Apache: The Early Years

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-01-04 Print this article Print


Apache: The Early Years

Jagielski's stint with Apache dates back to 1995 when he began working with the Apache Web server. He later joined the original group of eight developers who were maintaining the server, the original Apache Group. Jagielski said his initial interest in working with the group was to ensure that the Apache server ran well on Apple's old Unix-based A/UX operating system, which he was using-both at his job at NASA and his side Web hosting business known as JaguNET-and editing an FAQ for.

"By 1999, we were growing so fast and the Web server was so successful that we knew we needed to make a legal foundation" to handle the oversight of the technology.

For his part, Jagielski said his interest in open-source software and contributing to the community burgeoned during his days at NASA in the late '80s and early '90s.

"If you're a real, circuit-driven EE [electrical engineer], open source appeals to you," he said. "I thought it was very cool to have this code you could look at. And, also, you had an opportunity to make trivial or even major improvements to the code. Having the ability to do stuff constructively and get immediate feedback was very important to me."

Hot Apache Projects

Although projects such as the Apache Web Server, Tomcat and Hadoop are a few of the foundation's most popular projects, many others stand out to Jagielski, including the Apache Commons project, Lucene, ApacheDS and CXF, an open-source services framework, he said, noting that there are far too many interesting Apache projects to list.

As far as the future for the organization, Jagielski said that is up to the community. And, though some Apache projects target the cloud and Web 2.0 technologies, "The ASF has never said we need to do something with the cloud or Web 2.0," Jagielski said. "The community defines the direction; we just lay the foundation to get you in that direction."

Yet, while citing the benefits of OSS, Jagielski also addresses the potential issue of bloat when it comes to open-source software. Asked if he believes Linux is becoming bloated, Jagielski replied: "I think any software project, open source or not, runs the risk of being bloated because of its success-because engineers always want to add new features. The big thing is how do you allow the 'feature creep' to enter into your project without bloating it? It's hard to find a balance between what's needed and what's not. The bigger the project becomes, the more difficult it is to maintain code quality. One of Linux's claims to fame is you don't need heavy-duty hardware to run it. And if that stops being the case-either in reality or perception-that could have a negative impact." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel