Idea for a much needed application

I remember a while ago reading about tim burners-lee and how his
vision of the WorldWideWeb as a medium where all can freely and easily
publish information has not materialized properly, and i felt it so
strongly over the past week when trying to look at options for hosting
a website. Hosts are either expensive or limit you in terms of what
languages, modules, applications, and OSs you can use. They also limit
you in terms of space, bandwidth used per period, number of executions
of CGIs… etc. Some of those who give good deals, seem difficult to
trust with either your credit card number or your content.

I wish i can just use my own computer, with whatever technologies I
choose, keeping my content that i build up over time safe here on my
own machine, but unless you have a broadband connection this is not
possible. It may be possible using a dynamic DNS provider, but then
again either they add cost, end up with an ugly URL, and, most
importantly, there’s no way for others to know when you get online. So
here comes the idea that occured to me, and i post it here to ask if
you know of an application that already provides this functionality,
then please tell me what it is, or if you think it is worth doing on
an open source basis, or even proprietary, in which case i invite
anyone to do so, or if you think it’s a completely stupid and
impossible idea, then perhaps you can please tell me why.

You probably guessed if you read as far as the second paragraph that
what i’m thinking about is an application functionality that enables
instant messaging to provide the dynamic DNS functionality. So instead
of giving others a URL I can just give them an IM username they can
add to their client, and when i go online, through my humble dial-up
connection that changes IP whenever i log in, they’ll be aware of my
presence, and be able to connect to a server i host on my machine.

It sounds like a simple thing; IM presence, automatic IP query of my
username, click on my username and or use a contextual menu option or
whatever and a browser launches to go to the site i’m hosting on my
machine. Perhaps it can use existing open-source platforms, such as
jabber or gnutella, or as an add-on to existing open-source
applications/clients. Basically what i’m suggesting is a little tool
to enable a server such as apache to join the whole IM/p2p thing and
have “presence”. The more automated it is, and the easier it is, the
better. I think such a functionality will be especially useful for
certain uses, in my case it will be hosting a wiki, as i leave my
machine online a lot through my dial-up, can’t predict the number of
executions of CGI or the amount of space needed, wish to be free to
use whatever wiki application is best for my needs and in whatever
language regardless of what a host will support, and do not wish to
pay a monthly fee, extra charges, setup fee or a domain registration.
Perhaps there can be other areas where it is useful, and i’m sure
there are other areas where it will not be suitable. Perhaps there can
also be a simple way to enable a page hosted in such a way to be
submitted to search engines, i haven’t thought about that yet, but
tell me if u see any.

What do you think? already done, worth doing, stupid, or impossible?
(p.s. please also let me know if there are other newsgroup to which
posting this will be a good idea)

(snip snip)

If I understand you correctly, have you looked
into dns2go from deerfield.com?

It may not satisfy you. All it does is register
with their server when you go online, so that a
"fake" name that you use can be used at any time
to access your machine (e.g., foobar.dns2go.com).
But it doesn’t provide a way to tell when you’re
online other than by just trying it.

Hal

···

----- Original Message -----
From: “mike henley” rsrchstr@hotmail.com
Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix,comp.lang.ruby
To: “ruby-talk ML” ruby-talk@ruby-lang.org
Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 5:13 PM
Subject: idea for a much needed application

Hi,
Icq has such a feature.Though I haven’t tried it much. It installs a
small webserver on your machine with a ready made web site.
Regards
Ajay Sharma

Not too long ago, while exploring DRuby, I wrote a set of classes that would
let me expose a URL on my public web site (hosted by a third party, and with
limited storage space) that would trigger a DRuby call to a service running
on my home PC. The public web server just needed to know my current home IP
address (which, unfortunately, changes since my ISP uses DHCP), and would
act as a proxy for the Druby service. A DRuby client on the public web
sever would make a request to a DRuby server on my home PC, whch would
stream back bytes. The bytes would get passed back to the web site client,
none the wiser.

I managed so that one could hit a URL on my web site, and stream an MP3 that
physically resided on my home PC to another PC on the Internet.

In theory it could work the other way, too, to allow data posted data via
HTTP, which in turn would be sent to my home PC via a Druby client.

