Re: [Rd] R as shared library

From: Jeffrey Horner <jeff.horner_at_vanderbilt.edu>
Date: Thu 26 Aug 2004 - 08:15:59 EST

Warnes, Gregory R wrote:
> Jeff,
>
> Does apache use threads? If it does, I would recommend *not* directly
> putting R into the apache server for the simple reason that R is not
> thread-safe.

Apache 1.3 doesn't use threads, and Apache 2.0 doesn't have to use threads. Both are still actively maintained by the Apache Foundation. The reason 1.3 is still around is because of its reliability and the fact that it's non-threaded. 2.0 introduced a handful of threaded plugins (called mpm's) for improving performance, but it's use has not caught on like some folks expected. The problem in my opinion? upgrading modules to be thread-safe *and* reliable.

I'm currently developing a version for Apache 2.0 since that's what we run (without threads). I plan on developing the same for 1.3.

> You might find it simpler (and cleaner) to use the RSOAP
> (http://rsoap.sf.net) interface to connect R with apache. I originally
> created RSOAP to get allow me to connect the ZOPE web application system's
> web server to R.

Good point. However, I chose this route to 1) understand R and its internals, which is more complicated than I thought, 2) write an apache module, which I've always wanted to do, and 3) leverage Apache's robust   server technology. In my opinion, no other server software is as scalable and reliable as Apache. Plus, it has a module API to plugin other code, like an R interpreter.

-- 
Jeffrey Horner       Computer Systems Analyst         School of Medicine
615-322-8606         Department of Biostatistics   Vanderbilt University

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Received on Thu Aug 26 08:20:38 2004

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