You are looking at the documentation for the 1.3 version of the Apache HTTP Server, which is no longer maintained, and has been declared "end of life". If you are in fact still using the 1.3 version, please consider upgrading. The current version of the server is 2.4.
HTTP/1.1draft, allows persistent connections. These long-lived HTTP sessions allow multiple requests to be send over the same TCP connection, and in some cases have been shown to result in an almost 50% speedup in latency times for HTML documents with lots of images.
Note: Apache 1.2 uses a different syntax for the KeepAlive directive.
This directive enables Keep-Alive support. Set
max-requests to the maximum number of requests you
want Apache to entertain per connection. A limit is imposed to
prevent a client from hogging your server resources. Set this
0 to disable support.
The number of seconds Apache will wait for a subsequent
request before closing the connection. Once a request has been
received, the timeout value specified by the
However, Keep-Alive support only is active with files where the length is known beforehand. This means that most CGI scripts, server-side included files and directory listings will not use the Keep-Alive protocol. While this should be completely transparent to the end user, it is something the web-master may want to keep in mind.