[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: Scott made me do it.

     On Fri, 21 Aug 2009 09:44:33 -0400 Andrew Lewman <andrew@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>On 08/21/2009 03:54 AM, bao song wrote:
>> What page would I wish to look at over and over but not download?
>Lots of people leave the same page up in a tab in their browser for very
>long times, like baidu, gmail, facebook, bbc.co.uk, cnn,com, meebo, etc.

     The longer it has been since a page was last fetched, the more likely
it is to have changed.  Long-term cacheing just means you'll never see the
changes until after you start a new session, which strikes me as very
undesirable behavior.  Where cacheing can pay off is in the page headers,
sidebars, etc. that tend to be repetitive features across many/all pages
at a particular web site that get fetched by their own URLs.  Cacheing of
whole pages is a waste of time at best and badly misleading at worst.
>> And if I don't want the page on my hard drive, would I want it in the
>> Polipo cache?
>If you look at the tor-polipo.conf file, you'll see disk cache is
>disabled.  All of this cache is in ram.
>> In a related topic, since Andrew questioned the value of Privoxy, 
>Just to clarify, I don't question the value of privoxy.  In a perfect
>world privoxy would have caching, http pipelining, and do filtering.  If
>people want to filter their browsing, then by all means they should be
>able to do so.  I question the value of shipping a filtering proxy that
>is enabled by default.  A growing number of Tor users choose Tor because
>it provides un-censored/filtered access to the Internet.  Having the Tor
>software filter the Internet by default seems ironic.
     Well, I suppose torbutton doesn't count as a proxy, but wouldn't it
fail the test you propose above?  Granted, torbutton filters at a content
level rather than at a URL/host+domainname level, whereas privoxy is active
on both levels, but torbutton does very effectively filter all sorts of
stuff most of us don't want to run in our browsers.  (I use both privoxy and
torbutton and find the combination very satisfactory.  They rarely leave much
for AdBlockPlus to trash.:-)
     When privoxy blocks an advertisement or a page, it leaves links that
allow the user to override privoxy's decision immediately and to see which
rules were involved in blocking the fetch.  In other words, it's not really
censoring, but rather editing for convenience.  Its filtering is also very
configurable, provided you're willing to devote the time necessary to learn
its very peculiar dialect of Martian (not as cryptic as the sendmail
configuration dialect perhaps, but still highly unattractive).
     And it's not as though the tor project didn't advocate the use of other
filtering packages already, like the NoScript and AdBlockPlus plug-ins for
firefox, although it's true that they are plug-ins and not proxies.

                                  Scott Bennett, Comm. ASMELG, CFIAG
* Internet:       bennett at cs.niu.edu                              *
* "A well regulated and disciplined militia, is at all times a good  *
* objection to the introduction of that bane of all free governments *
* -- a standing army."                                               *
*    -- Gov. John Hancock, New York Journal, 28 January 1790         *