Perens pushes open-source domain parking

Irked that a major domain reseller moved to Windows, open-source advocate Bruce Perens calls for more Apache support.

Open-source advocate Bruce Perens has launched an initiative to discourage owners of undeveloped Web domains from hosting them on servers running proprietary software.

Perens wants domain owners and resellers to redirect unused Web domains--which have been registered but not yet developed--to OpenSourceParking.com. Perens said this site will always run on Apache, the popular open-source Web server software.

Perens announced the move after Microsoft's Internet Information Services software saw its share of the Web server market jump by 4.7 percent in April 2006, according to figures from Netcraft, which monitors the Web server market.

IIS' gain apparently came at the expense of Apache, which saw its market share drop by nearly 6 percent. Perens blames this switch on domain registrar GoDaddy.com, which has just migrated 4.5 million parked domains from servers running Apache to those based on IIS.

Writing on OpenSourceParking.com, Perens urged the free and open-source software community to take action.

"Microsoft has been paying the large domain resellers to move their 'parked' sites to IIS on Microsoft Server. Moving the parked customers of a single large reseller, GoDaddy.com, caused a shift of 4.5 million domain names, or 5 percent of total server share, from Apache to Microsoft IIS in the Netcraft report. This is an 'appearance' change only, because the sites involved have no content. But managers believe figures like those in the Netcraft report, and act on them," Perens wrote.

Apache still dominates the Web server market. According to Netcraft's figures for April 2006, Apache has 62 percent of the market, compared to IIS's 25 percent.

Netcraft also argued that Apache doesn't need much help in the domain parking market.

"The Apache Web server has been the primary beneficiary of any 'appearance' benefit from parked domains," wrote Netcraft analyst Rich Miller. "Apache is used by domain registrars Register.com, 1&1 Internet, Dotster and DirectNIC, while GoDaddy and Enom use Windows Server 2003 and Network Solutions runs on the Solaris OS and SunOne server."

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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