[thelist] why ftp?

Chris Cothrun cothrun at ix.netcom.com
Mon Dec 2 23:09:01 CST 2002

Hi Chris,

On 2 Dec 2002 , <Chris W. Parker <thelist at lists.evolt.org>> wrote:
> why ftp? why not just put all the files in a web
> directory and download it that why? not just specifically with
> the redhat site, but what are the advantages to using ftp over
> http? is there less over head overall with ftp?
> what do you think?

FTP is a much earlier protocol than HTTP. Some quick Google
searches point to RFC959 for FTP (~1985, with references to
earlier RFCs) and RFC1945 for HTTP (~1990). In other words, I
think FTP became a tradition long before HTTP came about and
that tradition continues to this day.

FTP allows simple uploads whereas HTTP needs additional
handlers (or something like WebDAV) to allow users to upload

HTTP servers that provide the basics of FTP (access control,
uploads) tend to be larger and more resource intensive than
FTP servers, that may also account for the continued use of

I believe the difference in overhead is negligible. Some
files will be gzipped by a  proper webserver, for large stuff
like a CD image they should already be compressed for
transfer over FTP or HTTP.

For a glimpse of the future, take a look at rsync and think
of that combined with some of the P2P technologies. Or,  for
some real fun, why don't we dig out our gopher servers and
put up some content. :)


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