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Introducing REDbot
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Introducing REDbot

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Ignite Melbourne 2009: 5-minute introduction to REDbot, an HTTP testing tool.

Ignite Melbourne 2009: 5-minute introduction to REDbot, an HTTP testing tool.

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  • Protocols are hard, because distributed systems are hard, and interoperability is hard.
  • Part of my day job is fielding questions for developers who have trouble with HTTP.
  • Questions like "why isn't my page caching?" "why isn't gzip working?" "what does this mean?"
  • Many issues can be found by inspecting responses, and observing how a resource behaves.
  • RED is the Resource Expert Droid -- an automated tool for testing HTTP resources, whether they're Web pages or RESTful Web Services.
  • [ screenshot showing interface for a basic response]
  • [ screenshot showing interface calculating cacheability of response ] 
  • [ screenshot showing interface validating resource ]
  • [ screenshot showing interface verifying proper operation of partial response ]
  • [ screenshot showing interface verifying gzip content negotiation ]
  • RED can find common errors like a Content-Length that's incorrect or a header with incorrect syntax.
  • And it also catches issues like headers that are too big, URIs that are too long, and URIs that contain illegal characters.
  • You can drill down on any problem and get a complete explanation of the issue and its impact.
  • RED can also tie-in to other tools: HTML / Atom / RSS / CSS validation. In time, it will have more knowledge of common payload formats.
  • I have a hidden agenda with this tool -- encouraging RESTful design.
  • If your message is self describing (E.g., Allow header, Link header), RED can navigate them and give you a richer experience.
  • OTOH, if you use non-standard headers or your messages aren't self-describing, it won't work as well with RED.
  • RED can, in time, support extension protocols like OAuth, OpenID, AtomPub and others. 
  • Under the covers, RED is asynchronous, event-driven Python, from sockets up. GPL License.
  • See [URL] to use, download or contribute. Work is still in progress.
  • Transcript

    • 1. protocols are hard http://www.flickr.com/photos/greencolander/2356459228/
    • 2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pbo31/95696658/
    • 3. not-so-hidden agenda http://www.flickr.com/photos/gullig/2163728126/
    • 4. self-describing http://www.flickr.com/photos/moriza/189889980/
    • 5. not self-describing http://www.flickr.com/photos/25128555@N03/2371783536/
    • 6. cowpaths accommodated http://www.flickr.com/photos/suda/672714986/
    • 7. redbot.org http://www.flickr.com/photos/15708236@N07/2754478731/

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