Sean Tilley
Sean Tilley
dsh@deadsuperhero.com
Sean Tilley
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
Hey @Tobias , I'm trying to syndicate a feed from the Friendica blog, but I've been having some strange problems. When I try to visit the URL of the blog's feed, it provides the XML file as a download rather than a page that browsers can read. Unfortunately this means that it does not work with the Sources feature in Hubzilla.

I tried to work around it by using FeedBurner, but I get this error message on FeedBurner's end:

The URL does not appear to reference a valid XML file. We encountered the following problem: Error on line 2: The processing instruction target matching "[xX][mM][lL]" is not allowed.


It seems like something might be misconfigured with your blog feed? Maybe the content type is not being served correctly?
mike
 from GNU-Social
There's a blank line before the xml declaration, which is throwing fits for every feed reader and validator I throw at it. WordPress has an atom plugin and I always used that instead of RSS. That may not fix the original problem but it will probably work around it.
Sean Tilley
  
There's a blank line before the xml declaration, which is throwing fits for every feed reader and validator I throw at it. WordPress has an atom plugin and I always used that instead of RSS. That may not fix the original problem but it will probably work around it.


Good insight, thanks Mike.
maiyannah
 from Qvitter
@dsh Seeing this makes a lot of sense.  Sungo (now having left the fediverse sadly, as far as I know anyways) had persistent wierd problems with feeds from his postActiv instance we tracked down to them really NOT LIKING it having a blank line before the actual document.
Sean Tilley
  
Sean Tilley updated his profile photo

Image/photo

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
For now, I am building out a simple set of experiments. Initially, I needed a convenient way to monitor project feeds from different places, so I've used the Channel Sources feature to create syndicated bot channels for the federated projects I want to watch.


https://wedistribute.org/channel/diaspora

This requires some adjustment and fine-tuning, but you can subscribe to it through Diaspora, Friendica, GNU Social, Mastodon, Socialhome, Hubzilla, or anywhere that can use #OStatus, #ActivityPub, #Diaspora Protocol, or #Zot.
Jason Robinson
 from Diaspora
There is https://social.mrzyx.de/people/5d4b8da2c2a1e205 though already, unless of course you want to collect all information in one account. Could get a little verbose though, depending on how many sources are aggregated.
Sean Tilley
  
Hmm, that might actually be a more usable source for me!
paulfree14
  
also if you add an accoumt as an resource instead of an rss feed, comments (not all) should get federated.
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
@Hubzilla Support Forum+ What's the best way to modify the Avatar and Name field on a remote channel feed connection? I wanted to set up some small bots that pull streams from Github and other sources, but for organizational branding purposes, I'd like to make sure that the name and picture lines up in a way that makes sense. For example, if I'm creating a channel for Github commits, currently it just uses the top-level picture.
Mike Macgirvin
  last edited: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:05:25 -0800  
There's no simple way to do this at the moment. You can change the name in the xchan table (xchan_name). This would also be the place to change the photo, except that finding the correct photo for a feed and then importing it  and updating the xchan record is a somewhat complicated process.

Here's how. create a file named mod/test.php (after creating the mod directory).


<?php

require_once('include/photo/photo_driver.php');

function test_content ($a) {

  $hash = 'xyz123abc'; // xchan.xchan_hash of the feed connection
  $url = 'https://some.image.url';

   $photos = import_xchan_photo($url,$hash);
   $r = q("update xchan set xchan_photo_date = '%s', xchan_photo_l = '%s', xchan_photo_m = '%s', xchan_photo_s = '%s', xchan_photo_mimetype = '%s' where xchan_hash = '%s'",
        dbesc(datetime_convert()),
        dbesc($photos[0]),
        dbesc($photos[1]),
        dbesc($photos[2]),
        dbesc($photos[3]),
        dbesc($hash)
    );
}


-------

Once you edit the hash and url and save the file, visit yoursite/test (once only). Then remove or disable the file somehow so others cannot access it.

[edit: you might also edit xchan_name_date and set it to anything more recent than it is currently set to. This will trigger other sites to discover that it changed. ]
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
@Hubzilla Support Forum+ I'm setting up a new hub, and trying to remember one last thing that I haven't had to worry about in a while - sending emails! Specifically, verification emails for accounts.

