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From Rich Bowen <rbo...@rcbowen.com>
Subject Re: Introduction, looking for NCSA httpd history (fwd)
Date Fri, 31 May 2002 16:49:29 GMT
For the archives ...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 21:26:37 -0700
From: Rob McCool <robm@robm.com>
To: Rich Bowen <rbowen@rcbowen.com>
Cc: Randy Terbush <randy@terbush.org>, Thomas Eibner <thomas@stderr.net>
Subject: Re: Introduction, looking for NCSA httpd history

> Thanks for your quick response. We're still a little unprepared, as we
> are still reading through the email archives (8 years of email takes a
> while to get through!) but we do have a few questions if you are willing
> to humor us.
> By the way, "we" is myself and Thomas Eibner.
> We'd like to know ...
> How did you first get involved in the NCSA HTTPd project, and who else
> worked on that with you?

It was largely me, Eric Bina did some work on group annotations, and I took
some ideas/code/etc. from a number of people across the Web. If I tried to
name them I'd probably forget a lot of people.

I first got involved because Marc wanted to have a small, simple server
that people could use with Mosaic. He felt the CERN server was too large and
complex, and that something small and easy to understand would facilitate
more widespread adoption.

> What event(s) resulted in that project's demise, which was the catalyst
> for Apache? What event(s) resulted in the project's revival, and then
> its later re-demise?

I left and went to Netscape. It was a conflict of interest to continue
working on NCSA httpd, and so it languished after I released 1.3. There was
a maintainer, but there wasn't much forward progress and I was never sure
why. The guy who was doing the maintenance was Carlos Varela, maybe he can
tell you more about what happened. The catalyst for Apache was this lack of
effort in maintaining NCSA httpd; people had stuff they needed done and it
wasn't getting done.

NCSA later decided that they would revive the project, and so two new
releases were created (1.4, 1.5). I wasn't around when the revival became
a redemise, so I don't know what happened. The person to ask would be Brandon
Long; he was the primary push behind the revival.

There's a list of people who were largely involved in the revival here:

> We're trying to track down when the name "Apache" first came into use,
> and what the real reasons were for that. The earliest email archives we
> have talk about a decision, but post-date the actual discussion itself.
> Any memories you may have of that would be helpful.

I wasn't involved in the discussion, so I'm not sure I can help you. The best
I was able to come up with is this:


> Do you have a release history of NCSA HTTPd, what changes were in the
> various versions? Any email archives from the development?

Best place to look for early release history is here:


and in the README files in various packages here:


Email archives from the development would probably best be found in old
archives of www-talk, search for my name if you want to try and find threads
relevant to httpd.

> Do you have the source for any/all of the released versions of NCSA
> HTTPd? Of most interest would be the version against which the original
> Apache patches were to be applied. But any versions would be
> appreciated.

Look in the "old" subdirectory of the second ftp://ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu... link
there. It has a bunch of stuff. I believe Apache was based on version 1.3,
that was the last one I worked with. NCSA's 1.4 was developed in parallel
with the Apache code; there's discussion on the new-httpd list about the
duplication of effort.

> Thomas may have some other questions, but those are the ones that are of
> most interest to me right now.
> Thanks again for your quick response and your willingness to help in
> this project.

Sure. Hope it helps.

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