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manuellemos.netDespite Apache is the most popular HTTP server on the Web with more than the double of the share of its closest competitor (MS IIS), it has not been easy to get technical support to setup and run this well-known server. This is where Peter Wainright's Professional Apache book, published by Wrox, comes in very handy.
As the book mentions, if you need quick technical help for Apache you have to rely on the good will of the online community that you may reach through the Usenet newsgroups comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix and comp.infosystems.www.servers.ms-windows, but Usenet is not as widespread worldwide as we wished it to be. There is an unofficial mailing list reachable at http://www.egroups.com/group/apache-server/info.html but it was only started in February 2000.
Apache official documentation is very synthetic and often not helpful enough because it does not go into enough detail to help users solve many of the problems. Most of Apache documentation is a reference of directives of the server and its built-in modules.
Professional Apache book is everything Apache documentation should have been. With a language that is easy to understand even for non-expert readers, the book details all the important aspects of Apache usage that would take a long while to detail everything they cover here.
Just to mention the most important aspects, it covers installation aspects (either for Unix or Windows), configuration all sorts of aspects of the server and the built-in modules, performance tuning aspects, server logging aspects, user authentication, security aspects including a whole section on setting Apache to work with SSL and some important extension modules.
The chapter on extension modules is the one that probably matters most for PHP users. It covers only modules to interface with Perl, PHP and Java. The section on the PHP module covers building, installing and configuring Apache and PHP 3 and PHP 4 to run under the different available modes either under Unix and Windows. It also comes with two small subsections on troubleshooting common Apache PHP related problems and security issues.
Overall Professional Apache is a very valuable book that may save many hours trying to solve building, installation and configuration issues of Apache. If you were looking for a good Apache book that covers of its most important aspects, this is it.
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