[Sugar-devel] Network proxy, configuration

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Fri Mar 15 18:10:29 EDT 2013

On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 07:53:31AM +1100, forster at ozonline.com.au wrote:
> To access internet in Australian government schools you need to use
> a proxy. I am not sure if it is the same proxy for all schools in a
> state but it will definitely be a different proxy in each state. For
> this reason alone, setting the proxy in the build is a problem, you
> would need a different build in each state.

Some more history to explain to the mailing list:

Internet adoption was very quick in the Australian domestic market.

Internet adoption was very quick in Australian government schools,
with data links provided by each state government education
department, along with country government funding.  The data links
were ISDN 64kbit/sec initially.

The data links were charged by the telecommunications provider on byte
usage, so an accounting of byte usage immediately became necessary.

Sometimes, two networks exist in each school; the curriculum network,
and the administration network.  Many servers are already present;
curriculum, administration.  A library may have a server on each

Each teacher and student is given a username and password for a proxy
server either at the school network boundary, or at the other end(!)
of the data link.

The username and password were valid for a semester or a year.

The proxy is responsible for content filtering and usage tracking.

Disciplinary action may also restrict the proxy access.

When XO laptops are deployed to these schools without adding a
schoolserver or changing the network design (the usual case), they
must be capable of interoperating with the environment.

There's almost no chance of altering the environment.  It is well
established and entrenched.

> If the laptop is take home, the user would want to be able to access
> the internet in public libraries, Macdonalds restaurants, shopping
> malls, cafes, home etc. To do this they need to be able to disable
> the proxy.

This might be a rarer requirement in this deployment, but it would be
interesting to hear how much need there is for it.

> Question: is if feasible to fall back to non proxy behaviour if the
> specified proxy is unable to serve webpages? There are 2 or maybe 3
> cases, an invalid url in the proxy string eg 'hello', a valid but
> unreachable url and (possibly?) a third case of a reachable url
> which does not authorise you to use it.

That would be good.

James Cameron

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