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From "J.Lance Wilkinson" <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Clarification on Apache timouts
Date Fri, 09 Dec 2011 18:27:56 GMT
Sheryl wrote:
> Greetings,
> I have a situation in which a PHP script is getting hung on a socket call
> and never exiting.  Also never getting to the point of sending back any
> output to the client in the form of HTML.
> Before you tell me to ask the PHP list though, the language of the script is
> really irrelevant (and I have already posted on a PHP list concerning the
> call that is hanging).
> The point is, my reading of the docs on the various timeouts in apache leads
> me to think that unless there is something on the way to/from the client
> none of the timeouts apply.  I don't see a way to limit the time that
> something is *preparing* to send back a response.

I have had some locally build PHP scripts that run a very long time (doing 
database lookups and so forth) before outputting the desired content.   These 
would time out like that.

Of course, a user would sit around waiting for a result and give up as well. 
So I resolved both of these by putting a progress bar out in the output to 
start with:

	echo "<script language=JavaScript "
		. " src=/images/ProgressBar.js></script>\n";
	echo "<div id=loading_bar></div>\n";
	echo "<script language=JavaScript>\n";
	echo " progressBar = "
		. "new ProgressBar('/images/Wrt_progressbar_empty.png',"
		. " '/images/Wrt_progressbar_full.png', 404, "
		. " 12);\n";
	echo "progressBar.appendTo(document.getElementById('loading_bar'));\n";
	echo "</script>\n";

Then I'd put in the database processing loop output that would advance the 
progress bar:

         $pct = (int)( ( ($idx) * 100 ) / $limit);
         echo "<script language=JavaScript>setPercentage($pct);</script>\n";
         echo "<script language=JavaScript> "
		. " progressBar.setLoadingProgress($pct);</script>\n";

The PHP flush() function is described here:

The ProgressBar.js script I got someplace, don't recall where, and it only has 
as its internal documentation as "author pit" which doesn't help much.  Bottom 
line is the resolution to your PROBLEM might be the PHP flush() function, to 
make your SCRIPT compatible w/ your Apache timeouts, while the way you hide the 
jumpiness this might push into your users' browsers is to actually USE the 
delay to tell the user something they might be interested in, like this 
progress bar or some other one.   The JavaScript itself is only 93 lines 
including commentary, so I'm happy to share that out if anybody wants it.

J.Lance Wilkinson ("Lance")		InterNet:
Systems Design Specialist - Lead	Phone: (814) 865-4870
Digital Library Technologies		FAX:   (814) 863-3560
E3 Paterno Library
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802

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