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

Use your personal consumer @ 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 comparable 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 an easy HTTP-based protocol that allows a consumer to find details about different customers or sources on the web through the use of their electronic mail tackle or different figuring out data. The WebFinger protocol is essential for Mastodon as a result of it permits customers to search out and comply with 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 conversant in 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 an easy HTTP-based protocol that allows a consumer or search to find details about different customers or sources on the web through the use of their electronic 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 concept is that…

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

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

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

The useful resource descriptor incorporates numerous sorts of details about the consumer or useful resource, comparable to their identify, profile image, and hyperlinks to their social media accounts or different on-line sources. It could possibly additionally embody different sorts of data, such because the consumer’s public key, which can be utilized to ascertain a safe reference to the consumer.

There’s a terrific explainer right here as properly. From that web page:

When somebody searches for you on Mastodon, your server shall 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}

Notice that Mastodon consumer names begin with @ so they’re @username@someserver.com. Similar to twiter could 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 ought to be returned as a mime sort of utility/jrd+json

My web site is an ASP.NET Razor Pages web site, 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. Notice I’ve to double escape the @@ websites as a result of it is Razor.

@web page
@{
Structure = null;
this.Response.ContentType = "utility/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 a couple of particular person I would wish to take within the url with the consumer’s identify, after which map it to their aliases and return these accurately.

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 replica it to your personal server!

So long as your server returns the proper 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 appears like Twitter circa 2007 besides it is not owned by anybody and relies on net requirements like ActivityPub.

Hope this helps!




About Scott

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

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