What's the general best practice with setting up a PHP email-sending library with a Hubzilla installation?
Mike Macgirvin
  
MTAs can get incredibly complicated. I'd probably recommend starting with

apt-get install postfix

and choose 'internet site', unless somebody else has a simpler setup. nullmailer is also dead simple but requires an external smarthost iirc. Exim will make you pull your hair out, especially running under a debian/ubuntu distro. I cut my teeth on the original sendmail and was one of the few people that could write configuration rules for that beast, but it is getting really old and I don't think I would recommend it any more.
Sean Tilley
  
Cool, postfix sounds good enough for me. I'm already part-way through a guide and have a little more fiddling to do before it works.
Mario Vavti
  
msmtp - ArchWiki
msmtp is a very simple and easy to use SMTP client with fairly complete sendmail compatibility. Install the msmtp package. Additionally, install msmtp-mta, which creates a sendmail alias to msmtp. The following is an example of a msmtp configuration (the file is based on the per-user example file located at /usr/share/doc/msmtp/msmtprc-user.example...
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
Maybe this is finally the end. The death spiral we've all been waiting for!

Facebook’s News Feed tests reportedly help boost fake news

Image/photo


In addition to the proliferation of fake news, publishers in the countries where the system is being tested say that traffic to their news sites has also plummeted with these changes, according to the NYT. Facebook hasn’t indicated when these tests will end.


#Facebook

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
I'm starting to put more effort into consolidating many different digital footprints across the web into one hub. The most noticeable effect of this would be that photo albums, video interviews, audio projects, game executables, random files of interest, old milestone posts, and other random oddities will slowly but surely be consolidated into one complete online persona.

It is my hope that I will eventually consolidate enough information to provide a somewhat complete view of the past decade or so on my life. One minor interest lies in the possibility of resurrecting content from old dead blogs, to remind myself of where I was 10 years ago or more.

As an aside, I may eventually have enough here to completely shut Facebook off, but that is a difficult work-in-progress when many of your friends are over there.
mrjive
  
One of the nice sides of never using a facebook account is that you don't have troubles in leaving facebook.

That seems like a joke, but has a truth in it.

Just yesterday I was talking with a friend that was considering leaving gmail (at least the google calendar part) but was in trouble because he and his wife are sharing important calendar (my guess was: children stuff, school holidays etc. That was it ;) ) and I said the same thing: I don't have the problem since I never started using something I know sooner or later I would regret.

Also, many people would like to leave windows but they have the same problem.

Maybe I am lucky, I don't know. I can get along without all that very well.
Ingo Jürgensmann
 from Friendica
Well, for calendar and contacts it's easy to find a replacement such as Nextcloud/Owncloud. But of course this doesn't help you with your existing data in the hands of Google or other large companies.

But I think it is still worth it to make the switch away from those companies!

Dreams
  
My brothers and I wanted to visit our grandparents, so we built a makeshift airplane and started flying it towards their state.
Somewhere along the way, I thought about how we were supposed to land it and that we weren't talking to any air traffic controllers.

At that point, I realized that everything we were doing was Totally Fucking Illegal.

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
Finally got this interview out the door! @Jason Robinson

Faces of the Federation - Jason Robinson of Socialhome

Image/photo

Jason Robinson was a long-term volunteer dev to the Diaspora project who made several important code contributions before deciding to roll his own federated platform. An avid Pythonista, Jason has specializes in Django development, and continues to tinker with decentralized communication.


#socialhome #wedistribute #interviews
Mike Macgirvin
  
The post owner can choose whether or not to "forge" signatures on comments and forward them to Diaspora accordingly, but we received so many complaints about sending unsigned  'likes' as forged (comment) activities that we stopped including them.

Comment forging is also no longer enabled by default as it was in the redmatrix days. Since this channel does not have Diaspora enabled, and it seems that the forgery option is not enabled for Sean's channel, I'm guessing this comment will not federate.
Sean Tilley
  
Yeah, @Mike Macgirvin , it's a solid workaroumd. Ktry to enable it for my channel when I get home today.

