From: Gabriel S Farrell <gsf@bw...> - 2003-10-30 20:26:15
I'm giving a short talk in my LIS class on Monday on open source and
libraries, and I'd like to relate it to CIPA and filtering software.
I noted in Joshua Ferraro's message last Monday (10/27, re:Wiki-Wikis}
that there is an open source filtering system in development in
Nelsonville. Has anyone else looked into the use of open source
filters as a reaction to the passage of CIPA?
Gabriel S Farrell
Butler Reserves SILS Student
Columbia University Pratt Institute
On Thu, Oct 30, 2003 at 03:25:46PM -0500, Gabriel S Farrell wrote:
> Has anyone else looked into the use of open source filters as a reaction to
> the passage of CIPA?
Pardon this digression of sorts:
As part of a recent project for Follett Library Resources I had to
implement a file upload feature, which allows school libraries to upload
their MARC data to us via an HTTP POST. Fortunately most school libraries
have holdings < 20000 so this is feasible.
What we didn't expect is that many schools are sitting behind content
filtering software which which block the POST. After a bit of research it
became clear that several of these content filtering packages are often
just HTTP proxies, which intercept the HTTP request, do the request themeself,
look at the response, see if it's kosher, and then send content back to the
client. In fact a few packages are simply wrappers around Squid , which
had a default file size setting which caused the large file POST to be rejected.
I guess I had no idea that commerical content-filtering systems were being
implemented as wrappers around an open-source project. After a minute or
two of googling I found: dansguardian  and poesia  which are pure
open-source filtering solutions...perhaps there are more? I think having a
complete opensource solution for content filtering at the HTTP level is very
important...so libraries will know *exactly* what is being filtered, and how
to fine tune it when the inevitable problems arise.
Is this fertile ground for a new project? Kind of a depressing goal, but
lots of interesting problems.
Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers
write code that humans can understand. [Martin Fowler]