Monday, May 14, 2012

The new, easier localhost - localtest.me

Scott Forsyth's Blog - Introducing Testing Domain - localtest.me

"Save this URL, memorize it, write it on a sticky note, tweet it, tell your colleagues about it!

localtest.me (http://localtest.me)

and

*.localtest.me (http://something.localtest.me)

If you do any testing on your local system you’ve probably created hosts file entries (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) for different testing domains and had them point back to 127.0.0.1. This works great but it requires just a bit of extra effort.

This localtest.me trick is so obvious, so simple, and yet so powerful. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other domain names like this out there, but I haven’t run across them yet so I just ordered the domain name localtest.me which I’ll keep available for the internet community to use.

Here’s how it works. The entire domain name localtest.me and all wildcard entries point to 127.0.0.1. So without any changes to your host file you can immediate start testing with a local URL.

Examples:

http://localhost.me
http://newyork.localtest.me
http://mysite.localtest.me
http://redirecttest.localtest.me
http://sub1.sub2.sub3.localtest.me

You name it, just use any *.localtest.me URL that you dream up and it will work for testing on your local system.

..."

I would have never thought you could register a DNS address and point it at 127.0.0.1... Funny the blind spots we have. Anyway, I thought this pretty interesting, though something I think I'd use this with care. Scott owns it today, but in 2-5,10 years? Trust, but verify... In the mean time, this is a hack (in the old sense) that I can really appreciate.

1 comment:

Joe Crawford (artlung) said...

Yes, if you use this, and then register cookies with it, and he switches the DNS, he can collect a pile of cookies, Flash Cookies, localStorage entries, whatever.

Maybe I'm missing the upside of this though.