I've use to use a combination of suPHP with suExec in order to try to protect the users and limiting the PHP/Perl from running out of their allowed space (i.e.: user/tmp folders).
Its been a while since I last done such configuration I could say a few years, until today I was not in need of it and since then, some new modules came in.
I would like to know what are the modules currently available for this task that are worth using or my setup is still valid and worth using ?
I've also noticed that some companies setup their ftp server so it won't show files that start with a dot is there any specific reason they would want that ? I mean in many cases users would like to be able to download/edit/reupload their .htaccess file while it is possible to upload the said file, you would not be able to download it in this specific case.
PS: I do understand that CHMOD play a big hole on all this but like wise forcing Apache to run as the user in question is also needed.