static vs. dynamic html
A major problem with caching is that it is a pain in
the butt for a site author to indicate static vs.
dynamic content. Proper caching signals go in http
fields via the server, not in html. Squid, et. al
have to make their best guess, and banner advertisers and
site-authors deliberately confound caches.
What would make caching easier, including this proposal,
is to augment the browser protocol. We have http:
for regular http, and https: for secure http, why not
add httpc: for cachable http.
The httpc: prefix would mean: "This is the official
URL for the document, but it is static so I don't care
where you get it."
Site authors can then easily distinguish static and dynamic
content. Many objects can be made static by adding
version numbers to them. If they update the object, they
update the version number. Advertisers would be able
to keep their banners dynamic.
Browsers can also be smarter about which methods to try
on a document. Internal, squid, and other proxy caches
would all benefit, and more importantly, automatic
mirroring solutions, like the proposed freenet solution,
I'd love to see all the "choose from amoung these 75
mirrors" pages disappear. This pollutes the namespace
with multiple copies of the same file under different URLs.