Forum OpenACS Development: Getting back to Apache...

43: Getting back to Apache... (response to 1)
Posted by Michael Feldstein on
It occurs to me that if I were Talli I'd be irritated right now. (Sorry, Talli.) He started by raising the issue of Apache and the thread got hijacked, partly by me. To make amends, I add the following suggestions toward supporting the "apache-or-bust" marketing challenge at relatively low cost (FWIW):

  • Create an "Apache compatibility" project area that consolidates current information about working with Apache. Announce that this project area has been created in the news on the home page.
  • As the first document in the project area, create a short piece that describes current methods for Apache interoperability (mod_proxy or whatever) and summarize additional methods under consideration or underway. Pay close attention to the language that you use to describe the current state. Make it positive but honest. Can you say that you currently have "interoperability" with Apache? Can you say that OACS can "run as a service" to Apache? Find positive statements that are true and will encourage interested parties to drill down into the meat of how this is true.
  • If anyone in the community is using Apache and AOLServer together, even in very basic ways, list them in the project area. Actively solicit current and future use cases.
  • When somebody asks, "Can .LRN work with Apache," answer "yes." Again, come up with an honest but short answer that gives a positive presentation of the true state of affairs. Don't get into the nitty-gritty details until they ask.
  • Search for genuine, non-marketing and non-prejudice-driven use cases in which your current level of Apache interoperability support is not adequate. Are there things that Apache does but AOLServer doesn't? Is the current level of interoperability support adequate from a technical standpoint but inadequate for ease of use? Drive further development based on these use cases. And when you have an interested party on the hook such as Talli's entrepreneur, challenge them to show you how their Apache interoperability needs surpass that which is currently available in concrete ways.

To sum up, (a) declare victory loudly and immediately, (b) find a way to provide a positive but honest capsule summary of what you have now with a minimum of technobabble in it, and (c) create a content area on the site that demonstrates the community is serious about listening to the needs of potential users who have a strong commitment to Apache.

Note that none of this requires writing a single additional line of Apache compatibility code at this time. Anything else you do, whether it's FastCGI or Portable.nsd or whatever, can and should be added as developer resources allow; however, the community can and should declare that an Apache interoperability solution is available today.

Just my 2 cents.