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What is Apache?

The Apache Software Foundation, or ASF for short, is a US-based nonprofit organization, mostly known for Apache HTTP Server. The organization supports multiple open-source software projects. Apache Software Foundation’s software is distributed under the terms of the Apache License and is free and open-source software. The organization’s projects are managed by a self-selected team. The name, Apache, was chosen to show the team’s respect for the Native American Apache Nation, mostly known for their skills in warfare technology and endurance.

Apache HTTP Server’s development started in 1993. In the beginning, eight developers started working on the NCSA HTTPd daemon. Later on, the group came to be known as the Apache Group. 6 years later, the Apache Software Foundation was officially formed in 1999 and held the first official Apache Software Foundation meeting the same year. First members of the foundation consisted of Brian Behlendorf, Ken Coar, Miguel Gonzales, Mark Cox, Lars Eilebrecht, Ralf S. Engelschall, Roy T. Fielding, Dean Gaudet, Ben Hyde, Jim Jagielski, Alexei Kosut, Martin Kraemer, Ben Laurie, Doug MacEachern, Aram Mirzadeh, Sameer Parekh, Cliff Skolnick, Marc Slemko, William (Bill) Stoddard, Paul Sutton, Randy Terbush and Dirk-Willem van Gulik.

Apache Software Foundation claims to be the world’s largest open-source foundation. The organization has more than 350 projects and initiatives, over 850 individual members, over 8,200 committers, approximately 2 petabytes of source code downloads from its own mirrors. Its most popular project, Apache HTTP Server, also known as Apache, was initially released in 1995. In 2021, it is estimated that Apache was ranked first, serving almost 25% of the million busiest websites.

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