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
@Hubzilla Development+

It's a tough nut to crack, but it's possible to export a #Godot game to HTML5, then embed the resulting game into a #Hubzilla addon. Right now I'm experimenting with loading a platformer game demo into the skeleton add-on as a base. I've got the files spread out and structured into a hierarchy, and I hope to get the player to successfully load with these changes. After that's done, I'll be able to put it into a proper view template, and wrap some native interface elements around it.

My hope is that this could provide a method for sharing my games on the web, in something that could be featured as a personal gallery. A pipe dream version of that may be some kind of "Game Library" add-on that can load and store related Godot HTML5 games and display them in a gallery of sorts.

As far as HTML5 games are concerned, there are generally a number of limitations. Keyboard input works well with Godot, but right-click interactions seem to be off the table for now. Games also seem to be affected by load times proportionate to the overall file size, although it seems that this can be handled gracefully when it comes to loading individual scenes (game levels or rooms). I'm curious to test this out with my own projects as their size and complexity scales up.

Another interesting aspect is that Godot can be made to interact with libraries and environments outside of itself. In theory, it may be possible to provide some sort of bridge between Hubzilla's own hooks and the game engine. One simple way to demonstrate this might be for the game to welcome a player by their channel name.
Alexandre Hannud Abdo
  
I participated in a Godot workshop last year, this is an awesome idea... another  obvious thing would be for Hubzilla to keep track of player scores.
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
It took @Andrew Manning 18 days to beat my ass in Hubzilla Chess, but I'd gladly play him again.
mrjive
  
@Andrew Manning sorry, I don't get the difference (my poor english...) ... or maybe that is what I meant... :P
paulfree14
  
it's some time ago I used the #nomadicidentity to use my account from a different hub, so the question is:

can I just clone the parts of my account into another hub that are needed for the chess game?
So I wouldn't want to clone all my network activity etc. to not waste resources.
Andrew Manning
  
There is no way to customize the cloning behavior that I know about. The chess game is hosted on the game owner's hub, and when you play, you authenticate to that hub and interact with the remote hub's webpage. So without the chess add-on installed on your hub, you will have to request a game with someone who does have it installed.

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
I currently own the wedistribute.org domain, and I'm hoping to put it to good use soon. I've spent quite a lot of time reflecting on what I want the thing to be, how I hope it might work, and what kinds of topics I want to cover.

One of my largest concerns over the past few years has been in the decline of quality news coverage of Free Software projects and the shuttering of outlets such as Free Software Magazine and other Linux-friendly outlets. Indeed, even at the peak of such outlets, there has been a long history of awesome projects getting completely passed over because it is deemed uninteresting to "the average consumer". Even popular outlets such as OMG! Ubuntu have been on a decline for years in terms of meaningful coverage.

Image/photo

In 2018, I hope for We Distribute to become a full-blown publication, a periodical that syndicates content throughout The Free Network and covers technical advancements in the decentralization movement. Most of this will still be federation-focused, but I've decided to expand my definition of The Decentralization Movement to include:

  • Free and Open Source Software - GNU/Linux, BSD, desktop environments, applications, etc
  • Distributed Systems - This includes Peer-to-Peer projects, as well as initiatives such as i2p and Hyperboria
  • Cryptocurrencies - AltCoins as well as other types of distributed ledgers / distributed value storage
  • Mesh Networking - Scuttlebutt and other initiatives



The idea for this publication is to write articles in a structure and format similar to Ars Technica or The Verge. The core difference is that, instead of trying to sell you products, it provides exposure for an ecosystem of digital counterculture, all of which provides free knowledge as a basis to build on. It would also provide simple news updates alongside chunkier articles, interviews, and in-depth reviews.

I'm still evaluating how I want to build it out, but I'm looking very seriously at using #Hubzilla as a base - that way, every single article can be dispersed in a federated stream across OStatus, Diaspora, and ActivityPub protocols. It could even get cross-posted to Identi.ca and Libertree.
Jason Robinson
 from Diaspora
Sounds great! Using a federating platform totally makes sense.
Andrew Manning
  
Sounds like a worthwhile use of time. Start writing articles and we'll try to help advertise, although we are notoriously bad at that :-)

If your work gets popular you might even be able to make some money via donation links or something.
Sean Tilley
  
It may be too early to ask a question like this, but would you also consider a section for occasional articles about efforts to distribute non digital power? Like, energy production, agriculture, corporate and political organisation etc.