Now, this was mostly a “gee, I wonder if …” sort of thing, but one thing I
liked was that I could provide a service on a specific port that would only
accept connections from a single remote machine (my public web site). I
(and my ISP, I imagine) prefer this to running a complete web server open to
the whole 'net. (This, though, raises the question of which has better
security for basic operations, Apache or Druby, since I could also restrict
Apache to respond to a specific client IP address. So, on second thought
…)

I put the project on hold, since the bytes passed through my public web site
and racked up my transfer stats. What I would prefer is to have a stable
public URL that is a gateway to a Drb-to-Drb exchange negotiation, with my
home PC keeping the public site abreast of my current IP address and what
port to use. (And I think in that scenario all the web server need do is
verify that I’m a Good Guy before telling me the real IP and port to connect
of the Druby server on my home PC. The web server could tell the DRuby
server what client IP address to expect. Then my remote Druby client
negotiates the service directly.)

I did just now take a look at DNS2Go, though, and it looks quite useful.
You could upload files to your home machine using ftp or a web server. The
hard part, I suppose, in these schemes, is having server software that
allows you to connect and navigate your content, while keeping put the Bad
Guys. Maybe scp or ssh? vnc? You would also need a way to have DNS2Go aware
of when your home IP address changes.

James, thinking out loud.

···

-----Original Message-----
From: mike henley [mailto:rsrchstr@hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2002 3:14 PM
To: ruby-talk ML
Subject: idea for a much needed application

I remember a while ago reading about tim burners-lee and how his
vision of the WorldWideWeb as a medium where all can freely and easily
publish information has not materialized properly, and i felt it so
strongly over the past week when trying to look at options for hosting
a website. Hosts are either expensive or limit you in terms of what
languages, modules, applications, and OSs you can use. They also limit
you in terms of space, bandwidth used per period, number of executions
of CGIs… etc. Some of those who give good deals, seem difficult to
trust with either your credit card number or your content.

the following:

I remember a while ago reading about tim burners-lee and how his
vision of the WorldWideWeb as a medium where all can freely and easily
publish information has not materialized properly, and i felt it so
strongly over the past week when trying to look at options for hosting
a website. Hosts are either expensive or limit you in terms of what
languages, modules, applications, and OSs you can use. They also limit
you in terms of space, bandwidth used per period, number of executions
of CGIs… etc. Some of those who give good deals, seem difficult to
trust with either your credit card number or your content.

I wish i can just use my own computer, with whatever technologies I
choose, keeping my content that i build up over time safe here on my
own machine, but unless you have a broadband connection this is not
possible. It may be possible using a dynamic DNS provider, but then
again either they add cost, end up with an ugly URL, and, most
importantly, there’s no way for others to know when you get online. So
here comes the idea that occured to me, and i post it here to ask if
you know of an application that already provides this functionality,
then please tell me what it is, or if you think it is worth doing on
an open source basis, or even proprietary, in which case i invite
anyone to do so, or if you think it’s a completely stupid and
impossible idea, then perhaps you can please tell me why.

You probably guessed if you read as far as the second paragraph that
what i’m thinking about is an application functionality that enables
instant messaging to provide the dynamic DNS functionality. So instead
of giving others a URL I can just give them an IM username they can
add to their client, and when i go online, through my humble dial-up
connection that changes IP whenever i log in, they’ll be aware of my
presence, and be able to connect to a server i host on my machine.

It sounds like a simple thing; IM presence, automatic IP query of my
username, click on my username and or use a contextual menu option or
whatever and a browser launches to go to the site i’m hosting on my
machine. Perhaps it can use existing open-source platforms, such as
jabber or gnutella, or as an add-on to existing open-source
applications/clients. Basically what i’m suggesting is a little tool
to enable a server such as apache to join the whole IM/p2p thing and
have “presence”. The more automated it is, and the easier it is, the
better. I think such a functionality will be especially useful for
certain uses, in my case it will be hosting a wiki, as i leave my
machine online a lot through my dial-up, can’t predict the number of
executions of CGI or the amount of space needed, wish to be free to
use whatever wiki application is best for my needs and in whatever
language regardless of what a host will support, and do not wish to
pay a monthly fee, extra charges, setup fee or a domain registration.
Perhaps there can be other areas where it is useful, and i’m sure
there are other areas where it will not be suitable. Perhaps there can
also be a simple way to enable a page hosted in such a way to be
submitted to search engines, i haven’t thought about that yet, but
tell me if u see any.

