micropub-endpoint

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A Micropub endpoint is an HTTP endpoint that micropub clients use to create new posts on a personal domain.

Contents

Creating a Micropub Endpoint

After a client has obtained an access token and discovered the user's Micropub endpoint it is ready to make requests to create posts.

The Request

This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to Micropub, so we will use the example of the "OwnYourGram" app creating a photo post at the Micropub endpoint. (See micropub for full docs.)

The request to create a photo will be sent with as multipart form-encoded so that the actual photo data is sent along with the request. Most web frameworks will automatically handle parsing the HTTP request and providing the POST parameters and the file upload automatically. The example code here is written in PHP but the idea is applicable in any language.

The request will contain the following POST parameters:

  • h=entry - Indicates the type of object being created, in this case an h-entry.
  • content - The text content the user entered, in this case the caption on the Instagram photo.
  • published - An ISO8601 formatted date string representing the date the photo was published.
  • category[] - A list of hashtags the user included in the caption.
  • location - A "geo" URI including the latitude and longitude of the photo if included. (Will look like `geo:37.786971,-122.399677`)
  • place_name - If the location on Instagram has a name, the name will be included here.
  • photo - The photo will be sent in a parameter named "photo". There will only be one photo per request.

The request will also contain an access token in the HTTP Authorization header:

Authorization: Bearer XXXXXXXX


Verifying Access Tokens

Before you can begin processing the photo, you must first verify the access token is valid and contains at least the "post" scope.

How exactly you do this is dependent on your architecture. In the example of creating a token endpoint, we looked at two ways of storing access tokens. To verify tokens in a database, you need to retrieve the token info from the database. To verify self-encoded tokens, you'll need to decode the token and check the info there. If you are using a token endpoint service such as tokens.indieauth.com then you can verify the access token using its API.

In any case, once you have looked up the token info, you need to make a determination about whether that access token is still valid. You'll have the following information at hand that can be used to check:

  • me - The user who this access token corresponds to.
  • client_id - The app that generated the token.
  • scope - The list of scopes that were authorized by the user.
  • date_issued - The date the token was issued.

Keep in mind that it may be possible for another user besides yourself to have created an access token at your token endpoint, so the first thing you'll do when verifying is making sure the "me" parameter matches your own domain. This way you are the only one that can create posts on your website.

Validating the Request Parameters

A valid request to create a photo post will contain the parameters listed above. For now, you can verify the presence of everything in the list, or you can try to genericize your micropub endpoint so that it can also create text posts.

At a bare minimum, a Micropub request from OwnYourGram will contain the following:

  • h=entry
  • photo or content (or both)

If a photo is part of the request, then the content is optional.

If there's no published date, then the endpoint should set the published date to now.

The access token must also contain at least the "post" scope.


The Response

Once you've validated the access token and checked for the presence of all required parameters, you can create a post in your website with the information provided.

If a post was successfully created, you should return an HTTP 201 response with a Location header that points to the URL of the post. No body is required for the response.

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Location: http://example.com/post/100

If there was an error, the response should include an HTTP error code as appropriate, and optionally an HTML or other body with more information. Below is a list of possible errors.

  • HTTP 401 Unauthorized - No access token was provided in the request.
  • HTTP 403 Forbidden - An access token was provided, but the authenticated user does not have permission to complete the request.
  • HTTP 400 Bad Request - Something was wrong with the request, such as a missing "h" parameter, or other missing data. The response body may contain more human-readable information about the error.

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