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February 14, 2020

Build your own WebXR playground

As I’m learning more about A-Frame and webXR in general, I find myself needing a place to host and keep all of these experiments together.

GitHub pages are free but I have been lazy and I haven’t really looked into a way to shorten the length of the URLs. When in VR, typing is a bit of a pain and I would rather have something shorter pointing to webXR pages.

Glitch is a very popular platform (A-Frame’s hello world is on Glitch to be remixed in a click) but I find their asset management super confusing and frustrating.

One more domain

Every personal project starts with buying a domain, right? I spent quite some time on Domainr and some similar sites to find something catchy and short (both to type and to share on social).

Spoiler: 99.9% of the fun VR/AR/MR/XR domain names are parked. Not surprising. I changed my expectations and decided to find something a bit longer than 3-5 characters. I landed on xtdrlt.dev (some sort of vowel-less version of extended reality). Funny thing I didn’t know: you need an SSL certificate to make a .dev live. Just like .app.

Hosting the code

Last year and I played around with the free Starter plan from Netlify and I loved it. I loved the instant Git integration and continuous deployment: git push and your static pages are deployed within seconds.

On top of that, pointing a domain’s DNS server to Netifly is fairly painless and SSL is free through Let’s Encrypt. Their rewrites also let me use urls without .html extensions. For example: https://xtdrlt.dev/3

Yes, I know…

I could’ve done this with GitHub pages and just used a custom domain for the repo where I keep the code. But I really love Netlify.