W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > January 2015

Re: Draft finding - "Transitioning the Web to HTTPS"

From: Eric J. Bowman <eric@bisonsystems.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:15:53 -0700
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Public TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20150126201553.578dc3e55a3d1244f6789b71@bisonsystems.net>
Henri Sivonen wrote:
> 
> But where, in the mailing list discussions, are the people who do live
> in a place that's remote such that the bottleneck is between the ISP
> and the backbone? If there's a link to the backbone at all, email
> works, so the circumstances don't technically rule out participation
> in discussions like this one.
> 

Well, I'm here, and if the bottleneck between ISP and backbone in my
location isn't one of bandwidth (well, downstream anyway), it's
certainly one of reliability. Every provider of broadband here, relies
on the same link to the outside world, subject to day-long downtimes
from the sort of backhoe blunders (cut fiber) which have long ceased to
take out entire networks in more-populated areas (or have they).

Again pointing out, it's not uncommon for significant numbers of local
cash registers to be down at any given time, let alone all of them.
Right here in America. Just as net-neut legislation wouldn't be needed
if we actually had competitive broadband markets, so too legislation
requiring rural customers to be taken care of wouldn't be needed. I
don't need to tell anyone which of those has the more-effective
lobbyists, do I?

While I'd love to see someone else here with my my background, and I'd
certainly be interested in where we agree/disagree, percentage-wise I'm
not sure expectations of greater participation here from the likes of
me (rural Web developers / indy ISPs and the like) are realistic, when
having just one of us here likely beats the statistical odds.

>
> One has to wonder: If people in these discussions typically can't
> point to their own environment to show concrete examples of the
> necessity of forward proxies, why is that?
>

Because if they've even heard of w3c let alone TAG, they don't see where
it's relevant to their bottom lines to comment here? Or figure that at
best, like me, they'd be beating their head against the wall of foregone
conclusions by w3c members they lack the coordinated voice (or combined
market share) to oppose?

>
> If there are people using the Web in environments where forward
> proxies are a true necessity, why don't those people show up in these
> discussions to speak for themselves? So instead of theorizing about
> proxies, we tend to get second-order theorizing about why with this
> network that allows anyone from anywhere to post, people who
> supposedly have the use case don't show up and post first-hand to
> remind us how important it is.
> 

Speaking from 20 years of rural Web Development experience, TAG should
be glad to have me. Of all the developers I've worked with, a minority
have known of w3c or read a spec; and within that minority, few even
know WTF the TAG even is. So maybe it isn't that they can't participate
here, it's that they don't know where here is. Those who are clued in
are content to let me speak for them, which maybe they shouldn't, ever
since those of us who know the first thing about architecture have
(mostly) long since ceased participating here, dating to about the time
we were first deemed "the usual suspects" to discredit our input.

It would be legitimate to ask where the rest of us are, in the absence
of a history of condescending to us when we do comment here. Not
always, but certainly enough to discourage noobs here, even amongst
those with Web Developer histories dating back as far as mine. Some TAG
members have been awesome in this regard; others, not so much.

>
> To explain the stark rarity of first-hand witness testimony, one
> would have to postulate a *devastatingly* strong bias against
> participation in discussions such as this one going hand in hand with
> being remote from the Internet backbone. (Surely someone has to be
> running the ISPs and one would think whoever is running the ISPs
> would want to make their needs known.)
> 

Assuming those missing participants have any clue where "here" is, or
if they do, that their participation is actually welcomed vs. dismissed
as giggle-worthy or whatever else. ISPs and Web Developers who *do*
know where here is, tend to be discouraged by an ivory-tower attitude
which derides what they do to make a living as misguided, technically
the same as theft-of-services, outmoded, etc.

Or have long discounted w3c as irrelevant to their business, for
whatever reason, many of which are legitimate. Absence of contribution
of dissenting opinions here, is not proof of absence of dissenting
opinions regarding decisions made here (for those even aware of same).
Particularly the more rural/foreign we get (remote from backbone,
whatevs).

>
> So the basis I have is that my belief of forward proxies being (with
> enough precision need to have an opinion of what should be designed
> for) in the YAGNI category is supported by the preponderance of people
> who show up to discuss the matter not personally needing a forward
> proxy while it's remarkably rare for the opposite belief to be
> supported by first-hand testimony of someone for whom forward proxies
> are essential.
> 

I would say that www-tag participation isn't a representative sample of
anything or anyone; therefore rare != irrelevant, particularly if that
assertion is anecdotal to begin with.

Welcome to my island. ;-)

-Eric
Received on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 03:16:09 UTC

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