Apache is the most popular web server on the Internet because it is free, reliable, and extensible. The availability of the source code and the modular design of Apache makes it possible to extend web server functionality through the Apache API.For the most part, however, the Apache API has only been available to C programmers, and requires rebuilding the Apache server from source. mod_perl, the popular Apache module used primarily for enhanced CGI performance, changed all that by making the Apache API available to Perl programmers. With mod_perl, it becomes simple to develop Apache modules with Perl and install them without having to rebuild the web server.Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C shows how to extend web server capabilities regardless of whether the programming language is Perl or C. The book explains the design of Apache, mod_perl, and the Apache API. It then demonstrates how to use them to perform for tasks like the following:
- Rewriting CGI scripts as Apache modules to vastly improve performance
- Server-side filtering of HTML documents, to embed special markup or code (much like SSI)
- Enhancing server log functionality
- Converting file formats on the fly
- Implementing dynamic navigation bars
- Incorporating database access into CGI scripts
- Customizing access control and authorization to block robots or to use an external database for passwords
The authors are Lincoln Stein and Doug MacEachern. Lincoln is the successful author of How to Set Up and Maintain a World Wide web Site
and the developer of the widely used Perl CGI.pm module. Doug is a consultant and the creator of the innovative mod_perl Apache module.
Doug MacEachern has been addicted to Perl and web servers since early 1994 when he was introduced to Plexus as a student employee at the University of Arizona. Soon after returning to his home town of Boston, Massachusetts, and entering the "real world," he discovered the Apache web server, and since early 1996, he has been gluing Perl into all its nooks and crannies. His day job has consisted of integrating various other technologies with the Web, including DCE, Kerberos, and GSSAPI, but Perl has been the only one he cannot let go of. Doug has continued as a developer disguised as a consultant since the start of 1998, spending most of his time between Auckland, New Zealand, and San Francisco, California, with time at home in Boston during the warmer months. Doug likes to spend his time away from software--far, far away, sailing on the ocean, diving below it, or simply looking at it from a warm, sandy beach where technology doesn't go much beyond thatched huts and blenders.Lincoln Stein is an assistant investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he develops databases and user interfaces for the Human Genome Project using the Apache server and its module API. He is the author of several books about programming for the Web, including The Official Guide to CGI.pm, How to Set Up and Maintain a Web Site, and Web Security: A Step-by-Step Reference Guide.