Apache was originally based on code and ideas found in the most popular HTTP server of the time.. NCSA httpd 1.3 (early 1995). It has since evolved into a far superior system which can rival (and probably surpass) almost any other UNIX based HTTP server in terms of functionality, efficiency and speed.
Since it began, it has been completely rewritten, and includes many new features. Apache is, as of November 1996, the most popular WWW server on the Internet, according to the Netcraft Survey.
We, of course, owe a great debt to NCSA and their programmers for making the server Apache was based on. We now, however, have our own server, and our project is mostly our own. The Apache Project is an entirely independent venture.
to address concerns of a group of www providers and part time httpd programmers, that httpd didn't behave as they wanted it to. Apache is an entirely volunteer effort, completely funded by its members, not by commercial sales.
A cute name which stuck. Apache is "A PAtCHy server". It was based on some existing code and a series of "patch files".
Apache attempts to offer all the features and configuration options of NCSA httpd 1.3, as well as many of the additional features found in NCSA httpd 1.4 and NCSA httpd 1.5.
NCSA httpd appears to be moving toward adding experimental features which are not generally required at the moment. Some of the experiments will succeed while others will inevitably be dropped. The Apache philosophy is to add what's needed as and when it is needed.
Friendly interaction between Apache and NCSA developers should ensure that fundamental feature enhancments stay consistent between the two servers for the foreseeable future.
For an independent assessment, see http://webcompare.iworld.com/compare/chart.html
Apache has been shown to be substantially faster than many other free servers. Although certain commercial servers have claimed to surpass Apache's speed (it has not been demonstrated that any of these "benchmarks" are a good way of measuring WWW server speed at any rate), we feel that it is better to have a mostly-fast free server than an extremely-fast server that costs thousands of dollars. Apache is run on sites that get millions of hits per day, and they have experienced no performance difficulties.
Apache is run on over 200,000 Internet servers (as of November 1996). It has been tested thoroughly by both developers and users. The Apache Group maintains rigorous standards before releasing new versions of their server, and our server runs without a hitch on over one third of all WWW servers. When bugs do show up, we release patches and new versions, as soon as they are available.
See http://www.apache.org/info/apache_users.html for an incomplete list of sites running Apache.
Apache version 1.1 and above comes with a proxy module. If compiled in, this will make Apache act as a caching-proxy server
There is no official support for Apache. None of the developers want to be swamped by a flood of trivial questions that can be resolved elsewhere. Bug reports and suggestions should be sent via the bug report page. Other questions should be directed to comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix, where some of the Apache team lurk, in the company of many other httpd gurus who should be able to help.
Commercial support for Apache is, however, available from a number third parties.
Indeed there is. See http://www.apache.org/.
You can find the source for Apache at http://www.apache.org/.