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Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C: The Apache API and mod_perl Paperback – Apr 11 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 750 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (April 11 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156592567X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565925670
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,183,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C will allow you to enhance your Apache HTTP server in just about any way you'd like. Overall, it is an excellent book, and it has a lot of good information and terrific examples on everything from "Content Handlers" to customizing the Apache server configuration process.

It's quickly apparent that Lincoln Stein and Doug MacEachern spent valuable time writing this book considering the breadth of their subject and the depth they devote to it. The only downside to the book is that it's kind of hard to explain all of the API functionality without assuming a minimum level of competence from the audience. For that reason, this book might be a bit intimidating to novice programmers, but it really rewards you if you put time into it and tinker with things.

The book also works well as a source of ideas and inspiration for when you have to write your own server modules, and I'd recommend it if you want to customize your Apache server or speed up your Perl CGI programs. --Doug Beaver

From the Publisher

This guide to web programming shows how to extend the capabilities of the Apache web server. It explains the design of Apache, mod_perl, and the Apache API, then demonstrates how to use them to rewrite CGI scripts, filter HTML documents on the server-side, enhance server log functionality, convert file formats on the fly, and more.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
_Writing Apache Modules_ (WAM) is a high quality work, even amongst other O'Reilly books. Few/no typos and articulate writing, very usable index and good content organization, accurate and complete information, top notch Perl code. Yes, only about 5% of the code are in C, but the C API reference is there. I write Perl and C modules and I can use this book for both (though for specific C techniques, you'll probably be better off by reading the Apache developers and apache-modules mailing lists).
I haven't actually read the other mod_perl and developer-oriented Apache books out there but in my opinion this book is still indispensable if you plan to write Apache modules, either in Perl, C, or other languages. Especially if you write for mod_perl, this book is a great complement to the mod_perl guide. Stas' guide focuses on deployment and tuning issues (memory usage, speed, etc) while WAM focuses on the Apache API and how Apache can help you do the job by writing modules.
Personally, _Writing Apache Modules_ is still the most useful reference book to date. It's one that spends the largest amount of time on my desk.
And, oh yes, Amazon gives a good deal on this one ... .
Can't wait for the Apache 2 counterpart.
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Format: Paperback
A good tutorial starts out with something basic and gradually builds on it. This book starts out with three chapters of pure reference material. Granted some of this is a half-assed description of setting up Apache and compiling in mod_perl. I found the docs that come with the Apache and mod_perl source code to be far more useful (and accurate). Then you get this long list of Perl API classes, request object functions, Perl handlers, etc. All of which is wonderfully useful information ... presented at the wrong time ... we have yet to begin writing a useful module.
When we do begin the writing of a module, it isn't a basic, stand-alone module, but a module to add footers to other content. So, the text digresses into a long and technical discussion of the various ways to configure Apache and associate MIME types so that this module will work with documents that we might or might not have on hand (It's just assumed that you have these laying around handy). During this discussion, we get bounced off of other Apache::xyz modules that apparently popped into the author's head in a moment of "As long as we're at it, why don't we throw this in too" inspiration. Wonderful information ... presented at the wrong time.
To give an example: A logical place to start learning Oracle SQL (or any other SQL) would be with the SELECT statement. However, the authors of this book would begin with a detailed discussion of PL/SQL exception handling, a listing of most of the built-in PL/SQL exceptions, and a listing of a number of the built-in Oracle packages. (Recall we were just starting with SQL. But what the heck! PL/SQL is cool, so why not talk about it now? We're going to use it eventually anyway.
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Format: Paperback
I once read that you could not consider yourself a Unix Wizard until you had hand written a SendMail configure script once, and that no sane person ever did it twice.
The first part of that truism can perhaps be said of Web Wizards and Apache modules. Fortunately Apache modules are a little easier to write than Sendmail configurations and this book makes it easier still.
Let's not mince words. Perl scripts and other CGI software can quickly become performance bottlenecks on any server, no matter the size of your hardware. The most powerful way of fixing this is to fold a fair amount of that programming inside the server where the overhead of loading interpreters, libraries and code is already taken care of, not to mention you find yourself with much more power and control over the dialogue between server and browser.
Unfortunately writing to an API as large and complex as that in Apache is not always easy. MacEachern and Stein go to a great deal of trouble and exert a fair degree of skill in breaking the learning down into manageable chunks and explaining it all with a large number of examples.
This was the first book I read that really made me understand the process going on, both between the two pieces of software and inside Apache, when a page is requested. From there the book goes on to give you a marvellous understanding of how to write a module in Perl that fits into that process. Finally the last three chapters are excellent API reference guides, one on the Perl API and two on the C API, and an excellent index (which indexes every function in the API's as well as key concepts) make this a superb tool when you get down to writing.
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Format: Paperback
It¹s succinct and enlightening.
It reduces days of surfing PODS (perl docs), man-pages (unix docs), and online Apache online references into a nice little kitty. But it¹s not a simple typographical candying/laser-printing of your online docs--the author gives thorough treatment to important GOALS one would want to achieve with the Apache and Apache+Perl facilities--the facilities are elegant, but the sample code and explanations are definitely clear too.
Even the reference section (Chapter 9-11) to Apache library are infested with snippets that improve code comprehension. I felt comfortable tackling the logic of third party Apache modules (in c) and Perl+Apache modules (in perl) after my first run through the book.
The authors made sure you¹ll feel equally comfortable in c when tackling the Apache API, I¹m really happy about this, because some sites require programming in c to maximize server availability when the number of concurrent clients are too high for normal perl or java solutions, and other situations. Since the authors worked with the core server as well as Apache API closely in the effort to bring Perl and Apache together, I can see their enthusiasm in their explanation of c side of the API--which is what they use when improving the GNU mod_perl project--this helps to make this reference far far from being another dry treatment of a programming interface.
While advanced CGI writers can learn all they need about Apache modules, I found it really soft and patient with newbies too.
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