I don't have an expressable opinion on the language thing yet. But I'm glad it has been brought up with a fairly sensible analysis, instead of a flamewar. Even so...
Before Havoc's essay: (image)
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!