[rfc-i] rfc-info needs your help!

Alex Rousskov rousskov at measurement-factory.com
Wed Mar 31 10:19:11 PST 2004

On Wed, 31 Mar 2004, Michael Richardson wrote:

> There are lots of places with rather restrictive policies. This may
> be because of politics ("great firewall of china")

IMO, RFC Editor should not be in business of providing backdoor to
those who try to circumvent local policies (even if those policies are
considered evil by IETF majority). Others like friends and colleagues
abroad can provide such backdoors.

> or because bandwidth is so expensive

E-mail transfers are unlikely to save much bandwidth compared to
targeted HTTP or FTP requests. Perhaps you meant to say "scarce"?

> that doing anything "interactive" like FTP/WWW is slow.

Slow does not mean "does not work". Wget, for example, is not
interactive and can be tuned to tolerate very long delays. It can also
use range requests to receive data in small pieces, if needed.

> On the other hand, email happens asynchronous to the user, and can
> get queued up for later use.

So is the output of wget; and wget can run in the background.

> my opinion is that if we had a good non-interactive file transfer
> protocol that people would never send documents by email, and
> therefore our virii problem would never have occured.

HTTP is not interactive. Browsing is, but these users do not have to
browse online; they can browse offline.

Please do not get me wrong -- I am not saying that readers with
restricted or slow web access are somehow inferior to IETF. I am
saying that RFC Editor is the wrong entity to solve their problems
today and that many of them can and should help themselves.


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