What do you think? already done, worth doing, stupid, or impossible?
(p.s. please also let me know if there are other newsgroup to which
posting this will be a good idea)

If you want replies please be concise. I didn’t read anything here.

···

On 29 Sep 2002 15:10:59 -0700, rsrchstr@hotmail.com (mike henley) said

rsrchstr@hotmail.com (mike henley) wrote in message news:576c1752.0209291410.3666fd31@posting.google.com

I remember a while ago reading about tim burners-lee and how his
vision of the WorldWideWeb as a medium where all can freely and easily
publish information has not materialized properly, and i felt it so
strongly over the past week when trying to look at options for hosting
a website. Hosts are either expensive or limit you in terms of what

It is expensive to maintain a 24/7 server, ISPs have to figure out how
to charge by your usage.

languages, modules, applications, and OSs you can use. They also limit
you in terms of space, bandwidth used per period, number of executions
of CGIs… etc. Some of those who give good deals, seem difficult to
trust with either your credit card number or your content.

True for all business in general.

I wish i can just use my own computer, with whatever technologies I
choose, keeping my content that i build up over time safe here on my

So, we have to use whatever technologies you come up with. I hate IM,
ICQ or whatever, they are as intrusive as the telephone.

own machine, but unless you have a broadband connection this is not
possible. It may be possible using a dynamic DNS provider, but then
again either they add cost, end up with an ugly URL, and, most
importantly, there’s no way for others to know when you get online. So

That’s why is necessary and expensive for 24/7 servers.

here comes the idea that occured to me, and i post it here to ask if
you know of an application that already provides this functionality,
then please tell me what it is, or if you think it is worth doing on
an open source basis, or even proprietary, in which case i invite
anyone to do so, or if you think it’s a completely stupid and
impossible idea, then perhaps you can please tell me why.

Yes and Yes.

You probably guessed if you read as far as the second paragraph that
what i’m thinking about is an application functionality that enables
instant messaging to provide the dynamic DNS functionality. So instead

So you want IM to monopolize the server market?

of giving others a URL I can just give them an IM username they can
add to their client, and when i go online, through my humble dial-up
connection that changes IP whenever i log in, they’ll be aware of my
presence, and be able to connect to a server i host on my machine.

It sounds like a simple thing; IM presence, automatic IP query of my

As stupid as dynamic dns, which is causing lots of unnecessary dns
traffic on the net.

username, click on my username and or use a contextual menu option or
whatever and a browser launches to go to the site i’m hosting on my
machine. Perhaps it can use existing open-source platforms, such as
jabber or gnutella, or as an add-on to existing open-source
applications/clients. Basically what i’m suggesting is a little tool
to enable a server such as apache to join the whole IM/p2p thing and

You can just leave me out of your IM/p2p thing.

have “presence”. The more automated it is, and the easier it is, the
better. I think such a functionality will be especially useful for
certain uses, in my case it will be hosting a wiki, as i leave my
machine online a lot through my dial-up, can’t predict the number of
executions of CGI or the amount of space needed, wish to be free to
use whatever wiki application is best for my needs and in whatever
language regardless of what a host will support, and do not wish to
pay a monthly fee, extra charges, setup fee or a domain registration.

If they have their way, you will be paying your IM provider a great
deal
of money.

Perhaps there can be other areas where it is useful, and i’m sure
there are other areas where it will not be suitable. Perhaps there can
also be a simple way to enable a page hosted in such a way to be
submitted to search engines, i haven’t thought about that yet, but
tell me if u see any.

What do you think? already done, worth doing, stupid, or impossible?
(p.s. please also let me know if there are other newsgroup to which
posting this will be a good idea)

Maybe, No, Yes, Not really.

If you want replies please be concise. I didn’t read anything
here.

Probably good you quoted the entire thing for a 1 line response then.

···

=====

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