RE: MSIE/Mac in P2P mode

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From: Meltsner, Kenneth (
Date: Wed Dec 27 2000 - 12:26:56 PST

Departmental/personal proxy servers have been one of my big missed
prediction: I was sure that we would see a lot more use of them by now, that
small companies and departments would have shared proxies with some level of
analysis/annotation/etc. added to them. Instead, we all surf alone.

And as far as I can tell, in the marketplace, we have:

* Microsoft's cruddy Proxy Server 2 (a wretched product, recently replaced,
IIRC, by a new "Internet Acceleration" server)

* Netscape's Proxy Server, which was sold to another company at some point
and appears to be on End-of-Life maintenance.

* A large number of caching appliances and network appliances used for
acceleration, but not providing any sort of group support

* IBM's Transcoding server, which is really a proxy server that rewrites
content to fit those itty-bitty handheld thingies.

The Open Source world has a bunch of cool ideas and tools, but I don't get
the sense that any of them are used much beyond the usual "internet
acceleration" marketplace.

Sure, proxy servers trade latency increases for bandwidth saving (dynamic
vs. static content), but I really would have thought someone would have come
up with a couple of proxy-based killer apps by now. I guess no one needs a

True tale of proxy server excitement: the Cisco caching appliance used to
save us about 30% of our bandwidth at my previous employer. In the mornings
when people (several thousand in Milwaukee) first arrived, we used to have
hit rates above 60 and 70% -- judging from the logs, just about everyone hit
the same handful of sites to check on stocks, weather, news, etc. Best
argument I've ever seen for portal products.



-----Original Message-----
From: Rohit Khare []
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 1:42 PM
To: Dave Winer
Cc:;;; Radio Userland; SOAP;; Jeffrey
Zeldman;; Bob Atkinson;;;
Subject: Re: MSIE/Mac in P2P mode

At 8:46 AM -0800 12/27/00, Dave Winer wrote:
>First, I apologize if you receive multiple copies of this email.

As do I -- but the issue is simply that urgent. In fact, it's
crippled the performance of Windows 2000 as well, since that
configuration starves Apache+Perl as well.

Our startup depends on local HTTP microservers, just like UPnP,
Napster, Gnutella, and a slew of other schemes. When I can put two
implementations side by side and see 200 SOAP transactions per second
on Win2K with a separate server on the LAN plummet to 4 events per
second with the server on the same CPU, we have a problem. I can also
confirm Dave's Mac experience.

I am hopeful, though. We've seen Explorer grow into a great product,
and I know at least David Stutz can attest to what we've been able to
inspire it to. We just haven't had a generation of developers ship
"applications" as local proxy servers. When we make it clear how
useful this technique is, we can shut up and let our customers do the

I would be glad to extend any assistance we can in testing and
resolving these issues.

   Rohit Khare
   CEO, KnowNow Inc.
   2730 Sand Hill Road
   Suite 150
   Menlo Park, CA 94025
   (650) 561-0246 (direct)
   (206) 465 4936 (cell)

>I'm hoping enough Microsoft people see this so that the problem is
>fixed, it's an important area for future Web development, esp in
>regards to P2P apps, where the server and the client are often
>running on the same machine.
>***Concise statement of the problem
>When accessing a server on the local machine, MSIE/Mac doesn't yield
>enough time to allow the server to do its processing. The net result
>is a glacial pace, when it should be lightning fast. The addition of
>a single system call to the loop that's waiting for a response from
>the server would probably cure the problem.
>This problem isn't present on MSIE/Win or Netscape/Mac, it only
>effects Mac MSIE users. Our only recourse for people who use our new
>"desktop website" software on the Mac will be to switch to Netscape,
>which doesn't have the problem. I'm not going to suggest that they
>switch to Windows, I'll let Microsoft do that. ;->
>More discussion is here.
>PS: I don't like the banging on pots and pans approach to getting
>attention of vendors. But Microsoft is not moving in browsers, esp
>on the Mac, and if this is what they respond to, so be it.

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