[ubuntu-za] Standard Bank Business Online

Helge Reikeras helge.reikeras at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 09:47:01 GMT 2010

On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 08:47:06 +0200, Hannes Coetzee  
<scorpking at scorpking.za.org> wrote:

> Yesterday "you cost us a lot of money and
> business so please stop installing Linux on computers" was added to the
> speech at the bank (so much for freedom of choice). Any ideas?

This is shocking...

Interestingly enough Apache had similar issues with AOL after the  
implementation of HTTP/1.1.

 From http://oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/brian.html:

"So we Apache developers had a choice--we could back down and give  
HTTP/1.0 responses to HTTP/1.0 requests, or we could follow the  
specification. Roy Fielding, the "HTTP cop" in the group, was able to  
clearly show us how the software's behavior at the time was correct and  
beneficial; there would be cases where HTTP/1.0 clients may wish to  
upgrade to an HTTP/1.1 conversation upon discovering that a server  
supported 1.1. It was also important to tell proxy servers that even if  
the first request they proxied to an origin server they saw was 1.0, the  
origin server could also support 1.1.

It was decided that we'd stick to our guns and ask AOL to fix their  
software. We suspected that the HTTP/1.1 response was actually causing a  
problem with their software that was due more to sloppy programming  
practices on their part than to bad protocol design. We had the science  
behind our decision. What mattered most was that Apache was at that point  
on 40% of the web servers on the Net, and Apache 1.2 was on a very healthy  
portion of those, so they had to decide whether it was easier to fix their  
programming mistakes or to tell their users that some 20% or more of the  
web sites on the Internet were inaccessible through their proxies. On  
December 26th, we published a web page detailing the dispute, and  
publicized its existence not just to our own user base, but to several  
major news outlets as well, such as C|Net and Wired, to justify our  

AOL decided to fix their software. Around the same time, we announced the  
availability of a "patch" for sites that wanted to work around the AOL  
problem until it was rectified, a patch that degraded responses to  
HTTP/1.0 for AOL. We were resolute that this was to remain an "unofficial"  
patch, with no support, and that it would not be made a default setting in  
the official distribution."

I think the key point here is Apache's 40% market share on web servers. If  
we can just manage to get Linux to have the same in desktop OS, I don't  
think Standard Bank would dare to make statements like that.


Helge Reikeras

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