Network2/Advice

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Advice for Activity Authors

There are two critical changes that you'll need to make to your design in order to really make it sing.

First, you'll want to add some mechanism for your users to type in hostnames that they want you to connect to. This lets them do all sorts of cool stuff like:

  • copy-and-paste links from websites or cerebro
  • type in names from a physical display like a blackboard or a handout,

Second, you'll want to be prepared to re-resolve names in order to get fresh addresses each time your connectivity changes. For the time being, you should do this by calling libc's getaddrinfo() function.

Third, go check out SCTP (wikipedia, man page). It's support for multi-homing, multi-streaming with and without ordering guarantees, and for updating the addresses you're using to talk to your peer on the fly seem particularly serendipitous.

Advice for Deployers

Ask your ISPs to provide IPv6 prefixes or tunnel endpoints. After all -- if none of their customers ask, then what incentive will they ever have to upgrade?

Failing that, see if you (or a local university?) can afford a public IPv4 address -- even if it's dynamic. If so, you can be many sorts of tunnel endpoint.

Regardless, if you manage to get a globally reachable IPv6 address by any means, then you can provide a DNS server for your kids and it can direct them to one another and to any other services that you feel like pointing them at.

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