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[Social-discuss] Would a 'DynHttpd' service be useful?

From: Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson
Subject: [Social-discuss] Would a 'DynHttpd' service be useful?
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 19:18:11 +0200

Hello GNU-Social :-)

I've been watching with keen interest the activity in the free/open-social space over the past few weeks, finally got around to subscribing to your list.  I've got an idea kicking around in my head (and a basic design), which might or might not be useful. Considering that I have considerably more ideas than I have time, I figured I'd try to start a discussion before spending much more time on it.

Would it be useful for the various open-social projects if there were a cloud-based dynamic HTTP-front-end service?

This would be similar to DynDns, except instead of pointing your DNS records at your current IP, which may be firewalled, it would create a tunnel from your machine to an in-the-cloud reverse HTTP proxy, so a locally running HTTPD on your machine can serve requests to the general internet.  Combined with a dynamic DNS solution, this would allow you to run your social web-app (or whatever else) on your own hardware, no matter how many firewalls are in your way and no matter how much you move around.

Behavior when you aren't online is a fun topic: it could be anything from a dropped request, to a 'Sorry, I'm not online now' page, to automatic failover to a mirror on a friend's machine.

Doing this for clear-text HTTP is very possible, for HTTPS this is pretty hard to do without running out of IP-addresses.  So an 'open social' web using a system like this would sacrifice over-the-wire encryption and authentication, but instead gain total local control over your software stack (aside from the proxies, of course).

I don't know if that is an appealing trade-off for anyone... but man I wish someone would fix SSL so it wasn't 1:1 with IP addresses.  Is anyone working on that?

(The idea I am toying with is quite a bit more convoluted, where the HTTP-front-ends themselves are a dynamic p2p network and the network supports mirroring and fail-over for static content - but if the basic functionality isn't interesting then there is little point in me typing all day.)

Thoughts?  Oh, also - does this already exist?  :-)

Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson

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