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Flurry of Server Software Updates

While we normally resist the temptation to publish the year-end retrospectives that appear to be in vogue around this time of year, it would be negligent not to note that 2005 brought some very significant software advancements. If you haven’t checked them out already, perhaps you should.

The release with the most buzz has to be Ruby on Rails 1.0.0. This web application framework appeared on the scene last year and has exploded in popularity this year. A stable initial release allows developers to focus on their applications and not a moving API target.

Web server contender LightTPD has reached version 1.4.8, which allows easy FastCGI-based serving of multiple rails apps via one virtual host.

Version 8.1.1 of PostgreSQL, an open source and enterprise-grade database, provides long-awaited “two-phase commit” functionality and improved SMP performance on multi-CPU hardware.

The venerable Apache web server has also seen a major upgrade with the release of version 2.2.0. New features include smart filtering, improved caching, proxy load balancing, graceful shutdown support, and refactored authentication/authorization.

DarwinPorts, a handy tool for installing the above components, recently reached version 1.2.0, bringing with it a number of behind-the-scenes enhancements. A detailed DarwinPorts tutorial will be published here in early January, so keep an eye out for it.

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