With the Mactivity conference happening this week, there has been a ton of Web-related activity in the Macintosh world. Here are a few of the early announcements along with some news about security issues in MacHTTP and WebSTAR. Look for more new product announcements next week after we've had a chance to sort through all the press releases, announcements, and gossip for the interesting stuff.
MacHTTP Mandatory Update -- Chuck Shotton <firstname.lastname@example.org>, author of the shareware MacHTTP and its commercial version, WebSTAR, has released what he calls an "important, mandatory update" to correct a potential security problem with MacHTTP 2.2 and earlier versions. In certain rare circumstances, this problem could allow unauthorized access to files on your server. If you're running a previous version of MacHTTP or WebSTAR PS (the version of MacHTTP distributed with the WebMaster Mac book) you should download the complete MacHTTP 2.2 distribution from StarNine's Web site and then update it with the patch application.
WebSTAR Updated -- Along with the update to MacHTTP, StarNine also released WebSTAR 1.3.1, a minor update to the just-released WebSTAR 1.3 (which supports custom plug-ins for increased performance over similar CGIs). It turns out that Chuck Shotton had at one time added a custom URL to MacHTTP to display the copyright information to satisfy lawyers, and he expanded the results of that custom URL to include the basic server statistics that the program reports in its application window. Apparently, Chuck simply didn't get around to removing that custom URL while it was MacHTTP or during the move to WebSTAR, but did so for WebSTAR 1.3.1 when knowledge of the URL became public. Even though the URL didn't affect file security at all, many WebSTAR users didn't want just anyone to be able to view the statistics.
Maxum Ships NetForms 2.0 & Phantom 1.1 -- Maxum Development has shipped a faster and Open Transport-native NetForms 2.0, its popular back-end Web server tool, which enables Mac Webmasters to do sophisticated forms processing on their Web sites. Current NetForms licensees can just drop their key on the demo application. Also, Maxum recently shipped version 1.1 of Phantom, a Mac-based Web robot which builds searchable HTML indexes of Web sites and performs mirroring and updating of sites. Phantom is compatible with robots exclusion standards, and provides keyword, boolean, and phonetic searching among other features. Phantom 1.1 is an upgrade to AKTIV Software's Duppies 1.0 and is free for Duppies licensees; new users can buy Phantom for $295 through 31-Jul-96.
Lumbering in the Pacific Northwest -- Two new applications from Pacific Northwest developers, Open Door Networks in Oregon and ComVista Internet in Washington, should help Webmasters work with logs. Open Door Networks' $249 LogDoor (with a $179 introductory price from the anticipated ship date of 01-Sep-96 to 01-Nov-96 - an evaluation version is available now) provides real-time logs for multiple sites on a single server that uses Open Door Networks' HomeDoor, and it breaks single monolithic log files into smaller, more manageable files. LogDoor can also display its real-time logs via the Web. Although LogDoor 1.0 currently has only a basic feature set, future plans include things like file level logging and real-time graphing. ComVista's free LogRoller fills a more simple need - it works with WebSTAR to create a new log, rename the old one, and move the old one into a user specified folder. No more manual editing of huge log files to make them cover the correct time period! LogRoller can roll over your logs hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly.