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From Graham Leggett <>
Subject Re: mod_proxy distinguish cookies?
Date Tue, 04 May 2004 13:58:06 GMT
Neil Gunton wrote:

> Is this really such a special case? I can't believe nobody else has
> wanted to implement a server like this.

It's a special case in the context of all of the servers, proxies, 
transparent proxies and browsers together out there on the net - it's 
useful to take off the load of your server, but at the cost of 
_increasing_ the load on transparent proxies on the net.

That's not to say that making an attempt to reduce the load on your 
server is a bad idea or even a rare occurence (it's not), it's just that 
changing an RFC to do it is not the right way to achieve this.

 > If you want to have a setup
> where there is a heavy backend app server, with a lightweight reverse
> proxy front end, and you also want to have pages be cached, AND have
> personalization of pages based on cookies, then it makes perfect sense
> to store user options in a cookie, and then for the pages to be cached
> taking cookies into account.

There is already a mechanism for caching different variants of a page - 
simply encode the info into the URL. This is supported on all browsers 
and cannot be switched off through user preference (as cookies can). 
Because a mechanism already exists, there isn't much point in changing 
the standard to accomodate a second method to do the same thing.

But you're also fighting with existing websites that use cookies to try 
and track individual requests, and there are a lot of them out there. If 
each different cookie was cached separately, then you're effectively 
caching separate copies of every page, which makes caching a waste of time.


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