Friday, April 25, 2008

The missing feature of the Web: a DNS REST API

I have been waiting for years, that a quality DNS provider will a offer a REST API for setting DNS Records, but there is still no such a thing on the market. There is a SOAP based offering from Nettica (unfortunately I have an SOAP allergy). And there are the REST APIs some service providers are exposing for updating dynamic IPs.
DNS Made Easy, one of my preferred DNS providers, told me about a year ago they were working on such an API. I am still waiting. Anyway, if anybody is aware of such a service, please let me know.

Update: Found a possible solution (but I haven't actually tested their service yet): Slicehost, a similar service as Amazon EC2, they seem to have an API which allows to manipulate DNS records. But your domain has to be hosted on slicehost.

Update II: WorldwideDNS is another option.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's getting cloudy - Yahoo Application Platform

Just read this on TechCrunch:
... Yahoo Application Platform (YAP) - which will be a direct competitor to Google App Engine. Users can host their independent applications on Yahoo’s bandwidth, storage, database and CPU resources. At first they’ll support SecurePHP applications only, but they’ll expand to additional languages over time. The model will be very similar to Google’s - free usage up to a point, metered after that. They’ll also offer various developer tools as well.
With Yahoo offering cloud based PHP app hosting, I hope Google will focus on soon adding the already announced really useful features to App Engine, and not waste engineering efforts for supporting PHP.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cryptography API for Google Gears

Gears will provide native cryptography to web applications, at least this is what Google Summer of Code student Mike Ter Louw is planning to implement in the coming months. While it is possible to implement browser side cryptography in Javascript (e.g.: dojox.encoding), only few Ajax applications use this functionality, because it is slow and for communication purposes it only adds a very thin layer of security (requiring lots of tricks) , compared to HTTPS.
But HTTPS is a bit of a problem in todays clouding computing platforms, because it requires static IPs tied to a domain name for a valid certificate. So gears maybe will become a preferred option to increase poor man's web application security.