[FoRK] Rewriting HTTP proxy servers are back under discussion, again

Ken Meltsner meltsner at gmail.com
Sun May 22 05:03:51 PDT 2005

This is pretty close to a permathread, I suspect.   Every six months
or so, someone realizes it would be really cool if you could put a
smart proxy server in between users and the Internet.  Sometimes the
idea is for a personal proxy server, but often it's for a biggie
shared by a group or company.

Inspired by GreaseMonkey, the extension for FireFox that allows
Javascript to rewrite specific sites as needed, Mark Nottingham
proposes GreaseProxy.

Cool idea, but in my opinion (and I've been messing around with the
concept of smart proxy servers for 10 years now) it's probably doomed
to failure.  General-purpose rewriting proxy servers don't succeed.  I
don't know why, since sometimes they sound really, really great, but I
can't remember a successful effort yet.  What have been successful are
specific purpose rewriting proxies, such as ad blockers or IBM's
transcoding server for converting general web content for use on
handheld devices.

Or perhaps I'm just really cynical after a half night of sleep and an
eight hour plane flight to beautiful Slough in the UK.

Ken Meltsner

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but model train sets do a pretty
good job as well

-- 2/28/05, in a odd dream

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