Writing this book was very fulfilling, because I actually ended up spending almost as much time working on the documentation as on the book itself, so, while I'm very pleased with the way that the book turned out, I'm even more pleased with the progress that we made on the documentation during that same time.
If you could start working on the book all over again, would you make any major changes?
This one is really easy to answer, because I sort of have started working on the book all over again. I'm using the book as the text book in the course that I'm teaching, and as I have gone along, I've made a few short notes about what I would like to be a little different, and I hand out these notes as an addendum to the text.
These few short notes are about 180 pages now.
So, what would I do differently? Well, these fall into two main categories. Apache 2.0 and examples.
Apache 2.0 seemed, while I was writing the book, to be a long way off. This is partially because I was not paying enough attention to the progress that was being made, and partially because it was in fact a long way off, and released before it was, in the opinion of many people, quite ready for that honor. In my notes for revision of the book, I've added a lot of Apache 2.0 stuff in nearly every chapter.
Second, regarding examples, it needs more of them. I learn by examples, as do many of the people that I teach. A book without examples is very frustrating to me, as a reader, and yet I have produced one, as an author. I think that what is there is very good, but it could be greatly reinforced by examples, and be even better.
One of my big goals last year was to ensure that every section of the Apache 2.0 documentation contained at least one example, and I'm pretty sure that I accomplished that goal. In the coming year, I have the same goal for my book.
By the way, the work that I'm doing on this book is, at least at the moment, not under contract with a publisher, so don't hold your breath for the arrival of the book. I'm not sure when it will actually happen.
In your opinion, where does Apache need the most development at the moment?
For this, I'd have to defer to the opinion of the actual Apache developers. While I consider documentation to be absolutely crucial to any software project, it is the code developers that really make the magic happen.
In the cvs repository, you'll find a file called STATUS. This lists all of the things that people feel are most important to be worked on, as well as bugs and other things that people are actively working on. I'd recommdend looking there.
If I could vote for a personal favorite, I'd really like to see the Perchild MPM working, on Apache 2.0
What advice do you have for people that are considering exchanging IIS for Apache?
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