RubyOnRails.com blocking based on referrer?


#1

It looks like the company hosting RubyOnRails.com (TextDrive, now
Joyent) is blocking all URLs that contain the term “site5.com
anywhere in the URL with a misleading error message (Precondition
Failed). Competition is healthy, and we encourage it, but if it is
their intention to do this sort of thing they should be open and
honest with their customers, and the community about it. This does
not appear to be limited to just the rails site either. One of our
contractors is a paying TextDrive customer (http://
www.mattmccray.com/) and any link containing Site5.com that goes to
his site results in a similar error message.

Case in point:
http://www.adamgreenfield.com/test.html
http://www.adamgreenfield.com/site5.com/test.html

Examples (don’t work):
http://forums.site5.com/showthread.php?t=6758
http://engineering.site5.com/
http://fs.site5.com/~agreenfield/test.html

Examples (work)
http://www.adamgreenfield.com/articles/2005/12/13/rails-hits-1-0

At any rate, if TextDrive doesn’t want to play fair with competing
hosting companies, then we would be happy to extend the following
offer to the rails project. We will offer a dedicated machine (with
the operating system of your choice) for the hosting needs of the
rails project:

2 x 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon EMT64 / 64 bit
4 GB DDR ECC Registered RAM
2 x 200 GB SATA 7200 RPM 8 MB cache disks
100 mbit/s uplink
1 TB data transfer (if you need more, just let us know and it
shouldn’t be a problem)

More hosting companies offering rails based solutions is a good thing
for the technology as a whole. Competition in this market will only
result in the best possible situation for the consumer. If TextDrive
wishes to take anti-competitive actions like this, it is my sincere
hope that Rails will take their hosting elsewhere, even if elsewhere
is not with us.


Adam C. Greenfield
Chief Technology Officer
Site5 Internet Solutions, Inc.
Phone: (888) 748-3526 x 906
E-Mail: removed_email_address@domain.invalid


#2

Woow, this is really serious, I was almost going to host one of my first
rails projects on textdrive. Have you contacted TextDrive about this? I
can’t really belive there could be any explaination… No clients of
mine will be going to textdrive…


#3

I would strongly recommend talking to somebody at TextDrive about
this before throwing around accusations like this. Without doing any
checking, this sounds like an overeager mod_security rule that blocks
sites with a numeral in the domain.

The wisdom of such a rule can be debated, but I don’t think it’s
entirely appropriate to accuse TxD of anti-competitive practices
without making an attempt to contact them about it first.

Full disclosure: I am a TxD customer.

AJS


#4

On 12/14/05, AJ Schuster removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I would strongly recommend talking to somebody at TextDrive about
this before throwing around accusations like this. Without doing any
checking, this sounds like an overeager mod_security rule that blocks
sites with a numeral in the domain.

The wisdom of such a rule can be debated, but I don’t think it’s
entirely appropriate to accuse TxD of anti-competitive practices
without making an attempt to contact them about it first.

Was that the rule that caused the blockage?