ftp archives disappearing?

Jim Leonard trixter at oldskool.org
Tue Mar 13 11:16:04 CDT 2007

Jules Richardson wrote:
> The only irritating thing I've noticed is that FTP seems consistently 
> slower than HTTP for transfers. I'm not sure if that's down to the 
> protocol, deliberate throttling by server admins, or simply that HTTP 
> servers tend to have more hardware thrown at them than FTP.

FTP adds an additional layer of checking (that TCP/IP already provides, 
so I've never understood why its there), so that might be one reason. 
But a better reason is that HTTP in today's world is used for streaming, 
and is also simpler to firewall.  FTP, especially active mode, requires 
state tables and a tiny bit of thinking to handle properly across most 
firewalls, so a loaded FTP server behind a firewall will be slower than 
a loaded HTTP server behind a firewall.

I'm very surprised by all the anti-FTP discussion, including security. 
If it's an anonymous /pub archive of stuff to distribute, there is no 
better solution than FTP.  Bittorrent is only useful for files for which 
there are multiple requesters at the same time (like weekly snapshots of 
large kernel source trees or something).  Bittorrent gains you *nothing* 
for onesy-twosey requests; in fact, it's much more of a PITA to set up.
Jim Leonard (trixter at oldskool.org)            http://www.oldskool.org/
Help our electronic games project:           http://www.mobygames.com/
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A child borne of the home computer wars: http://trixter.wordpress.com/

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