The world's most popular Web server, Apache, will soon ship in a version for Windows 95 and NT 4.0. And you can't beat the price, because it's free, but it also includes the source code so that developers can modify the program as they see fit. Apache 1.3, which will also ship for a variety of UNIX variants as usual, is the first version of the software to be ported to the so-called Win32 platforms, Windows 95 and NT.
According to Web survey, use of Apache is more than double its nearest competitor, Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). To move to the Windows market, Apache's developers had to clean up the horrible UNIX installation process, which has been replaced with installation wizards and utilities. To get Apache running on NT so quickly, its developers took advantage of NT's little-used POSIX compliance layer, rather than make native calls to Win32 APIs. This will result in a Web server on NT that doesn't match the performance of its UNIX brethren. Apache developer Brian Behlendorf admitted that performance isn't as good as it could be, but using POSIX allowed the port to proceed quickly.
"Without the POSIX layer, we would have been doing major rewriting," said Behlendorf. He said performance tuning of the NT version will be ongoing. Developers are also working on the next-generation Apache, version 2.0, which will be completely rewritten to take advantage of a new multitasking model.
For more information, please visit the Apache HTTP Server Project