You might have noticed that my blog has been down for a little while today. The reason that happened is that I was trying to get Google Webmaster Tools to work again, as I’ve been spending some more time lately to clean up my web presence — I’ll soon post more about news related to Autotools Mythbuster and the direction it’s going to take.
How did that cause my blog’s not coming up though? Well, the new default for GWT’s validation of the authorship of the website is to use DNS TXT records, instead of the old header on the homepage, or file on the root. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well.
First, it actually tends to be smart, by checking whose DNS servers are assigned to the domain — which meant that it showed up instructions on how to login on my OVH account (great). On the other hand, it told me to create the new TXT record without setting a subdomain — too bad that it will not accept a validation on flameeyes.eu for blog.flameeyes.eu.
The other problem is that the moment I added a TXT record for blog.flameeyes.eu, the resolution of the host didn’t lead to the CNAME anymore, which meant that the host was unreachable altogether. I’ve not checked the DNS documentation to learn whether this is a bug in OVH or if the GWT suggestion is completely broken. In either case it was a bad suggestion.
Also, if you happen to not be able to reach posts and you end up always on the homepage, please flush your cache, I made a mess when I was fixing the redirects to fix more links all over the Internet — it should all be fine now, and links should all work, even those that were mangled beforehand due to non-ASCII-compatible URLs.
Finally, I’ve updated the few posts were a YouTube video was linked, and they now use the iframe-based embed strategy, which means they are visible without using Adobe Flash, via HTML5. But that’s all fine, no issue should be created by that.
You cannot have any other records with CNAME except DNSSEC records (RFC 1034, 3.6.2; and RFC 1912, 2.4). OVH or any other provider shouldn’t allow such kind of configuration. A CNAME in DNS is like a symbolic link to a directory in a linux filesystem. A symbolic link cannot hold files, only the directory it points to.