Apache Rewrites History: Why is it Named Apache?

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Apache lying thru their teeth, rewrites history. The name Apache was due to a-patchy-server. This is said in their faq back in 1997. But now, they claim it's due to respect American Indians.

Here's the FAQ from their website, in 1997. [http://web.archive.org/web/19970106233141/http://www.apache.org/docs/misc/FAQ.html#name ]. Quote:

Apache name Screenshot 1997-01-06
Apache name screenshot
Apache name Screenshot 2013-03-20
Apache name screenshot

Here's a full text version from 1997:

1. What is Apache?

Apache was originally based on code and ideas found in the most popular HTTP server of the time.. NCSA httpd 1.3 (early 1995). It has since evolved into a far superior system which can rival (and probably surpass) almost any other UNIX based HTTP server in terms of functionality, efficiency and speed.

Since it began, it has been completely rewritten, and includes many new features. Apache is, as of January 1997, the most popular WWW server on the Internet, according to the Netcraft Survey.

2. Why was Apache created?

To address the concerns of a group of WWW providers and part-time httpd programmers that httpd didn't behave as they wanted it to behave. Apache is an entirely volunteer effort, completely funded by its members, not by commercial sales.

3. How does The Apache Group's work relate to other server efforts, such as NCSA's?

We, of course, owe a great debt to NCSA and their programmers for making the server Apache was based on. We now, however, have our own server, and our project is mostly our own. The Apache Project is an entirely independent venture.

4. Why the name “Apache”?

A cute name which stuck. Apache is “A PAtCHy server”. It was based on some existing code and a series of “patch files”.

but now, the FAQ at [http://wiki.apache.org/httpd/FAQ#Why_the_name_.22Apache.22.3F ] reads like this:

Here's a full text version, 2013:

Why the name “Apache”?

The name ‘Apache’ was chosen from respect for the Native American Indian tribe of Apache (Indé), well-known for their superior skills in warfare strategy and their inexhaustible endurance. For more information on the Apache Nation, we suggest searching Google, or AllTheWeb.

similarly, PHP was Personal Home Page. For several years during 2000s, this fact was not mentioned, but certain “recursive acronym” of “PHP Hypertext Preprocessor”.

As of 2022-02-04, still the same.

Apache FAQ name 2022-02-04
Apache FAQ, on Name 2022-02-04 [2022-02-04 https://apache.org/foundation/faq.html#name]

Apache Fight with American Indians Over Domain Name

addendum: the article hit Hacker News. [https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5536134 ]. From it, i learned this, quote:

If you didn't know, long ago in the 90's there was a kerfuffle between the Apache Nation (Native Americans) and the Apache software project over the ownership of the “apache.org” domain name. Needless to say, the project won and retained the domain.

If the software project actually had any respect for the Native American Apache tribe, then they would have given the domain name to the tribe/nation.

—[jcr][ https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=jcr ] , 2013-04-11