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Apache Cookbook

Apache Cookbook is yet another one of those books that I bought over a decade, and never completed reading it, in it’s entirely. As I continue to finally read my old tech books so I can clear out my book shelve, this is a somewhat outdated book by today’s standards. This book covers Apache versions 1.3, 1.4, 2.0, and 2.2; and the some differences between them.

I’d say about 60% of the content is still valid. Though you have to take this with a grain of salt. I say this is because of the nature of how this book is structured. Like other O’reilly “Cookbook” series, Apache Cookbook breaks down each topic with a question or problem, it then will describe you how to solve that particular problem. All questions/problems are still ones that you might encountered if you’re administrating an Apache web server in 2018, however some of the answers (recipes) that this book opts for, may be deprecated and replaced with something else. The perfect example is the chapter regarding dynamic content, of which most of the examples were using old CGI configurations and techniques. This book definitely shines showing you the entire process on how to troubleshoot problems with Apache.

The book assumes you have basic knowledge of Apache and Server and Client concepts. If you’re completely new to server administration, you may find this book a bit to advance. Thus said, reading this book you’ll learn basic concepts like Apache name based and IP based virtual hosting, logging, rewriting urls, security, SSL, proxy configuration, and Apache performance concepts and techniques.

Rating:3/5
Apache Cookbook

Chapter 1: Installation
Chapter 2: Adding Common Modules
Chapter 3: Logging
Chapter 4: Virtual Hosts
Chapter 5: Aliases, Redirecting, and Rewriting
Chapter 6: Security
Chapter 7: SSL
Chapter 8: Dynamic Content
Chapter 9: Error Handling
Chapter 10: Proxies
Chapter 11: Performance
Chapter 12: Directory Listings
Chapter 13: Miscellaneous Topics

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Apache Essentials: Install, Configure, Maintain

Apache Essentials was basically my first and only reference (aside from the official Apache documentation), that I used to learn Apache. Given how importantly this book was for me and how it affected my career, I realized that I never wrote a review for it; and I only just noticed this because I was about to throw the book away. Aside from my college technical books, this is probably one of oldest and first technical books that I ever purchased. I purchased this book in March 2007, so all of the content is for Apache 1.3.x which completely deprecated now. However looking at this book now, I’d say about 80% of the content is still valid. Some of the deprecated content is stuff regarding old configurations, as well as content regarding server side-includes and mod_php.

This book aimed to cover the major portions an Apache administrator needs to know like, mod_rewrite, mod_access, virtual hosting, SSL, and as well as additional information regarding some core loadable modules.

Apache is an extremely complex application, so this book is by no means whatsoever the only reference you need to be a good web administrator, but definitely a good reference to start.

Rating: 3/5
Apache Essentials: Install, Configure, Maintain

Chapter 1: Introduction to Apache
Chapter 2: Installing Apache
Chapter 3: Basic Directives
Chapter 4: Virtual Hosts
Chapter 5: Modules
Chapter 6: Scripting Languages and Server Side Includes
Chapter 7: Secure Web (Secure Sockets Layer)
Chapter 8: Log Files
Chapter 9: Sample Apache Configurations

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The Definitive Guide to Apache mod_rewrite

I'm sure we've all at some point in time, had Google'd for a particular mod_rewrite rule to solve some particular URL rewrite problem that we wanted to fix or implement. The book Definitive Guide to Apache mod_rewrite aims to help us understand what each line in an mod_rewrite conditional rule set means. Unlike other technical books, what makes this book unique is that it has a strong focus on when NOT to use mod_rewrite. The chapters are well structure, the content builds upon each chapter you finish reading. Much of the information provided by this book can be found on the official mod_rewrite documentation, however this book goes beyond the documentation providing easy to understand examples following up each topic.

One important thing to keep in mind prior to reading this book. Although this book has a chapter dedicated to regular expressions, in order to effectively use mod_rewrite, it is extremely important that you fully understand how regular expressions work. Thus said, this short comprehensive book is practically all you need to become a mod_rewrite ninja. I've been working with mod_rewrite for quite some time now, and even I learned new tricks thanks to this book.

Chapter 1: An Introduction to mod_rewrite
Chapter 2: Regular Expressions
Chapter 3: Installing and Configuring mod_rewrite
Chapter 4: The RewriteRule Directive
Chapter 5: The RewriteCond Directive
Chapter 6: The RewriteMap Directive
Chapter 7: Basic Rewrites
Chapter 8: Conditional Rewrites
Chapter 9: Access Control
Chapter 10: Virtual Hosts
Chapter 11: Proxying
Chapter 12: Debugging

The only downside to this book is it's price. Apress seriously needs to lower the prices of their books, $41.99 for an E-Book is utterly ridiculous, especially since their competitors offer identical books for half their price.

Rating: 4/5
The Definitive Guide to Apache mod_rewrite

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