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Preface > Audience


The material in this book is relevant to the following groups of people:


This book is primarily written for those of you who are, or will be, responsible for the day-to-day operation of one or more web caches. You might work for an ISP, a corporation, or an educational institution. Or perhaps you'd like to set up a web cache for your home computer.

Content providers

I sincerely hope that content providers take a look at this book, and especially Chapter 6, to see how making their content more "cache aware" can improve their users' surfing experiences.

Web developers

Anyone developing an application that uses HTTP needs to understand how web caching works. Many users today are behind firewalls and caching proxies. A significant amount of HTTP traffic is automatically intercepted and sent to web caches. Failure to take caching issues into consideration may adversely affect the operation of your application.

Web users

Usually, the people who deploy caches want them to be transparent to the end user. Indeed, users are often unaware that they are using a web cache. Even so, if you are "only" a user, I hope that you find this book useful and interesting. It can help you understand why you sometimes see stale web pages and what you can do about it. If you are concerned about your privacy on the Internet, be sure to read Chapter 3. If you want to know how to configure your browser for caching, see Chapter 4.

To benefit from this book, you need to have only a user-level understanding of the Web. You should know that Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer are web browsers, that Apache is a web server, and that is a URL. If you have some Unix system administration experience, you can use some of the examples in later chapters.

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