[standards-jig] A Proposal to the DTCP/JOBS/PASS madness

Ben Schumacher ben at blahr.com
Fri Dec 13 18:16:52 UTC 2002

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Jan Niehusmann wrote:
| On Fri, Dec 13, 2002 at 09:52:46AM -0700, Dave Smith wrote:
|>I did some thinking last nite and have an idea on how we can deal with
|>some of the outstanding issues facing the community. Let me now present
|>my case..
| Your proposal has a few disadvantages:
| - it's difficult to read :-)
| - it may take a long time to establish a connection, because the clients
|   may have to wait for a TCP connection timeout before they notice that
|   a connection is not possible.

This is a problem shared by any protocol that tries to make a TCP
connection, including DTCP, JOBS, etc. This is an accepted reality of
network programming.

| - a client may not know that it is firewalled, so how to decide if a
|   proxy is necessary?

The software may not, but generally a user would be aware. In a well
designed client, I could add an option of "always use proxy server" or
something similar.

In fact, if the protocol was expanded slightly, you could even design a
negotiation to take place upon startup with a proxy server to figure out
~ if your client can accept cnonections.

| OTOH, having a completely transparent TCP connection is nice and clean.

I agree. This solves the issue of creating a new wire protocol, but
gives us the flexibility that some feel is beneficial. However, I would
propose that if we do choose to do this, that we make HTTP *the*
standard for transferring files across this virtual sockets. I don't see
why we feel we need to create new protocols for everything. HTTP may not
be appropriate for IM, but it most certainly works for serving files...
that is what the protocol was designed to do, after all.

| Perhaps that could even be extended to allow UDP 'connections', allowing
| an even wider range of protocols? (Adding UDP support would be
| non-trivial because UDP doesn't have a notion of 'established
| connections', though)

/me shudders.

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