Re: Redundancy

From: James R Grinter <>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 10:03:30 +0000

On Thu 6 Nov, 1997, Henny Bekker <> wrote:
> Because of this I'm so happy with the Automatic Proxy configuration
>facility of Netscape and Microsoft Internet explorer.. You can deal with
>the failure of a proxy in the APC (a javascript)...

Fine idea in theory. However, Netscape Navigator takes about 45 seconds
to detect proxy failure, even one that is returning RST packets (ie
"connection refused").

IE3.02/32bit takes random amounts of time, usually at least a minute
and often it doesn't notice at all. When it does notice, it doesn't
give feedback to the user about why it's taken a long time.

IE3.01/16bit onwards don't interpret the script unless you directly
request the autoconfiguration script (using a CGI and/or redirection
seems to confuse it.)

IE4 doesn't work properly if you install an automatic configuration
URL. It breaks on gopher and ftp lookups if it hits a "DIRECT"
response, and screws up Active channel subscriptions. (The latter is
particularly unbelievable, but true.)

(As others have noted, not everyone even uses those two browsers, or
versions of them that support Autoconfiguration - many are still using
Navigator 1.x or IE 2.x/3.0-3.01.)

In terms of presenting a service to customers, we've been using
one of the now many load-balancing/directing devices on the market.
It does a reasonable job of masking unavailabilities of individual
machines, though they're all a bit pricey (unless you value your
service, of course)

-- jrg.
Received on Thu Nov 06 1997 - 02:17:52 MST

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