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Siskin: Leveraging the Browser to Share Web Content in Disconnected Environments

Samuel Sudar
Matt Welsh
Richard Anderson
COMPASS (2018)

Abstract

Schools in the developing world frequently do not have high bandwidth or reliable connections, limiting their access to web content. As a result, schools are increasingly turning to Offline Educational Resources (OERs), employing purpose-built local hardware to serve content. These approaches can be expensive and difficult to maintain in resource-constrained settings. We present Siskin, an alternative approach that leverages the ubiquity of the web browser to provide a distributed content access cache between user devices on the lo-cal network. We demonstrate that this system allows access to web pages offline by identifying the browser as a ubiquitous platform. We build and evaluate a prototype, showing that existing web protocols and infrastructure can be leveraged to create a powerful content cache over a local network.