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<nettime> legacy systems
t byfield on Fri, 26 Jun 1998 22:56:48 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> legacy systems


[a few years ago this was just funny. now it's interesting. imo. -T]

Rabbi Tarfon of Bet Shean said of Rabbi Shlomo ben
Yechezkel of Tiverya: It is said that in those days
Rabbi Shlomo ben Yechezkel of Tiverya designed a web
site for the mother of his father, Sarah the daughter
of Pinchas, who begat Yechezkel, who begat Rabbi Shlomo
ben Yechezkel of Tiverya. Thus Rabbi Shlomo ben
Yechezkel of Tiverya performed the mitzvah of web site
design.

Rabbi Michal ben Elkanah, who had only one eye, said:
But is it not also said that in those days there was no
web, only gopher?

Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron said: It is true, but as it
is written: "A web browser may also use the gopher
protocol, in addition to the HTTP protocol."

Rabbi Eliezer asked: Why does it specifically mention
that the web browser may also use the gopher protocol,
when it is written elsewhere that a web browser may use
any protocol? Because the gopher protocol is especially
meritorious, since it enables support of legacy
systems.

One time a poor man came into the home of Rabbi
Shmaryahu of Hevron and asked for two megabytes of disk
space on the web site of Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron.
Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron refused the man, but instead
gave him a personal web server for his own use. At this
point Rabbi Yehudah ben Yerachmiel asked Rabbi
Shmaryahu of Hevron: Why did you refuse this man's
request, but instead give him a personal web server for
his own use?

Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron replied: It [the Mishnah]
teaches: "When a poor man comes into your home and asks
for disk space on your web site, first ascertain
whether he is going to use it for his own purpose or
for the purpose of idol worship. If he is going to use
it for his own purpose, grant him the space he asks,
unless it exceeds twenty ephraot [one ephrah 213
kilobytes], in which case you may refer him to a local
Internet service provider, for as it is written: It is
not upon you to complete the task, but neither are you
free to desist from it. If he is going to use it for
the purpose of idol worship, then do not give him the
space, but instead rebuke him, that he might see the
error of his ways and refrain from idol worship."

Rabbi Gideon of Shechem disagreed, saying: It [the
Mishnah] also teaches: "When a poor man requests space
on an FTP server, you must grant it without asking why
he is going to use it." Why would the Mishnah impose
requirements on a web server but not an FTP server?

Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron said: Rabbi Eliezer said: Why
does it specifically mention that the web browser may
also use the gopher protocol when it is written
elsewhere that a web browser may use any protocol?
Because the gopher protocol is especially meritorious,
since it enables support of legacy systems. Similarly,
the FTP protocol is especially meritorious. Therefore,
it is unfair to deny a poor man access to FTP, whereas
it is sometimes permitted to refrain from giving a poor
man access to HTTP, because without HTTP he can still
serve files using FTP, but without FTP he will be
unable to put his files on the server, since the means
for saving files over HTTP are unreliable.
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