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Hooking the lizard brain up to the cerebral cortex

Sunday, September 20, 2009 by Dave Winer.

This is worth a special post as a followup to the earlier piece, it's so interesting. Permalink to this paragraph

I was talking with a friend today, he's an expert in DNS, and I said it's too bad people can't open their supercloud.org sub-domain in a browser. I understood why this wasn't possible: Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named crumb.jpg1. The browser is looking for an A record or a CNAME, and we're setting the TXT record. Permalink to this paragraph

My friend who doesn't want me to say his name (and I respect that) said it might not have to be that way. We talked about connecting the DNS with HTTP and it was really intriguing. If you think about it, DNS is like the lizard brain of the Internet, and HTTP, while it is in some ways lower tech than DNS, is the cerebral cortex. To have them integrate is like bringing the Wright Brothers plane they flew at Kitty Hawk on an Apollo moon mission. But that's the way we do things in techland. A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

Then I thought -- wait a minute, what's to stop me from also registering an A record that points back to me, and then keeping a database locally that associates a name with an RSS URL. Then when you open your supercloud.org subdomain in a browser: Permalink to this paragraph

1. It comes to my machine. Permalink to this paragraph

2. It looks you up in the database I'm keeping that's a mirror of what's in the TXT records in DNS.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. From there I get your RSS address. Permalink to this paragraph

4. To which I simply do a 302 redirect. Permalink to this paragraph

Hah! I had to try it. And guess what! The fcuker works!! A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

Try it out: http://davewiner.supercloud.org/.  Permalink to this paragraph

And then go through the registration process, and try it out yourself.  Permalink to this paragraph

This is actually important because everyone expected taht you'd be able to open the supercloud.org sub-domain in the browser. Now you can. Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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