W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-talk@w3.org > March to April 2003

comments? mirrors.txt

From: Andre John Mas <ajmas@newtradetech.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 12:53:44 -0500
Message-ID: <3E8880A8.2050806@newtradetech.com>
To: www-talk@w3.org

Hi,

Mirroring a web site or ftp site is a great way of reducing load
and improving access times. The only thing though is that there is
no method for telling a web browser to automatically go to a mirror.
For this reason I have been thinking that a 'mirrors.txt' file might
be of use at the root of a web site that is either the master or a
mirror, in the same way that a robot.txt file is made available.

Follows is an example of what the contents of such a file would contain:

----start of example
#this is a comment

title:   Project Gutenberg
description: Project Gutenberg is the Internet's oldest producer of FREE
   electronic books (eBooks or eTexts).
master:  http://gutenberg.net/
search:  master

mirror.name: University of North Carolina - HTTP
mirror.city: Chapel Hill
mirror.state: North Carolina
mirror.country: USA
mirror.gridref:
mirror.url: http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/
mirror.update.freq: daily
mirror.comment: Main Project Gutenberg Collection Site

mirror.name: University of North Carolina - FTP
mirror.city: Chapel Hill
mirror.state: North Carolina
mirror.country: USA
mirror.gridref: 0/+1000,-1000
mirror.url: ftp://ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg/
mirror.update.freq: daily
mirror.comment: Main Project Gutenberg FTP Site -- If it doesn't allow
   access, please try the corresponding HTTP site above

----end of example

Most of the fields should be self explaining, though for the less
obvious:
  - search: values would be mirror or master. This is important if
    only the master offers a search facility
  - mirror.gridref: the grid coordinates of the mirror. The slash
    is there for a future use, such as defining planet ID as prefix.
    The grid ref would always be the last child. I know this is
    overkill, and probably no one will take this seriously, but I
    would like to make this future proof, if there is no extra cost.
  - mirror.update.freq: how oftern the mirror is updated (should this
    be a numerical, textual value or both?)

Some sites mirror several others, so the site would probably need more
than one mirror file. Two suggestions are to have the additional mirror
files have a numeric suffix, e.g. mirrors.txt, mirrors2.txt, etc. or
to have a mirrors.txt file that refers to the other mirror.txt files.

Also, search engines, such as Google, could make use of this information
to tie together mirrors under one link, to make for smarter navigation.
Something such as:

   PROJECT GUTENBERG -
   Project Gutenberg is the Internet's oldest producer of FREE
   electronic books (eBooks or eTexts).
   gutenberg.org/ - 18k - Master - Closest Mirror - Other Mirrors

This is a first jab at something that could well be of use, so I would
certainly appreciate your comments and whether this is something that
could be added as a web standard?

regards

Andre

P.S. I am not associated with Project Gutenberg, I am just using it as
a useful example of real site that could benefit from such a solution.
Received on Monday, 31 March 2003 13:01:25 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 27 October 2010 18:14:27 GMT