[Server-devel] Reverse proxies on the XS

Carol Lerche cafl at msbit.com
Sat Mar 8 19:51:26 EST 2008

As to the browser version incompatibility argument, aren't we talking about
a single browser here?  The XO?  The school server isn't serving a random
population of browsers.  (Admittedly there might be a few non-XO machines,
but I assume in most cases not many).

Similarly, we know exactly what the major web components are to be resident
on the school server, and the reverse proxy (if one were to be used) would
be mediating traffic between these and the XOs.  So their behavior regarding
caching headers would be easily determined.  Even so it seems as though a
reverse proxy only has applicability to country servers or in the case of
school servers, to a redundant configuration at a large school, e.g.
Mongolia.  And then, what is really wanted is a load balancing function.

On the other hand, a forward proxy serves a useful purpose mediating between
the school server and a slow/intermittent web connection.  Am I missing

2008/3/8 Ivan Krstić <krstic at solarsail.hcs.harvard.edu>:

> On Mar 9, 2008, at 1:04 AM, Martin Langhoff wrote:
> > But you can't count on the upstream project to be producing good
> > caching headers - they wouldn't be able to use it on the Internet.
> This is far too strong a statement to stand without qualification.
> It's one thing to say browsers might ignore cache control headers and
> re-issue requests they shouldn't, causing unnecessary traffic. It's
> another thing entirely to say that you believe applications should
> intentionally omit cache control headers because it might break the web.
> In a previous life, I built a non-trivial chunk of backend
> architecture for one of the largest websites in existence. To my
> knowledge, we were never burned by using cache control headers. It's
> certainly possible you can convince me this is a bad strategy, but I'm
> trying to make sure you understand there's a burden of proof here;
> shunning standards on account of hand-waving about things that might
> hypothetically break is a bad idea, and doubly so when building a new
> platform.
> --
> Ivan Krstić <krstic at solarsail.hcs.harvard.edu> | http://radian.org
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"Always do right," said Mark Twain. "This will gratify some people and
astonish the rest."
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