the community, not your name attachment to it. The latter feeling is vanity, not pride.
      • There are a lot of "shoulds" in this world. We should end hunger and poverty, should stop global warming, should brush your teeth after every meal, etc. The problem with that is "shoulds" don't always reflect reality. The reality is people do better work when they take pride in what they do and encouraging people to take pride in their work is something we all should do.

        vanity [google.com] is excessive pride. Putting your name on your work is not excessive. By your logic anyone who creates anything and takes credit f

    • I don't know of any good painting where the artist's signature is part of the beauty of the art form.

      I don't think your analogy makes any sense. The only reason to put your name in a comment is if you know you're not doing a complete job and somebody may need to contact you for guidance later. Perhaps someone more experienced than me sees it another way?

      Geez. Now I feel like I ought to AC, since me being all smart I want my name to go with my comment to show off how much sense I make. Maybe I'm jus

  • Management (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StressedEd (308123) <`ku.ca.lairepmi' `ta' `ecarg.je'> on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @01:44PM (#15011796) Homepage
    Dear Greg,

    We often read about managment problems with large software projects. The Apache web server is a large, well maintained and stable platform. This obviously didn't happen by accident but as a result of the team all knowing what they were supposed to do.

    With this in mind, what are your personal top ten management do's and dont's with regard to large software projects?

    Regards,

    -ed

  • Any relation to Ben? Can we win your money?
  • ...you or Brian?
  • by Logic (4864)
    Greg,

    When's the last time you had a good idle? I bogleg at the thought of how far you've come since those days.

    (Sorry, only Greg and a few others will have any clue what I'm talking about. 2001 called, and it wants it's "whips out his Python" jokes back, along with 46 "bog" and five Deathblade emotes, by the way.)
  • Greg, I am intrigued to know your reaction to Zeus.com's claims ( http://www.zeus.com/products/zws/features [zeus.com]) that there are more websites running Zeus Web Server than Apache. Not sure where they got their numbers, but Netcraft (http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_surv ey.html [netcraft.com]) definitely does not agree...
    • That URL does not in anyway state such a claim. Zeus webserver is a very specialist piece of software, which runs rings around Apache performance wise. Please tell us where you think Zeus makes /any/ claims to power more websites than Apache?

      You're clearly confused.

       
      • Go to the line in the feature comparison chart that says, "Number of web sites". This line states that Zeus has "1 million +" web sites, while Apache has approximately 6,000.

        The Netcraft web server survey on the other hand shows Apache at 50,502,840 servers and Zeus at 56,1524. I am much more likely to believe Netcrafts figures than Zeus' biased sales propaganda.
  • Segmented Servers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhYrE2k2 (806396) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @03:27PM (#15012543)
    Has any thought been put into doing what FastCGI has done, only within Apache and its modules rather than between Apache and some other program? This could reduce the core server size, allow threading and other fun where it wasn't before, and use resources more efficiently, passing proper apache structures to a module server that could pass that same structure to PHP/Perl/TK/etc and back again?

    -M
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hi Greg,

    After a while in load balance hell and writing ugly perl code to replicate sites dynamically I wonder if we will ever see
    such a thing as a "distributed scalable web server"? Apache seems a very self contained, dare I say "brittle" monolith. Do you see scalability as a weakness and if not what is in the pipeline to handle sites that get a few hundred hits a month and then get suddenly get Slashdotted for a 24 hour period?
  • by Alpha_Traveller (685367) * on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @04:03PM (#15012849) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that there are more newbies to Linux every day. With Apache 2 being such an important Web services platform, it appears very powerful but not all that easy for a person new to Apache to set up. Why kind of efforts do you plan to undertake to improve the set-up process for Windows and Linux flavors?
  • Any relation to Ben or Franken Stein?
  • Right now it isn't easy to quickly deploy Jetspeed 2 into Tomcat, unless you go for the pre-installed one. I'd love to see a PostgreSQL/insert-other-sql/OpenLDAP backed configuration system and a WAR file so that JS2 could be deployed easier. It really does look like a killer product.

    It could make a compelling replacement for systems like Campus Pipeline.
  • Can you briefly (like 100 words or less, without technobabble) say why the Apache project has been such a quiet success and would you please do that, if you can? And if that doesn't seem possible, could you briefly say why?

    I'm looking for a couple of things: first, you are an expert in FOSS and your opinion about whether managing communications was more significant than managing bugs, etc, would be of great personal interest. But I'm also hoping for something pithy that can be used at a college Board of D

  • Hi Greg,
    How do you think Apache will stand up to Microsoft's Vista Server?
  • Bedtime (Score:2, Funny)

    Being the chairman of such an important and successful project such as apache, how much money do you sleep on at night with how many beautiful women?
  • The Apache license itself has some interesting software patent provisions, but the apache.org web site doesn't seem to have much in the way of an official position or policy statement on software patents. Can you talk about Apache's attitude (if any) toward software patents, and maybe business method patents as well? Do any current patents interfere with the Foundation's work?

    Yo,
    -Karl
  • 2.2 Win32 Binaries (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why, four months after the release of 2.2, are there still no Windows binaries posted on Apache.org?

    It seems like a much longer delay than in the past.

    Is it because the code is being updated to compile under VC8? (a huge undertaking by the look of it) Is it because of the relatively buggy new version of InstallShield?

    Is it related to the status of third party modules?

    I managed to compile 2.2 with ssl on VC6 with a little effort, been running it on our site for over 3 months now, it seems just fine. I compil
  • What are your thoughts on the best Scotches out there? Are you still a Glenfiddich fan, or have you discovered anything that is a better compliment to open source software development?
  • Jerry Taylor, the now famous city manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma, clearly http://centos.hughesjr.com/testing/noindex_new.htm l [hughesjr.com]
  • by lenmaster (598077)
    Greg, How's your brother, Ben, doing and whatever happened to his game show?
  • Google uses tons of open source software, yet they also routinely file patent applications and own many patents. While Red Hat also owns patents, they have also pledged to never use them against any open source software. Will Google ever do the same?
  • Greg; Bro! would a car based mesh network device (non internet dependent) run the same version of Apache as a normal webserver or not? what changes would have to be configured and is this a major project? my friends want to network with each other, not the internet, for a variety of reasons when we cruise and run 12VDC mode. i am just looking for a server to find and mesh WIFI-like with all the other car based dudes when we drive. that way, we would have a system that is free of the ISP world and make it w

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