You could use ACL. To set up ACL for Ubuntu 10.10, first mount the file systems with the acl option in /etc/fstab.
sudo vim /etc/fstab
UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx / ext4 defaults,acl 0 1
sudo mount -o remount,acl /
Then make a group to which a user may belong for this purpose.
sudo groupadd developers
sudo usermod -a -G developers $username
The user needs to log out and in again to become a member of the developers group.
Of course, do not do this if you have content in the /var/www directory that you want,
but just to illustrate setting it up to start:
sudo rm -rf /var/www
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/public
sudo chown -R root.developers /var/www/public
sudo chmod 0775 /var/www/public
sudo chmod g+s /var/www/public
sudo setfacl -d -m u::rwx,g::rwx,o::r-x /var/www/public
Then replace references to "/var/www" with "/var/www/public" in a config file and reload.
sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload
If we wanted to restrict delete and rename from all but the user who created the file:
sudo chmod +t /var/www/public
This way, if we want to create directories for frameworks that exist outside the
Apache document root or maybe create server-writable directories, it's still easy.
Apache-writable logs directory:
sudo mkdir /var/www/logs
sudo chgrp www-data /var/www/logs
sudo chmod 0770 /var/www/logs
Apache-readable library directory:
sudo mkdir /var/www/lib
sudo chgrp www-data /var/www/lib
sudo chmod 0750 /var/www/lib