The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Apache Server Unleashed':
Reviewer amazon.com wrote:
Rich Bowen and Ken Coar's Apache Server Unleashed follows in the SAMS's Unleashed tradition of phonebook-size how-to paperbacks that aspire to be folksy
and encyclopedic in one fell swoop. Like the others, the case for the Apache server is presumed, comparisons to competing servers are omitted, and the focus
moves from detail to detail along a trajectory fit for a first-time implementation of a typical Apache Web server.
Bowen and Coar use ample annotations throughout the text to maximize random accessibility. Notes, tips, warnings, and ubiquitous section headings create a
fragmented style that encourages browsing at the expense of narrative. Often, the body text itself consists of only one sentence per section heading. The 12-page
table of contents features four levels of taxonomic details that include protocol and syntax on the lowest level. Apache maintainers who find themselves in
emergency situations will determine quickly whether the Apache Unleashed has a solution.
Apache's strength is its modularization, and Bowen and Coar organize the advanced sections to give introductions to Perl, Java, PHP, Python, and many other
module types. The value is more for the parallel presentation of all modules than for detailed workings of each, although special emphasis is placed on PHP, a new
and potentially powerful dynamic Web-page-generating language with an SQL interface. In a lapse that typically befalls books with a broad agenda, the discussion
makes the PHP installation seem transparent, but it isn't. Help from other sources is essential.
In principle, the authors introduce the Apache Web server for both Unix and Windows environments. In practice, they allocate a mere 15 pages (2 percent overall)
to Windows-specific installation and management issues. Windows specifics are absent from the advanced modules.
The CD-ROM contains the essentials and a few frivolities in its 56 MB: the C source tar-ball for 1.3.9 (in April 2000, 1.3.12 is the latest stable release, with a 2.0
alpha release available) and Windows executables, an Apache HTML user guide, an impressively detailed survey of robot types and properties, and source .html
and .php files for the examples from the PHP chapter.
Apache Unleashed is a blitz into the thick of the ever-evolving Web server jungle. The book's rewards are familiarity with questions and tools, but students who
venture off the path of established Web service will find the going exciting, treacherous, and lonely, even with Apache Unleashed.
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