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The Apache/Perl integration project brings together the full power of
the Perl programming language and the Apache HTTP server. This is
achieved by linking the Perl runtime library into the server and
providing an object oriented Perl interface to the server's C language
API.
These pieces are seamlessly glued together by the `mod_perl' server
plugin, making it is possible to write Apache modules entirely in
Perl. In addition, the persistent interpreter embedded in the server
avoids the overhead of starting an external interpreter program and
the additional Perl start-up (compile) time.
Without question, the most popular Apache/Perl module is
Apache::Registry module. This module emulates the CGI environment,
allowing programmers to write scripts that run under CGI or
mod_perl without change. Existing CGI scripts may require some
changes, simply because a CGI script has a very short lifetime of one
HTTP request, allowing you to get away with "quick and dirty"
scripting. Using mod_perl and Apache::Registry requires you to be
more careful, but it also gives new meaning to the work "quick"!
Apache::Registry maintains a cache of compiled scripts, which happens
the first time a script is accessed by a child server or once again if
the file is updated on disk.
Although it may be all you need, a speedy CGI replacement is only a
small part of this project. Callback hooks are in place for each stage
of a request. Apache-Perl modules may step in during the handler,
header parser, uri translate, authentication, authorization, access,
type check, fixup, logger and cleanup stages of a request.
Apache/Perl modules include:
Apache::Registry - Run unaltered CGI scripts
Apache::Status - Embedded interpreter runtime status
Apache::Embperl - Embed Perl code in HTML documents
Apache::SSI - Implement server-side includes in Perl
Apache::DBI - Maintain persistent DBI connections
Apache::DCELogin - Obtain a DCE Login context
Apache::AuthenDBI - Authenticate via Perl DBI/DBD::*
Apache::AuthzAge - Authorize based on age
Apache::AccessLimitNum - Limit user access by number of requests
Apache::Constants - Constants defined in httpd.h
Apache::MsqlProxy - Translate URI's into mSQL database queries
There's plenty more Apache/Perl software you might be interested in.
The Apache/Perl module list keeps track of modules inside and outside
the distribution, along with idea placeholders.
It is also possible to use Perl to configure your server (in
*.conf files) with <Perl> sections. This eases often complicated and
cumbersome configuration of vitrual host and various resources. Since
any Perl code can be used in these sections, configuration info could
be pulled in from an RDBMS with DBI or your favorite database package.
While the output of mod_perl scripts can be included with Server Side
Includes just as CGI scripts can, mod_perl's integration with
mod_include gives an extra speed boost and allows Perl code to be
directly inside SSI files.
For comments, questions, bug-reports, announcements, etc., join the
Apache/Perl mailing list by sending mail to
modperl@apache.org with the string "subscribe modperl" in
the body.
There is an Epigone archive for this list available from:
http://forum.swarthmore.edu/epigone/modperl
The mod_perl FAQ is available from:
http://www.ping.de/~fdc/mod_perl/
For more general information see the Apache/Perl homepage:
http://perl.apache.org/
or
http://apache.perl.org/
Enjoy,
-Doug MacEachern (dougm@perl.apache.org)
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