Re: Let's talk strategy (Netscape's 75% figure)

Brian Behlendorf (
Wed, 2 Aug 1995 17:03:08 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 2 Aug 1995, Rich Wiggins wrote:
> 2) As mass-market utilities come on stream with their own Web browsers
> and with massive caching proxy services, statistics reported by server
> administrators will become increasingly more suspect. If 500,000 AOL
> users visit the White House home page, the server admin will see only
> one transaction that appears to come from users of the AOL browser --
> the cache will mask the other users' transactions.

Nope, at least not with the current setup. There are something like 20
separate AOL caches, apparently with different cache buffers, so you will
see at least 20 "200" responses. Furthermore the cache always sends IMS
requests for non-image objects without Expires: headers, so you will be
able to see individual requests. Their proxy does cache without sending
IMS for all image/* type files for something like 6-12 hours, though I'm
not sure if that can be defeated by abusing Expires: or Pragma: no-cache.

Now, that doesn't mean at some point in the future (oh, say, when they
take the browser out of beta!) they won't decide to start doing non-IMS
caching; at that point, yes, the numbers will be smaller than actual.
Hopefully by then we'll have a mechanism in HTTP for caches to report
these hits at a later date....


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