I have tuned in to two IANA Root KSK signing ceremonies this year. The last one was held last Wednesday. The Root KSK ceremony is where representatives come together to sign the new keys for the root DNS servers. These are the servers at the heart of the DNS protocol. The root servers let you find TLD-level servers. Cloudflare has a great blog post on what the root servers are and how the ceremony works. The ceremonies are often quite long but if I know one is on I will tune in.
This year, I have found out about the Root KSK events only through happenstance. Someone has mentioned the events in the IndieWeb community chat and I have tuned in to watch a bit of them. After the last event, I wondered: how can I stay on top of them? I decided to put the next scheduled event in my calendar but this is not a long term solution. After having another calendar automation task idea (keeping track of Google Search Updates), I thought I could make a script that lets me subscribe to the root KSK events in my calendar. There was not an existing calendar file on the IANA website to which I could subscribe so I thought: why not build one?
The first version of my script generated an ".ics" file of Google Search Updates, which is something I'm interested in. I then adjusted this script to work for the IANA root signing events. The script works as follows:
- Retrieve the IANA KSK ceremonies list.
- Find the "table" element in the list.
- Parse the table rows to retrieve the date and description of each event.
- Create a calendar item with all of the details of the event.
- Once calendar items have been created for all events, the text is wrapped in a ".ics" file header and footer.
This script returns an ".ics" file. I put the ics file for both the IANA root key signing ceremonies and Google updates on my website and then subscribed to them in my calendar. These calendars are available at the following URLs:
- IANA Root KSK Signing events: https://jamesg.blog/KSK.ics
- Google algorithm updates: https://jamesg.blog/GoogleUpdates.ics
The scripts to generate both of these calendar files are mostly the same, aside from some slight changes given that the markup on the IANA and Google websites are slightly different. The scripts are scheduled to run daily so your calendar will get up to date events. IANA root key signing and Google algorithm events only happen every so often so there was no need to use a more regular cadence.
I may return to the scripts soon and remove duplicate code in the vein of the Don't Repeat Yourself principle. I initially was a bit confused about how to do this but writing this post has helped me figure out what I need to do: create a reusable module file.
If you are as big of a fan of IANA root KSK signing events and Google algorithm updates as I am, feel free to subscribe to the calendars above. Alternatively, host your own versions of the calendars! The code for this project is open sourced on GitHub so you are free to make your own files.
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Check out the other posts I have written related to this article.
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- The Coffee Dictionary Book Review
- My two-cup Chemex recipe
- The Chemex: A week or two on
- The Thermal Printer Project: Part II.5
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