Mod_proxy support


#1

Does DreamHost have mod_proxy support? Basically I’d like to run a Ruby on Rails app with WEBrick, then use Apache as a proxy so I don’t have to include the WEBrick port number in my URLs.

At the moment I’m using mod_rewrite to do the forwarding, which obviously means the port number is displayed. I haven’t had any success with ProxyPass but I don’t know if I’m setting it up wrong or if mod_proxy is just not installed.


#2

Just found the support request to install mod_proxy and voted for it.

Do these votes make a difference? Is there anywhere where I can see what requests have reached the top, are going to be implemented, ETA, etc?


#3

[quote]Do these votes make a difference? Is there anywhere where I can see
what requests have reached the top, are going to be implemented,
ETA, etc?

[/quote]

We don’t display a lot of the specifics, because the primary purpose of the suggestions isn’t to allow customers to dictate release schedules - it’s to allow customers to communicate to us what they would like to see us support. There are a lot of variables and barriers to supporting things, not the least of which are licensing costs (ie. Cold Fusion), time involved in implementation (ie. MySQL v4.1), significant numbers of prerequisites (ie. Ruby on Rails), and simple good taste and professional pride (ie. Access database support).

Also note that we try not to announce release dates until we’re pretty sure on them, as undoubtedly we hear from a lot of people when they aren’t met. We realize it’s not hard to feel a bit antsy about certain features, but we have finite resources and have only so many places we can allocate them at a time.

Rest assured, though, your suggestions are read and will often sway internal discussions about feature addition planning one way or the other. Obviously, implementing features that nobody ever asks for - such as PHP 5 support - isn’t going to do our company a whole lot of good!

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#4

[quote]Obviously, implementing features that nobody ever asks for - such as
PHP 5 support - isn’t going to do our company a whole lot of good!

[/quote]

…and yes, that was a left-over April Fools joke, just to make you guys jump a bit.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#5

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for getting back to me. I guess it’s just frustration in having to wait for things you want. Although it would be nice to priority for your votes. Basically I have a Ruby on Rails site that I want to make production as possible, i.e. DH managed libraries of Ruby/Rails (instead of a local copy), FastCGI supported in Apache and a PostgreSQL database. At the moment I have none of these things.

The simplest switch was going from PostgreSQL to MySQL, but this meant things like no sub-queries (4.1) and no foreign key support (InnoDB), so I had to add some workarounds, and I voted for those features but also voted for PostgreSQL to be installed. If PostgreSQL does get installed I don’t care about the MySQL features, but if it doesn’t they’re very important to me.

Similarly I’m using a local copy of Ruby and Rails and running my site with the bundled WEBrick server. This works great but it means the site is running on a non-80 port, so some people behind corporate firewalls can’t get to it. The obvious workaround is to use mod_proxy and Apache to redirect all my calls so it looks like it’s running on port 80, so I voted for it. But if DH installed Ruby, Rails and FastCGI (also voted for) I would no longer need mod_proxy support.

Basically my votes are in contention with each other. If PostgreSQL is about to be installed but my votes for MySQL features make you guys think, hang on MySQL is more important, put PostgreSQL on hold, I don’t want to vote for them.

But I understand you don’t want to start a rumour mill about what you’re doing and get crapped on when things don’t happen.

Miles


#6

[quote]Basically my votes are in contention with each other. If PostgreSQL is
about to be installed but my votes for MySQL features make you guys
think, hang on MySQL is more important, put PostgreSQL on hold, I
don’t want to vote for them.

[/quote]

What a conundrum! :>

If it’s any help, our support for MySQL v4.1 is much much much more likely to happen in the near-ish term than PostgreSQL support. As in, it’s pretty much a sure thing at this point, and it’s only a matter of fitting it in with all of the other big ticket requests customers have.

PostgreSQL is a very fine database server (I’ve begun writing my scripts to work with both, and recognize that Postgres has some things going for it that even the latest version of MySQL doesn’t), but the fact remains that our customers’ scripts almost all work well with MySQL, and don’t even take advantage of those features. I suppose it’s a chicken and egg type problem, but until there is sufficient demand for PostgreSQL we’re taking a wait and see attitude.

As for Ruby on Rails… It is, indeed, very cool - a technology that even I wish we could support. It’s probably a bit easier for us to offer versus PostgreSQL, but it’s still very new.

I imagine a lot of these oft-requested features will become easier for us to implement once the next stable Debian release comes out, though our admins would know more about the specific hang-ups than I.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#7

Regarding Debian stable – you guys should consider Gentoo as a web server platform. (I’m a big Gentoo dork.)

Ido (Donate!)


#8

Regarding Debian stable – you guys should consider Gentoo as a web server platform

I think the idea is to have something that’s actually stable (in the sense that it doesn’t change much). Debian is a far better choice for a large-scale production environment precisely because it’s basically set in stone.

That said, Debian stable is admittedly ancient. My company is in the progress of upgrading to Sarge as we speak, and some of those package updates are long overdue.


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#9

[quote]That said, Debian stable is admittedly ancient.

[/quote]

True, but it has great support for our 486/SX-based servers.

:>

[quote]My company is in the progress of upgrading to Sarge as we speak, and
some of those package updates are long overdue.

[/quote]

We’re planning on doing this too - yep, in an unspecified timeframe. :>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#10

I’d take mod_proxy support right now. That would allow me to serve pages from port 80, and I imagine it would be the least hassle for you guys.

Given that mod_proxy isn’t anything new or fancy, is there a reason it hasn’t been installed in the past? (It’s support request is only a couple of weeks old).

Miles