How to host a website (or just big files!) on Friend Camp

Hello campers! Darius here. As part of my Mozilla Fellowship I've been thinking about ways to extend the usefulness of the distributed web for everyone. So I made a way for us to host files on Friend Camp. You can either upload a zip file or use something called Dat and Beaker Browser. I'll go over the zip file thing first.

Any site here is public, in that anyone with the URL can see it. There is also a privacy listing where you can opt to list your site in a directory that anyone (even non-campers) can see, or one that is campers-only, or to not be in a directory at all.

Anyway, the main site for all of this is right here: https://friend.camp/dat/

Basic uploads with ZIP files

If you just want to throw up some files, here's how:

  1. Create your website. It can be a simple, single page of HTML, or a complicated site with images and videos and mp3s and javascript and CSS. As long as it's all "static files" (no server components) you should be fine. If you want the url https://dat-mysite.friend.camp/ to work without any extra files listed, it should have an index.html file in the root directory.
  2. Make a ZIP file of your site.
  3. Go to https://friend.camp/dat/ and log in with your Friend Camp account.
  4. Fill out the form, and in the ZIP file section, upload your ZIP.
  5. That's it! You should now have a URL you can go to and see your site or your files.

If you want to update your site, just upload a new zip with the same short name (that short name is forever associated with your Mastodon login, only you can overwrite it).

Please play nice

I don't have any disk quotas in place right now. Please don't upload something huge, or if you plan on uploading something huge, ask me first. If this takes off, I might need to pay an extra like $10/mo for more storage or something.

See some of our sites

Coming soon

Everything you upload will also be on the distributed web

In addition to living at https://dat-yoursite.friend.camp, the site is also available at dat://dat-yoursite.friend.camp. You can only really view the site at dat:// URL with a special browser called Beaker, but if you do, it means the web hosting is being shared by Friend Camp and also anyone else looking at the website on Beaker. It's kind of like a torrent. This seems useless (why not just use https), but what if we wanted to share really large files with each other?

At the moment though this is still a little bit of an experimental add-on. The actual reason to allow for this kind of thing is to make Friend Camp compatible with website authoring via Beaker Browser, which is a really cool desktop web browser that lets you author and publish websites in the browser itself. Rather than explain it here, I have made a brief video.

A brief video: how to make a website with Beaker and put it on Friend Camp

There's a lot more you can do with Beaker Browser, like share folders of files, or just build your own website from scratch and share that without having to deal with Beaker's editor. I encourage you to read their guide. But also feel free to ask me any questions! It's early days for a lot of this stuff and your questions (even ones that seem "stupid") are very helpful when it comes to learning how I can better teach these concepts.