It's definitely an interesting idea!
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
hfausthfaust wrote the following post Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:34:37 -0800
The only guy using Debian PPC must be laughing his ass off today.
CSammy
 from Diaspora
Oh, right! I do have a network HDD running PPC with Debian \o/
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) last edited: Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:10:34 -0800  
moonmanmoonman wrote the following post Wed, 03 Jan 2018 16:01:01 -0800
Everybody on my TL is posting about the new CPU exploits. This is how I know I'm on the right social network.

Dreams
  
I lay, half-paralyzed, in an effort to embrace the comfort of stillness. A low drone hummed over my head, crossing the divide from my right ear to my left. I winced, as I knew deep down what would happen next.

"Hello," a high-pitched voice rasped into my ear, "I've been watching you for a while now."

My heart skipped a beat, and I found myself in disbelief.

"Yes," it continued, "I can in fact talk."
"That's incredible," I whispered, "can all insects do this?"

A pause.

"Only some of us can. You would be surprised at how little an ant has to say."

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
@Hubzilla Support Forum+ Does anyone have any insight on running a Hubzilla instance on localhost for dev purposes?

One of my goals this year is to get past my "fuck it, do it live" approach to coding on my production hub. My hope is that this will cut down on the amount of arbitrary spammy commits that I make, resulting in code commits that are a little more coherent and structured.
Sean Tilley
  
Hmm, I don't see any missing icons on my nav bar...

The main navigation components of the UI seem to show up without any problems on the far-right.
Mike Macgirvin
  
Try shrinking to phone size and see if you still have the icons.
Sean Tilley
  
Try shrinking to phone size and see if you still have the icons.


Good advice, but it seems to work both on my mobile phone as well as my resized desktop browser...

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
@Hubzilla Development+

Hey Hubzillans,

As most of you know, I have spent a significant amount of times developing themes for Hubzilla. They've largely been a playground for design ideas, and most of them are little more than a skin for redbasic. Overall, this has been a very good starting point for my theme experiments, and I've learned a lot thanks to Mike, Mario, and Andrew. As of late 2017, I've finally gotten to a point where it's possible for me to develop custom theme widgets, after much trial and error.

However, there are many elements of the interface that cannot be easily overridden - such as button arrangement, placement of UI elements in posts, and custom menus and icons for the navbar. While this doesn't bother me by a huge amount, it is somewhat limiting to the kind of designs my theme can take on.

I've been debating the possibility of writing a new theme engine from scratch for Hubzilla, with the purpose of taking my theme development to the next level. I'm aware of the possibility that independent themes may break over time, and will require a higher degree of maintenance to keep pace with future versions of the platform. There will also be design conventions to consider, such as the menus for remote users visiting from another hub. These are things I'd rather not break.

I was wondering whether anyone had tips or pointers based on their experiences in working with redbasic. How often do you have to update the hooks and templates that go into this base theme?
Mike Macgirvin
  
All of this is possible by over-riding the templates; but as you're no doubt aware, this comes with a maintenance cost. If core templates change or add functionality you are sort of required to watch and stay on top of it or the theme will eventually atrophy. I don't know of any way to work around this.

WordPress doesn't provide a lot of guidance here because there are only 3-4 templates which contain most if not all of the content - and the template interfaces change at glacial speeds.

I started work at one time on a button layout so you could order buttons to your liking (or add/remove them easily). I didn't get very far on it before getting distracted by more significant features, but it's certainly desirable in the editor.

The most contentious bits of the interface turn out to be the editor, the conversation templates (posts/comments) and the navbar template. These are also the most-often modified templates. I have in my (very long) to-do list a layout language for the navbar ('Navajo') to be able to design custom navbars with a descriptive tag-based language like Comanche.

Perhaps the editor and conversation templates could also make use of some form of abstraction layer. I'm not sure how this relates to your concept of a 'theme engine' because I'm not certain what you envision for that and how it would work.

