"The users are getting dumber..."

From: David J N Begley <david@dont-contact.us>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 21:47:12 +1000 (EST)


"Feature request" for 1.2 (and any additional versions in the 1.1.x train,
for that matter) - could the default error messages generated by
Squid have their trailing line reworded so that people don't try to do
something incredibly stupid (to admins, anyway) like, oh, I don't know,
send email to "squid/1.1.21@proxy.mydom"?? :-(

For example, a typical error page will end with a line similar to:

  Generated by squid/1.1.21@proxy.nepean.uws.edu.au

Given that the "contact the cache admin" hyperlink does not appear on all
(default) error pages (and adding it to err_html will only duplicate it on
pages where it does appear), some l^Huser is bound to think, "Hmm, I know;
despite having had support contact details beaten into my head a few
million times, I'll fire up my email client and send a message to this
wierd looking address at the bottom of the page!" Argh..

How about an alternative, such as:

  Generated by proxy.nepean.uws.edu.au (squid/1.1.21)

May not make much more sense to the average end user, but conveys the same
information for admins and at least doesn't look like an email address...

Whilst we're on the topic of the "contact the cache admin" hyperlink, it
appears on some pages (eg., "Access Denied") as per:

  Please check with the _cache_administrator_ if you believe this is

The words "cache administrator" are a hyperlink using a "mailto:" URL
which is fine for people who have email in their browser, but if (for
example) you're using Netscape Navigator standalone (wherein "mailto:"
links won't work) then you're stuck; the intelligent user will point at
the link and note the email address at the bottom of the window, but this
is neither intuitive nor does it cover the vast majority of end-users.

How about an alternative, such as:

  Please check with the cache administrator at <_cacheadm@proxy.mydom_>
  if you believe this is incorrect.

Here, the address inside the angled brackets becomes both the address in
the "mailto:" URL and the text of the hyperlink.


Received on Mon Apr 20 1998 - 04:56:27 MDT

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