What began as a patchy fork of the NCSA web server fifteen years ago has grown into not only the technology that underpins a major fraction of the web but an incredibly successful open source project.
Happy birthday, indeed, Apache.
If you are curious about the project’s history to date, the post at the ASF blog has some excellent details include a brief round down of milestones and accomplishments and the principles the project developed to achieve its incredible success.
There certainly have been a lot of competitive, open source developments recently in the web server space. Most of them are pretty application stack specific, built to better serve the needs of developers in a specific language like Ruby or Python. I still turn to Apache first since it is such a time tested and proven tool, a sort of swiss army knife for standing up all kinds of web applications. I think that is the highest testament to the project’s success.