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Re: Criticism of Kidcode (was Re: KidCode: Next steps )

From: lilley <lilley@afs.mcc.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 15:41:10 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <3827.9506191441@afs.mcc.ac.uk>
To: m.koster@nexor.co.uk (Martijn Koster)
Cc: nsb@nsb.fv.com, rating@junction.net, www-talk@www10.w3.org, uri@bunyip.com
Martijn Koster wrote:

> In message <AjrmBBH0Eyt5J4brpl@nsb.fv.com>, Nathaniel Borenstein writes:

> > The KidCode proposal is a proposal for standardizing some URL naming
> > conventions, not an assertion that this is the ONLY way to do it,
> > the RIGHT way to do it, or anything like that.  As it happens, I
> > believe that the URL approach is the QUICKEST way to get a 75%
> > solution in place, and I believe that time is of the essence.

> I agree it's a quick way in that the proposal is simple, and that no
> server-side changes are required. 

Martijn makes the very valid point:

> I'd strongly urge this group to consider a resource's location and
> access policy as seperate bits of information.
> 
> You might want to change a rating of a resource, without changing its
> location; 

Oh yes oh yes. Have we learned nothing about link decay in the last 
five years?

Somewhat buried in his message, Martijn makes the excellent suggestion

> Alternatively, maybe URC's or some variant provide a
> good place for this.

That is precisely the sort of thing that URCs are for. Meta-information. 

I believe the proposal should spell out how URCs could be used to implement 
the sort of filtering that is being talked about here. After all, it is just 
another sort of firewall.

So if people want to configure browsers to go via a specially configured 
proxy (only, without being able to go direct) and that proxy talks to a URC 
server to allow or deny access to  URLs sent through it, that would work 
much better IMHO and be more scalable and future proof.

Also, the browser writers would then merely have to provide password protection
on the preferences dialog. 

Those influential (and monied) groups who care about such things can then
finance the proxies and their URC resolvers to implement whatever type
of cens^H^H^H^Hfiltering is desired.

> In summary: I think it's fundamentally wrong to force an access policy
> into a URL. Use negotiation capabilities of protocols, then you don't
> break URL's, ease maintenance, and have the flexibility to switch to
> different schemes.

Or use URCs, then you put the onus on those who wish to employ such 
filtering schemes to do the work. It also means that content providers 
do not have to get involved in whether their content offend, inspires, or 
whatever the hundreds of diffrernt groups who all have different filtering 
needs.

I feel that this Kidcode proposal, as currently formulated, would set a 
dangerous precedent and would lead to rapid and widespread URL decay whenever 
a new group wanted to add another filtering scheme. 

-- 
Chris Lilley, Technical Author
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Received on Tuesday, 20 June 1995 01:55:20 GMT

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