Net Twits

2004-05-15

The Amazing Invisibility Cloak

Most people don’t like to have long URIs for their website, such as http://www.myisp.com.au/~username/ — they’re long, difficult to remember, and not very attractive to your visitors. Plus, ISPs can change, which would mean that anyone who bookmarked my site at my old ISP, would suddenly find they can no longer visit. So, wouldn’t it be nice if, just like Harry Potter, we had an invisibility cloak to hide ourselves in, so we can show off only our good looking, easy to remember domain name. Well, today’s twit thinks they’ve got the answer.

So, todays twit comes, surprisingly, from my own site (well, sort of…). At the time of writing this, my domain, http://www.lachy.id.au/, is currently implemented using a URI Cloaking mechanism that my current domain registrar, Bottle Domains calls URL Forwarding. It’s implemented by delivering a <frameset> which allows the client’s UA to fetch the real document from my ISP’s web space. Here’s the full code used for this: (skip code)

<HTML>
<HEAD>
    <TITLE>Lachy.id.au</TITLE>
    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Add description here">
    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Add keywords here">
</HEAD>
<FRAMESET border=0 rows="100%,*" frameborder="no"
        marginleft=0 margintop=0 marginright=0 marginbottom=0>
    <frame src="http://myisp.net.au/~username/" scrolling=auto
        frameborder="no" border=0 noresize>
    <frame topmargin="0" marginwidth=0 scrolling=no marginheight=0
        frameborder="no" border=0 noresize>
</FRAMESET>
<NOFRAMES>
    <BODY>
        <P>
            <BLOCKQUOTE>Add description here</BLOCKQUOTE>
        <P>
        <A HREF="http://myisp.net.au/~username/">Click here to go
            to www.lachy.id.au</A>
    </BODY>
</NOFRAMES>
</HTML>

It’s not even Valid HTML!. There’s no !DOCTYPE declaration, some attributes do, and others don’t quote their values, there’s a <BLOCKQUOTE> within a <P>, folllowed by an <A> outside the paragraph. Anyone who knows how to code valid (X)HTML, should understand just how invalid that is.

It just seems like a cheap and nasty solution to a problem, to make a quick profit without actually doing any real work! IMHO, they shouldn’t offer such a service. Instead, they should do some kind of server-side processing to have the actual content delivered directly to the client, keeping the entire implementation completely transparent. Anyway, I’m just glad it was a free trial period, so I didn’t waste my money! Also, my real hosting is expected to be set up by next Tuesday, 2004-05-18. So finger’s crossed that they’re not just offering the same service, calling it Web Hosting, and charging excessively for it!

Comments:

Lachlan Hunt said:

This post has been removed by the author.

Comment Posted: 12:14 AM

Lachlan Hunt said:

The new hosting is set up, and there's not a frameset in sight!!!

Comment Posted: 12:22 AM

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This WeBlog is a gallery of websites that basically, just get it wrong! The aim is to showcase the stupidity of some of the worst HTML-Terrorists. It's not just about the millions of average website builders who use image-text navigational links, tables for layout, or nothing but <font> tags. This blog aims to point out those who take that little extra step in making their site difficult to use, completely inaccessable, totally annoying or just hypocritical!

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