Watching web redirects

I’ve been working with some tricky web stuff where I need to see that everything redirects to the right addresses through multiple steps of third party tools and services. If I let the user-agents handle it, they just handle it (and that’s what I prefer). If I program all the redirections myself, well, I have to program it all myself.

It’s not as simple as sending a HEAD request to the server to see if it gives me a Location header. Some of these services don’t respond to HEAD, and some respond without a Location header.

But, I can make a tiny tool that can do it for me. I call it 3xx:

$ python3.7 python/3xx

That local server is a little Mojolicious program to spit out redirects.

Just for giggles, I did it in Perl (Mojolicious), Ruby (net/http, and Python (requests) to see how they compare. I still like Mojolicious’s design built around transactions so I can inspect the requests easily, although that wasn’t part of this problem.