Free to whom? I don't know of anyone who doesn't have to pay (in some form
or another) to place information on the net. Yes, the content is more
important than the technology which delivers it (but see below). But, if
the information someone provides is really that valuable to others, there
are plenty of ways that server/network loading can be taken care of.
For example, several years ago one of the most popular ftp archives for Mac
software (sumex-aim.stanford.edu) was having a disk space crunch. The
archive maintainers gave notice that this was the case and some
enterprising soul suggested that everyone chip in a few bucks to buy some
more disk space. Someone else offered to handle credit card transactions,
and by the time the whole thing ended the sumex-aim administrators had
enough money to buy twice the disk space they originally thought they would
be able to afford.
I suggest that something similar can easily occur for Web sites which offer
>But what really worries me, I think, is that design decisions seem to
>be made with the idea that we can do anything we want because the
>network will react by becoming faster and more efficient. I do not
>believe this to be the case.
This particular design decision appears to have been made with the goal of
improving the user's experience. If doing so puts a higher demand on the
net's resources, so be it; assuming that the goal of better user experince
is reached, the tradeoff is reasonable. It bothers me that so many people
seem to fret about what Netscape will do to their servers, but they don't
seem to care about what life is like for folks at the other end of the
It also bothers me that so many people seem to have assumed that the
Netscape method of server interaction actually causes problems. Is everyone
privvy to stats I'm not aware of, or are people jumping to unsupported
conclusions? From a purely subjective and biased vantage, I haven't heard
of any concrete problems from the server *or* the client end. Can anyone
point me towards better information?
Blake Sobiloff <email@example.com>
Internet Systems Analyst
Decision Systems Technologies, Inc.
** Speaking only for myself **