Re: Will this be true tomorrow?

"Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@simplon.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 02:08:21 --100
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From: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@simplon.ICS.UCI.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Will this be true tomorrow? 
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Richard said:

> Is there a basic assumption being made here that the Webmaster will 
> always be located at a "local" site; that the Webmaster will never 
> telecommute? 

Not always -- almost always.  The reason for not telecommuting is
that the problems which may effect a local site are often the same
problems that effect telecommuting (network connections down, etc.),
and thus webmasters are usually local to the server.  However, I can
see the case when file-management-by-distance is desirable.

I still believe, though, that a webmaster will prefer seeing the local time
at the site so that problem investigation can proceed within the context
of that site.  Furthermore, in the case of US timezones, it is easier for
most people to translate EDT to PDT than it is to translate GMT to PDT
for the simple reason that they are used to it.  And, most importantly,
since at many sites (like ours) 95% or more of the web traffic is from
users within the local timezone, no translation is required for 95% of
the users if time is represented as local time.

Naturally, the decision of how time should be displayed on your web
should depend on how that web is being used.  However, the default
behavior of the software should correspond to how MOST sites will want
it to behave -- automated translators (or config options) can support
the rest.

> What happens if the Webmaster is responsible for UCI, 
> UC's Washington DC center, and UC's Education Abroad Program sites 
> (which are located in 72 countries)?

 [quickie answer -- the webmaster would probably go insane ;-)]

Is it necessary for each site to have their own server?  If there is only
one webmaster, why not have one web server (with world-wide access)?
I can think of several reasons (e.g. network latency, security, distributed
authors, etc.) why separate servers are better, but most of those reasons
are also arguments against a centralized webmaster.

...Roy Fielding   ICS Grad Student, University of California, Irvine  USA