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Making the web symmetric

ReverseHttp is an implementation of the specifications hosted at http://reversehttp.net:

  • ReverseHttp: a dynamic, ReST-style means of enrolment and participation in an HTTP network. The message/http and application/http MIME types defined by RFC 2616 are used to build a dynamically-configurable "Remote CGI" service.

  • RelayHttp: a protocol for tunnelling HTTP traffic over HTTP, with the goal of providing portable, general, securable access to the World Wide Web for programs running in restricted environments, including Javascript programs running in browsers.

Joining the World Wide Web as an HTTP server has been an ad-hoc, manual process. By using the ReverseHttp protocol, programs can provide services to the Web just as easily as they request services from the Web.

Code overview

  • src/ holds the server implementation, written in Erlang using Mochiweb.

  • priv/www/ holds the Javascript client implementation and demos.

  • priv/java/ holds the Java client implementation.

  • priv/python/ holds the Python client implementation.

Building and running ReverseHttp

You will need Erlang installed. Run make. If this succeeds, run ./start-dev.sh.

By default, the server will now be running on port 8000, serving content from priv/www. Try http://localhost:8000/: you should see an index of demos.

To change the port number, edit reversehttp.app. The version in src/ is the master copy, but the version in ebin/ is the one that's used to actually run the software.

Software License

ReverseHttp is open-source code, licensed under the very liberal MIT license:

Copyright (c) 2008, 2009, 2010 Tony Garnock-Jones <tonygarnockjones@gmail.com>
Copyright (c) 2008, 2009 LShift Ltd. <query@lshift.net>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without
restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy,
modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies
of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT
HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY,
WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
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