Mod_Virgule Update

I’ve posted another release of my mod_virgule fork this week. Grab the source or take a look at the changelog. This one includes the new and improved configuration handling code. Instead of loading and parsing the entire website configuration on each and every hit, it’s now loaded once per Apache process and stored in thread-private memory that persists across requests. Much more efficient. I also did some more general code cleanup and removed more of the hard coded stuff that makes it hard to use mod_virgule without editing the source code. There are still one or two hard coded things that I need to make configurable. Maybe in the next release. It’s getting close to a completely configurable system that could be compiled, installed, and configured for any site. Anyway, the new code has been running on for a couple of weeks now and appears stable.

West Nile Virus

We received a warning from our neighborhood association yesterday saying that someone in our area had been diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Infected mosquitos have been collected in Irving as well. We seem to have a pretty good crop of dragonflies around our yard this year so hopefully they’ll take care of any mosquitos. They can eat about 600 mosquitos per day each. When I was mowing the yard this past weekend, there were five or six dragonflies following me around like personal bodyguards. If you’re in the Dallas, Texas area, the Dallas Environmental Health Services Department offers an interactive online map showing the status of animal tests, human cases, and mosquito collection in the area.

Mod_Virgule Update

I’ve been working on mod_virgule code again. I finally addressed one of the long-standing mod_virgule ToDo items. One of the many inefficiencies of mod_virgule was that it had to load and parse the site configuration XML file on each and every hit. Now that we’re compiling against Apache 2, we can use the newer APR memory management code. So I’ve modified the code to use the thread-private memory pool for configuration storage. Now each Apache process loads config.xml one time at start up. I still stat the config file on each hit to see if a reload is needed. The new code is running live on and I’ll release a new rev of the source soon if it all holds up okay for the next few days.

I posted something about this on the mod_virgule development mailing list but I think the list is dead. I haven’t received anything from the list since last December. The list webpage seems to be gone as well. Is anyone out there still interested in mod_virgule development? Let me know and I’ll start a new mailing list if there’s any interest.

How to annoy RedHat’s Legal Department

Interesting Trademark news today. I’ve been trying out CentOS 4.1 on one of our production servers as a possible replacement for Red Hat Linux. CentOS is a compiled from Red Hat Enterprise source RPMs, patched to remove any Red Hat logos. I ran into some problems with CentOS related to selinux and posted an email to the selinux mailing asking about it. Someone from Red Hat answered my question and helped me out. In my email I said, “I’m running a CentOS 4.1 (Red Hat EL) box with an Apache…” Today, I got this email from Red Hat regarding my post on the selinux mailing list:

From: Trademark Enforcement,

Dear Mr. Rainwater:
Red Hat appreciates your interest in supporting and providing open
source technology. We recently became aware of your email below in
which you state that CentOS 4.1=Red Hat. Of course this is not true
since CentOS does not provide the stability, security and manageability
that Red Hat provides, CentOS is not equal to Red Hat. Red Hat would
appreciate in the future that you please refrain from equating CentOS to
Red Hat.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and your support in open
source technology.

Red Hat, Inc.

It then quoted the body of my post to the selinux mailing list. Weird. I guess I need to be careful to say CentOS 4.1 is compiled from the same source as Red Hat Enterprise Linux instead of saying it’s “the same as” Red Hat Enterprise linux. I’m curious if there are any real legal implications to this? Can I get into legal trouble for saying “kleenex” instead of “facial tissue” in an email when refering to a brand that doesn’t use the Kleenex trademark? Isn’t this the same thing? I’m even more curious about the really weird sentence structure used in the third sentence of their email. Somehow I think they meant that to be two sentences.

Apparently, the CentOS folks heard from Red Hat’s legal department earlier this year.