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Testing regime during httpd development/release

Hi all, I wonder how httpd devs go about testing their code before it's
committed -- is there a workflow that everybody's advised to follow, to
try and smoke out potential breakages early? I regularly see people
voting on this mailing list to make successive httpd releases, but it's
not clear to me what goes into the QA for release engineering.

I've been hacking some ideas locally into the Apache httpd source code
as part of a research project, and I usually test my changes by running
Apache Bench or other traffic generators on it. But I'm not sure how
well this compares with what Apache committers/testers do.

While looking around the Internet I came across this, which seems most
I'm not sure how up-to-date it is (e.g., the SPECWeb99 tests it
references have long since been retired).
Are the programs linked from that page the state-of-the-art for httpd

I also came across various other disparate advice on load testing of web
servers. Are there any systems that httpd devs find especially useful?

And finally, does httpd testing tend to be done on one or two machines
(by firing a traffic generator at httpd), or are there any cluster-based
testing systems that you've found to be useful for more
rigorous/expansive testing? (e.g., firing traffic from various machines
into an httpd instance.)0

I'm happy to compile your answers into documentation if you wish, perhaps
as a refresh of