[squid-users] Dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 captive portal

Steve Hill steve at opendium.com
Tue Mar 3 14:39:13 UTC 2015

On 02.03.15 02:33, Amos Jeffries wrote:

>   These people are plain wrong about how the basic protocol works and yet
> they are treated with must-accept policies by so many networks.

Yep, one of the really big problems we have is the "it works when we're 
not using the proxy, so the proxy must be broken" attitude, when almost 
universally the proxy is working fine and the other software is just 
plain broken.  It's really hard to convince a customer that it really 
isn't our fault when some app breaks, especially when that app is made 
by someone like Apple or Google (who, of course, can *never* be wrong!)

The vast majority of our support time is spent figuring out ways to work 
around busted end-user software, because we know saying "Apple's 
software is broken, go and talk to Apple" isn't going to work because 
the likes of Apple have no interest in actually supporting their own 
customers and somehow this ends up being "our fault".  (Not just Apple - 
lots of other companies are equally bad, although Apple have currently 
hit a nerve with me due to a lot of debugging I recently had to do with 
their appstore because they didn't bother to log any errors when things 
broke, which also seems to be par for the course these days).

>   Imagine what would happen if you MUST-accept all emails delivered? or
> any kind of DNS response they chose to send you? those are two other
> major protcols with proxies that work just fine by rejecting bad
> messages wholesale.

Well, you say that, but we also get "it works at home but not at work" 
complaints when DNS servers start returning broken data.  Admittedly we 
usually seem to be able to not catch quite so much blame for that one, 
although I'm not sure how. :)

Basically, in my experience, if it works in situation A and not in 
situation B people will assume that the problem is whatever is different 
in situation B rather than that both situations are completely valid but 
their application is broken and can't handle one of them.  This becomes 
a big problem when situation A is the more prevalent one - at that point 
you either start working around the buggy software, or you lose a 
customer and get a reputation for selling "broken" stuff.

So whilst I agree with you that in an ideal world we wouldn't work 
around stuff, we would just report bugs and the broken software would be 
fixed, in the real world the big mainstream businesses aren't interested 
in supporting their customers and yet somehow the rest of us end up 
having to do it for them or it reflects badly on *us*. <boggle>

FWIW, I am always happy to work with other people/companies to help them 
fix their broken stuff.  This has been met with a mix of responses - 
sometimes they are happy to work with me to fix things, which is great, 
but sadly not the most common experience.  Often I send a detailed bug 
report, explaining what's going wrong, referencing standards, etc. and 
get a "you're wrong, we're right, we're not going to change anything" 
response, which would be fine if they referenced anything to back up 
their position, but they never do.  Many simply ignore the reports 
altogether.  Then we have people like Microsoft, who I've tried to 
contact on several occasions to report bugs in their public-facing web 
servers - there are no suitable contact details ever published and I've 
been bounced from department to department with no one quite sure what 
to do with someone reporting problems with their _public_ servers and 
not having some kind of support contract with them (I've got no 
resolution to any of the problems I reported to them because I've never 
actually managed to get my report to anyone responsible).  I've given up 
reporting bugs to Apple because they always demand that I spend a lot of 
my time collecting debug logs, but then they sit on the report and never 
actually fix it (again, I've never had a resolution to a bug I've 
reported to Apple, despite supplying them with extensive debugging).

/rant :)

  - Steve Hill
    Technical Director
    Opendium Limited     http://www.opendium.com

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    Phone:            +44-1792-824568 / sip:sales at opendium.com

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    Phone:            +44-1792-825748 / sip:support at opendium.com

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