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mod_dav: 1.0.3 release, a birthday, and a retrospective

From: Greg Stein <gstein@lyra.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 16:40:35 -0800
To: dav-announce@lyra.org
Cc: dav-dev@lyra.org, w3c-dist-auth@w3.org
Message-ID: <20011105164035.A16585@lyra.org>
Three years ago, today, I released mod_dav 0.9.0 onto an unsuspecting world.
For many, it was "cool technology", but they had no idea what to do with it,
where it was going, or if it would even catch on. This was made very
explicit when peole would ask, "Neat. What can I use with it?" "Nothing," I
replied to their amazement. At that point, mod_dav was the *only* publicly
available WebDAV tool out there. There were early (non-public) betas of
Internet Explorer v5 that spoke an early and incompatible version of WebDAV.
Somebody had to be the first WebDAV tool, and that was mod_dav. It wasn't
until three weeks later that Joe Orton released sitecopy 0.2.9, which
supported uploading web sites via WebDAV.

Three years have passed, and wow... what a different WebDAV world we live in
today. There are literally *dozens* of clients and servers and associated
tools. Numerous articles, presentations, and papers have been written about
WebDAV. It has taken hold... even to the point of peole *asking* for WebDAV
capabilities at their work, their school, or from their ISPs.

And mod_dav? By the latest Apache module report from E-Soft[1], mod_dav is
the 8th most popular Apache module in use today. Nearly 2% of the public
sites surveyed have mod_dav installed and configured to advertise itself. I
am also amazed at the fact that those are the *public* sites. Using DAV on
internal sites or only available on the internal side of a public site would
be much more prevalent. So what is the reach/penetration there? I can only
assume it would be much higher.

mod_dav has seen even larger success by the simple virtue of it being an
Open Source project. IBM uses mod_dav in their IBM HTTP Server and WebSphere
products. Oracle uses a customized mod_dav to support a WebDAV front end to
a content management system. Rational uses a customized mod_dav to provide
WebDAV capabilities for their ClearCase repository. Apple bundles mod_dav in
MacOS X Server, to provide file services to other (Mac) clients (and they
are leaning towards using WebDAV to *replace* Apple File Sharing). And those
are just the ones that I know about (mod_dav's license doesn't require
companies to notify or cooperate with me to put mod_dav into their
products). Schools, government labs, small and large companies, and
non-profits have all used mod_dav for web site publishing and simple
document management.

Technologically, mod_dav has been used in many cases as a "reference"
platform for testing WebDAV clients, and by *other* server developers who
want to "see how mod_dav handles that situation." Of course, this is also
greatly due to its zero purchase cost, but also simply because it is a full
function implementation of RFC 2518 built upon the best HTTP reference
platform of all: the Apache HTTP Server.

I never gave it much attention because I knew Open Source was an unbeatable
strategy, but people are going to ask about it... Three years ago, in the
"Halloween documents" [2], Microsoft talked about using the WebDAV protocol
as a barrier to Open Source developers. Mere days after the Halloween
Document came out, mod_dav 0.9.0 was released. Since then, I think we have
laid to rest the community's concern about the comments in those documents
-- it goes without saying that the Open Source community is rich with WebDAV
features: mod_dav, sitecopy, Neon, cadaver, Zope, Goliath, Nautilus, and
PerlDAV just to name a few.

mod_dav has stood the test of time, and I would like to thank all of the
contributors to its development. Keith Wannamaker, John Vasta, and Joe Orton
all deserve particular credit for their direct involvement with mod_dav's
success.

So with that... I'd like to announce the birthday release of mod_dav:

    mod_dav-1.0.3-1.3.6 has been released.

    The distribution and related information is available at:
        http://www.webdav.org/mod_dav/

    This is primarily a bug fix release and some minor changes to improve
    interoperability. mod_dav is very stable code (the last release was over
    a year ago). See the change log at the bottom of the mod_dav page for
    more details.

    As always, upgrading is recommended to improve interoperability. There
    are no security issues which would require an upgrade.

    Please report problems, ask questions, or send patches to the mod_dav
    users and developers mailing list at: dav-dev@lyra.org


Best wishes to all in the WebDAV community, and let's see where the next
three years takes us!

Cheers,
-g


[1] http://www.securityspace.com/s_survey/data/man.200110/apachemods.html
[2] http://www.opensource.org/halloween/

-- 
Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/
Received on Monday, 5 November 2001 19:34:00 GMT

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