ncsa httpd 1.0a2 BinAlias option (Kevin Altis)
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Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1993 12:25:29 -0800
From: (Kevin Altis)
Subject: ncsa httpd 1.0a2 BinAlias option
NCSA httpd 1.0a2 has the ability to execute commands on the server. I think
that is great. The way this works is that an URL of the form
"http://domain/htbin/date" would run the date command (script) and return
the results. Version 1.0a2 of the server allows the administrator to set a
BinAlias, so you could do:
BinAlias "/command" instead of "/htbin", then
would be the form of access.

Item for discussion
Since I believe most WWW servers will eventually have the capability to
execute commands I believe we need to have a "standard" that users can
expect to use, rather than having /htbin, /command, /exec, /bin, /script,
/run, etc. as the various aliases administrators decide to use. I also
think sites will often want to have commands that can be run locally, that
won't be available to outside sites, this is especially important for
commercial and government organizations.

I envision several solutions. One, we come up with a standard name that all
servers will support (if possible) and that users can expect to use. The
name should be short like some of the examples I used above. Two, servers
allow one or more alternative variations with access controls so that you
might have:
for a site that allows local domain access to the phf command, but not to
those outside the domain.

A bolder approach might be to have an actual URL defined for running
arbitrary commands, so you would have:

Kevin Altis
Intel Corporation
Supercomputer Systems Division