[PP-main] Technical/implementation matters

Joakim Ziegler joakim at simplemente.net
Fri Mar 3 20:33:40 CET 2000

On Fri, Mar 03, 2000 at 01:32:36PM -0500, Rusty Foster wrote:
> Andrew Cooke wrote:

> Yes, this is true, *but* HTTP was made for transferring text files in a
> fairly lightweight way. And that, at heart, is really what we want to
> do. 

Well, pulling them from a server in a stateless and moderately lightweight
way, yes.

>> One final comment - more personal opinion that the above - avoid new stuff
>> as much as possible.  You are doing a lot of work.  Getting something
>> working on existing protocols is probably quicker.  Yes, it's interesting
>> designing better more efficient protocols, but no-one wants to document
>> them and no-one understands them.  Efficiency is always over-rated.
>> Optimize last.
> I agree with this too. There's a lot of stuff to do, already. I don't
> know if designing new network protocols is how we want to spend our
> time. That said, if designing a new protocol would be a Big Win for
> everyone, please explain why, and I'll definitely listen.

My main issues against HTTP as the standard, only, or preferred protocol are

* Lack of state.
* Need to send a lot of headers in every request, hence quite a bit of
  bandwidth overhead.
* Requires a HTTP server at the client sites if we want to do push with
  server-initiated connections.
* Very oriented towards a "document" model.

> I think probably the best possible answer would be, design something
> that *will work* over HTTP. It may not be optimal, but it should be
> functional. Then, whoever wants to design a better or more efficient
> protocol, can have at it. :-)

I don't see a problem with making all the info available over HTTP as well.
It's minimal work to do this. However, we already have a more suitable
protocol almost finished, which is optimized for this sort of thing (it's
made for, amongst other things, Conglomerate), so we're going to make those
tools too, and supply them to the users. Freedom to choose. :)

Joakim Ziegler - simplemente r&d director - joakim at simplemente.net
 FIX sysop - free software coder - FIDEL & Conglomerate developer
      http://www.avmaria.com/ - http://www.simplemente.net/

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