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HomeSoftware DevelopmentUse your personal person @ area for Mastodon discoverability with the WebFinger...

Use your personal person @ area for Mastodon discoverability with the WebFinger Protocol with out internet hosting a server



Mastodon is a free, open-source social networking service that’s decentralized and distributed. It was created in 2016 as an alternative choice to centralized social media platforms equivalent to Twitter and Fb.

One of many key options of Mastodon is using the WebFinger protocol, which permits customers to find and entry details about different customers on the Mastodon community. WebFinger is a straightforward HTTP-based protocol that permits a person to find details about different customers or sources on the web by utilizing their e-mail tackle or different figuring out data. The WebFinger protocol is vital for Mastodon as a result of it allows customers to seek out and observe one another on the community, no matter the place they’re hosted.

WebFinger makes use of a “well-known” path construction when calling an area. You might be aware of the robots.txt conference. All of us simply agree that robots.txt will sit on the prime path of everybody’s area.

The WebFinger protocol is a straightforward HTTP-based protocol that permits a person or search to find details about different customers or sources on the web by utilizing their e-mail tackle or different figuring out data. My is first identify ultimately identify .com, so…my private WebFinger API endpoint is right here https://www.hanselman.com/.well-known/webfinger

The thought is that…

  1. A person sends a WebFinger request to a server, utilizing the e-mail tackle or different figuring out data of the person or useful resource they’re attempting to find.

  2. The server seems to be up the requested data in its database and returns a JSON object containing the details about the person or useful resource. This JSON object is known as a “useful resource descriptor.”

  3. The person’s shopper receives the useful resource descriptor and shows the data to the person.

The useful resource descriptor comprises varied sorts of details about the person or useful resource, equivalent to their identify, profile image, and hyperlinks to their social media accounts or different on-line sources. It will probably additionally embrace different sorts of data, such because the person’s public key, which can be utilized to ascertain a safe reference to the person.

There’s an incredible explainer right here as effectively. From that web page:

When somebody searches for you on Mastodon, your server can be queried for accounts utilizing an endpoint that appears like this:

GET https://${MASTODON_DOMAIN}/.well-known/webfinger?useful resource=acct:${MASTODON_USER}@${MASTODON_DOMAIN}

Word that Mastodon person names begin with @ so they’re @username@someserver.com. Similar to twiter can be @shanselman@twitter.com I might be @shanselman@hanselman.com now!

Searching for me with Mastodon

So maybe https://www.hanselman.com/.well-known/webfinger?useful resource=acct:FRED@HANSELMAN.COM

Mine returns

{
"topic":"acct:shanselman@hachyderm.io",
"aliases":
[
"https://hachyderm.io/@shanselman",
"https://hachyderm.io/users/shanselman"
],
"hyperlinks":
[
{
"rel":"http://webfinger.net/rel/profile-page",
"type":"text/html",
"href":"https://hachyderm.io/@shanselman"
},
{
"rel":"self",
"type":"application/activity+json",
"href":"https://hachyderm.io/users/shanselman"
},
{
"rel":"http://ostatus.org/schema/1.0/subscribe",
"template":"https://hachyderm.io/authorize_interaction?uri={uri}"
}
]
}

This file must be returned as a mime sort of software/jrd+json

My website is an ASP.NET Razor Pages website, so I simply did this in Startup.cs to map that well-known URL to a web page/route that returns the JSON wanted.

providers.AddRazorPages().AddRazorPagesOptions(choices =>
{
choices.Conventions.AddPageRoute("/robotstxt", "/Robots.Txt"); //i did this earlier than, not wanted
choices.Conventions.AddPageRoute("/webfinger", "/.well-known/webfinger");
choices.Conventions.AddPageRoute("/webfinger", "/.well-known/webfinger/{val?}");
});

then I made a webfinger.cshtml like this. Word I’ve to double escape the @@ websites as a result of it is Razor.

@web page
@{
Structure = null;
this.Response.ContentType = "software/jrd+json";
}
{
"topic":"acct:shanselman@hachyderm.io",
"aliases":
[
"https://hachyderm.io/@@shanselman",
"https://hachyderm.io/users/shanselman"
],
"hyperlinks":
[
{
"rel":"http://webfinger.net/rel/profile-page",
"type":"text/html",
"href":"https://hachyderm.io/@@shanselman"
},
{
"rel":"self",
"type":"application/activity+json",
"href":"https://hachyderm.io/users/shanselman"
},
{
"rel":"http://ostatus.org/schema/1.0/subscribe",
"template":"https://hachyderm.io/authorize_interaction?uri={uri}"
}
]
}

It is a static response, but when I used to be internet hosting pages for multiple particular person I might wish to take within the url with the person’s identify, after which map it to their aliases and return these appropriately.

Even simpler, you possibly can simply use the JSON file of your personal Mastodon server’s webfinger response and SAVE IT as a static json file and duplicate it to your personal server!

So long as your server returns the precise JSON from that well-known URL then it’s going to work.

So that is my template https://hachyderm.io/.well-known/webfinger?useful resource=acct:shanselman@hachyderm.io from the place I am hosted now.

If you wish to get began with Mastodon, begin right here. https://github.com/joyeusenoelle/GuideToMastodon/ it looks like Twitter circa 2007 besides it isn’t owned by anybody and is predicated on internet requirements like ActivityPub.

Hope this helps!




About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, guide, father, diabetic, and Microsoft worker. He’s a failed stand-up comedian, a cornrower, and a e-book creator.

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