Is your gopher IPv6-enabled? Please check that it still works :)

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Mateusz Viste

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Dec 7, 2021, 4:16:32 AM12/7/21
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Hello all,

Yesterday I looked at OGUP's activity and I noticed that it reported a
lot of sites being "down", while in fact they are reachable.

The problem is that many gopher sites nowadays are exposed both with an
IPv4 and IPv6 address and in many cases the IPv6 connectivity to the
host was failing, while the host was still reachable over IPv4. Gopher
admins often do not notice this because they themselves are not behind
an IPv6 link, so they think that their gopher is okay.

I have mailed a few of you about this (and some of you fixed it by
removing IPv6 - thanks!), but I cannot mail everyone. So - if your
gopher is published under an AAAA record: please make sure it really
works.

I think that it is better to have no IPv6 at all rather than flapping
v6. The users don't care, and when their browser fails to connect to an
IPv6-enabled site they just assume the host is down (and OGUP does the
same).

cheers,
Mateusz
--
gopher://gopher.viste.fr

Marco Moock

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Dec 7, 2021, 7:04:45 AM12/7/21
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Am Tue, 7 Dec 2021 10:15:28 +0100
schrieb Mateusz Viste <mat...@xyz.invalid>:

> I have mailed a few of you about this (and some of you fixed it by
> removing IPv6 - thanks!)

That is a short-time workaround - not a fix.
> I think that it is better to have no IPv6 at all rather than flapping
> v6. The users don't care, and when their browser fails to connect to
> an IPv6-enabled site they just assume the host is down (and OGUP does
> the same).

No, the proper solution is to make IPv6 working, the entire Internet
needs to switch to IPv6 because the address space of IPv4 is too small.
I like to get rid of IPv4 as soon as possible.

It is not that hard to make IPv6 work, so please do it if you run any
service rather than disabling IPv6.
I can give assistance if needed, I have IPv6 connectivity.

--
Marco

Mateusz Viste

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Dec 7, 2021, 7:45:52 AM12/7/21
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2021-12-07 at 13:03 +0100, Marco Moock wrote:
> It is not that hard to make IPv6 work, so please do it if you run any
> service rather than disabling IPv6.

That naive view is the exact cause of the problem I was describing in
my initial post. People enable IPv6 on their gopher servers because
it's "a good thing" and not so difficult, but then they forget about
it. Eventually, the IPv6 connection becomes wonky for whatever reason
and they don't even notice it because they are simply not using IPv6 on
a day to day basis themselves. Enforcing IPv6 on servers in such
context is harmful, as it effectively cuts the service out for the
IPv6-enabled users, which can only motivate them to turn IPv6 off
because "not everything works well on IPv6".

So *yes*, IPv6 is good and all, and *yes* feel free to enable your
services on it, but *only* if you are able to monitor these services on
the long term and fix the IPv6 connectivity when it stops working.

What I heard from the few gopher admins that wrote me back is that
(most of the time) the internet provider where the server sits does not
care about v6 and therefore the v6 service is quite unreliable. In this
situation, removing the AAAA record is the only sane thing to do,
waiting for better times. Of course if one's motivated enough, there's
always a way through a v6 tunnel broker, etc... But in practice it's
only an extra layer of troubles, and also requires careful monitoring.

Mateusz
--
gopher.viste.fr

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