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Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C by Lincoln Stein, Doug MacEachern

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1.4. Ideas and Success Stories

To give you an impression of the power and versatility of the Apache API, here are some examples of what people have done with it. Some of the modules described here have been incorporated into Apache and are now part of the standard distribution. Others are third-party modules that have been developed to solve particular mission-critical tasks.

A movie database

The Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/) uses mod_perl to make queries against a vast database of film and television movies. The system rewrites URLs on the fly in order to present pages in the language of the user's choice and to quickly retrieve the results of previously cached searches. In 1998, the site won the coveted Webby award for design and service.

No more URL spelling errors

URLs are hard things to type, and many HTML links are broken because of a single typo in a long URL. The most frequent errors are problems with capitalization, since many HTML authors grew up in a case-insensitive MS-DOS/Windows world before entering the case-sensitive web.

mod_speling [sic ], part of the standard Apache distribution, is a C-language module that catches and fixes typographical errors on the fly. If no immediate match to a requested URL is found, it checks for capitalization variations and a variety of character insertions, omissions, substitutions, and transpositions, trying to find a matching valid document on the site. If one is found, it generates a redirect request, transparently ...

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