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Apache mulls end to 1.3 and 2.0 web server releases

Lack of developer interest

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The Apache Software Foundation may formally end development of the long-in-tooth 1.3 and 2.0 branches of its Apache HTTP Server to focus support on the 2.2.xx branch.

Apache is the most popular HTTP server software in use on the web, with numerous machines still running branches 1.3 and 2.0. However, developer interest for the older branches has dwindled, with the last releases of the two dating back in 2008.

No formal announcement has been made, but in a message to the Apache web server developer mailing list, ASF member Colm MacCárthaigh recommended putting the 1.3.x branch to bed after a final release. The post was first spotted by TechWorld. MacCárthaigh suggested the swan song edition include a formal announcement it's the final release and that future security fixes and maintenance will be available as patches.

Subscribers to the list agreed to an end-of-life of 1.3.x, saying it would make it easier to provide end-user support to the product and promote upgrades to 2.2.x. It was also proposed and generally agreed to release a statement about how much longer 2.0.x will be supported by the foundation.

ASF member Rich Bowen wrote that he hopes a formal end-of-life statement will encourage users of the 1.3.x branch to "move into the new century." Others expressed frustration about the number of users still deploying servers for the first time with 1.3.x.

Apache claims its HTTP Server project has been the most popular web server on the internet since April 1996. ®

Bootnote

The Apache Software Foundation said Tuesday that Facebook has become a "gold" sponsor by sending an annual heap of cash to help vitalize the open-source ecosystem.

In a statement, Apache Software Foundation chairman Jim Jagelski said the money will go towards helping it "grow existing projects, incubate new initiatives, promote community development, host user events, expand our outreach, and provide the infrastructure that keeps the Foundation running on a day-to-day-basis."

According to Apache's website, a gold sponsorship requires an ASF donation of at least $40,000 per year. A "platinum" sponsor tag will run you $100,000 annually.

Facebook joins Hewlett-Packard as gold sponsors of the ASF. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are all dropping platinum cash on the community.

Meanwhile, on the Facebook developer blog, the social network's top open programs manager, David Recordon wrote about the importance of open source projects to the website.

"From the day Mark Zuckerberg started building Facebook in his Harvard dorm room in 2004, the site has been built on common open source software such as Linux, Apache, memcached, MySQL, and PHP. In that time, we've open sourced more than 20 different technologies, and scaled Facebook to reach over 350 million people around the world."

Recordon said Facebook is excited to support the ASF with funding, source, code, and developers — and promised there's "plenty more to come." ®

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