The current system isn't really bad - it's just very poorly documented and there are hundreds of templates (290 to be exact) covering a lot of different functionality, so it's bloody hard to abstract. At some point the end result is HTML/CSS/JS and we want to give theme designers complete control over this output. We do this, but it requires a bit more perseverance and a much larger maintenance commitment than a comparable WordPress theme.

What it may be crying out for is some form of template versioning scheme, so your theme could ask for a stable template version; with a known set of variables which remains constant - even if the core project moves on to something new and incompatible.
Sean Tilley
  
Hey Mike, thanks for your thoughts on this.

WordPress doesn't provide a lot of guidance here because there are only 3-4 templates which contain most if not all of the content - and the template interfaces change at glacial speeds...

The current system isn't really bad - it's just very poorly documented and there are hundreds of templates (290 to be exact) covering a lot of different functionality, so it's bloody hard to abstract.


Yeah, this was something that I was initially looking at, and seems to be the biggest challenge. In theory, it sounds like it's possible to at least write a handful of custom templates from scratch and significantly alter the layout of elements, as long as the proper hooks are used to build an interface.

I'm not sure how this relates to your concept of a 'theme engine' because I'm not certain what you envision for that and how it would work.


At the moment, I think it would just be a drop-in replacement for redbasic, which other themes could build upon. The new base theme could include the most important templates, along with a series of bespoke core widgets, fallback CSS/PHP/TPL/PDL, and custom JS for things like notifications.

Maybe the approach I'm thinking of is overkill, but I think it might be interesting to try to build alternative frontends for Hubzilla through low-level theme development.
kris
  
@Sean Tilley

I simply download the zip and copy with ftp few of your themes and I am testing them. Thank you for the good works you have done.

I think maybe in the future we can imagine a tool to install a theme with one click from admin like we can do with wordpress (I know I am dreaming)

At least information where to find it and how to install it would be more visible. I think I have to test each theme for a few days to really use it.

Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
For everyone reading this: congratulations, we did it! We've survived another year. This past revolution around the sun has been rife with challenges; many moments of 2017 felt like an endless endurance test for our collective sanity. Once again, people chased speculation, inhaled the vapors of hype, and trembled in fear at the possibility of an oncoming apocalypse.

In the imagination of the American consciousness, we're all imagining angry and vengeful leaders hovering their fingers over big dangerous red buttons while radical factions attempt to tear the world limb from limb.

Image/photo
(note: it still hasn't happened yet)

Like Marvel movies, 2018 will bring in more of the same, but hopefully in an arrangement that feels new and exciting. Maybe our president will offend another world leader, or maybe the value of Bitcoin will collapse down into dozens of other cryptocurrencies. Better yet, maybe this will be the year that sex with an AI assistant in VR becomes realized.  Or perhaps we'll use CRISPR to create polar bears that can deal with the increasing heat. The possibilities are endless.

Here's to another year of this celestial rock getting pulled around a burning ball of gas, to the people we give our hearts and minds to, and the experience of living in this world together. Here's to the nerds and hackers who hang around on this bizarre network of networks, who give it a sense of charm and character and try to make it better bit-by-bit.
Sean Tilley
  
Sean Tilley updated his profile photo

Image/photo
Mike Macgirvin
  
That's a different look. A bit edgy... :like
Sean Tilley
 San Francisco, CA (Map) 
Esolang - Chicken

Chicken is an esoteric programming language by Torbjörn Söderstedt, in which "chicken" is the only valid symbol.

A chicken program consists of the tokens "chicken", " " and "\n". Every line has a number of chickens separated by spaces. The number of chickens corresponds to an opcode. Trailing newlines are significant, as an empty line will produce a "0" opcode.


I wonder if it has any GTK+ bindings?
Marshall Sutherland
  
Earlier this week, I saw some polyglot code which could be run as (I think) Perl, Python or Ruby. This just one-upped that in terms of weirdness.
Marshall Sutherland
  
I am also amused by the fact that in the Esolang language list, there are 58 languages containing "fuck" in the name.
Beni Grind
  
Image/photo