We're putting lots of work into caching, how about the server side?

From: Miguel A.L. Paraz <map@dont-contact.us>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 00:24:13 +0000 ()


First of all sorry for the crosspost between squid-users and ircache.
While the topic is IMHO more appropriate for ircache, there hasn't
much action (nor viewers?) there lately.

Since lots of people are now pouring efforts into web cache development,
the quality of the software (like Squid, which with 1.1.0 and above,
is *fantastic*) improves. But there is only so much that can be done
on this end. How would be push server vendors and operators to
at least do the following:

* Produce Expires, or at least, Last-Modified headers?
  This is the root cause of caching problems with sites like CNN.COM
  getting stale. It looks common to Netscape Enterprise setups.
  Apache 1.2 beta looks good in that it does Expires.

* Only returning HEADers on HEAD requests? Try telnetting to
  WWW.MICROSOFT.COM port 80, and doing a "HEAD /ie/ HTTP/1.0".
  WWW.HOTBOT.COM doesn't even honor HEAD!

* Instead of producing customized pages on the fly, especially for
  commonly-accessed sites, or doing a Location: redirecting the browser
  to an apparently randomly generated (see WWW.HOTBOT.COM), redirect
  instead to a set of consistent, cachable pages. For example,
  redirect / to /index-msie.html, /index-ns.html, /index-text.html,
  et cetera.

These of course on top of the excellent ideas at
Cache Now! - http://vancouver-webpages.com/CacheNow/
Thoughts? I think this would help even save more bandwidth, and money, if
the people who send the data be more respectful of those who receive it.

P.S. I'm also concerned about the rising popularity of "push" technologies
such as Pointcast. Would the vendors be interested in putting caching
in these protocols?


miguel a.l. paraz  <map@iphil.net> | iphil communications, makati city, ph
pgp key id: 0x43F0D011             | <http://www.iphil.net>
Received on Mon Dec 16 1996 - 08:32:26 MST

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