Sunday, March 30, 2008

bye apache, hello lighty

One of the things that I'd wanted to clean up was jettisoning Apache as my web server. In 2003, it was the cat's pajamas and the only real choice if you were interested hosting virtual sites. In 2008, it's an awesome and truly flexible piece of software that is way overkill for what I need: virtual name based hosting is no longer a big deal, and some of the web frameworks I'm looking at fit the CGI script model better than "runs as an embedded module server" model.

All I really need is a basic traffic cop to point people to the right resources for what they're looking for. Apache can do this, but it's kind of like using a hammer to swat a fly. :)

And that's where lighttpd comes.

It's basically a lightweight web server that can't do everything Apache can, but it's got most of the good stuff. URL rewrites and redirects, ssl support, authentication modules, etc. The config file reads more like a perl script than an laundry list of XMLish options, and it just seems easier to Get Stuff Done with it.

Right now, I've got it setup with two simple rules... if you ask for a url that ends with "" and starts with "/blog", you get punted over to this site. Everything else takes you to a temporary "we're br0kened" page via rewrite regardless of the sitename you used.

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