Support Cache-Control no-cache/private as per RFC2616 ?

BUSTARRET, Jean-francois jfbustarret at
Tue Nov 20 14:49:16 CET 2007

I won't reply to the first part of DES message...

I understand the point, and, as I said before, I really like the VCL approach. The real problem is that, for a new varnish user, it is difficult to understand what varnish really is. A new user would read the FAQ and think that varnish is a reverse proxy, but, as said, it isn't (out of the box, I agree that a reverse proxy is only a few lines of VCL code away).

IMHO, this is mainly a documentation problem. Why not :
- remove the term "reverse proxy" from the FAQ and replace it by "HTTP Accelerator",
- describe exactly what/when varnish caches by default,
- describe how to build a RFC2616 reverse proxy, and bundle a sample vcl with varnish.

As Poul-Henning told, someone should contribute/sponsor this. Having more time than money (and feeling not 100% welcome here), I can write some documentation if you agree.


> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : varnish-dev-bounces at 
> [mailto:varnish-dev-bounces at] De la part de 
> Manuel Amador (Rudd-O)
> Envoyé : mardi 20 novembre 2007 12:31
> À : varnish-dev at
> Objet : Re: Support Cache-Control no-cache/private as per RFC2616 ?
> Do you really need to snap at contributors, Dag-Erling?  I 
> happen to agree with him in the sense that pulling Varnish 
> (VCL or *not*) in the direction of a complete 
> standards-compliant configuration-free smart Web accelerator 
> is a very good idea.
> The grandfather poster may be a bit misguided as to what 
> standards Varnish would need to comply to, but your comment 
> would have easily been more constructive if you just had 
> limited yourself to the Edge mention.
> And, of course, you are already publicly aware of my position 
> regarding the matter.
> An idea: We need a matrix (OK, a nice table) or a decision 
> tree of what actions Varnish should take by default, given a 
> set of requests and content of varied freshness degrees.  
> Once that work is done, moving VCL (and the default VCL 
> config) in the direction that will allow us to actually 
> produce that decision tree, should be much easier and clearer.
> El Mar 20 Nov 2007, Dag-Erling Smørgrav escribió:
> > "BUSTARRET, Jean-francois" <jfbustarret at> writes:
> > > Yet says "Varnish was 
> > > written from the ground up to be a high performance 
> caching reverse 
> > > proxy." Varnish is a cache, and should follow HTTP/1.1 RFCs.
> >
> > Excuse me, but who are you to tell us what Varnish is or is 
> not?  Do 
> > you realize how arrogant that is?
> >
> > That aside, you are trying to fit Varnish into an RFC2616 
> pigeonhole, 
> > but there is no pigeonhole that fits - RFC2616 did not anticipate 
> > anything like Varnish.  There is a draft W3 specification, the Edge 
> > Architecture Specification, which attempts to fill that 
> hole, but it 
> > is not widely known, so I'm not sure it would help much to 
> write that 
> > Varnish is an HTTP surrogate rather than an HTTP 
> accelerator (I try to 
> > avoid the term "reverse proxy").
> >
> > DES
> -- 
> 	Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) <rudd-o at>
> -
> 	GPG key ID 0xC8D28B92 at
> Now playing, courtesy of Amarok: Voodoo & Serano - Blood is 
> pumping So this is it.  We're going to die.

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