Now on the Fediverse

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AGPL (copyright)

While I believe that RSS (or rather Atom a.k.a. RFC 4287) is a great standard for subscribing to media like blogs[1], I strongly suspect that virtually nobody pulls my RSS feed. I'm almost tempted to log for a while to ascertain that. Then again, just based on how few people still run RSS aggregators (me, I'm using a quick self-written hack based on python3-feedparser) I am already quite confident the RSS mainly sits idly on my server.

At least outside of my bubble, I guess what RSS was designed for has been superceded by the timelines of Facebook, Twitter, and their less shopworn ilk. As a DIY zealot, of course none of that is an option for me. What is an option in this field (and what certainly can do with a bit more public attention) is what these days is commonly called the Fediverse, that is, various sites, servers and client programs in the rough vicinity of microblogging, held together by W3C's ActivityPub protocol.

What this technobabble means in practice: If you already are in the Fediverse, you can follow and get a toot whenever I post something here (note, however, that most posts will be in German).

If you're not in the Fediverse yet, well, choose a community[2] – if I had to choose again, I'd probably take a larger community, as that increases one's initial audience: other communities will, for all I understand, only carry your public toots (i.e., messages) if someone in them has subscribed someone from your community –, get a client – I'm using tootle as a GUI and toot for the CLI – and add my Fediverse id.

To accomodate tooting about new posts, I have made two changes to by pelican tooling: For one, post.py3 now writes a skeleton toot for the new post, like this:

with open("next-toot", "w", encoding="utf-8") as f:
  f.write(f"{headline} –{slug}.html\n#zuengeln\n")

And I have a new Makefile target:

  (cat next-toot; echo "Post?"; read x)
  toot post < next-toot

In that way, when I have an idea what the toot for the article should contain while I'm writing the post, I edit next-toot, and after I've run my make install, I'm doing make toot to notify the Fediverse.

A side benefit: if you'd like to comment publicly and don't want do use the mail contact below: you can now do that through Mastodon and company.

[1]That it is a great standard is already betrayed by the fact that its machine-readable specification is in Relax NG rather than XML schema.
[2]This article is tagged DIY although I'm not running a Mastodon (or other AcitivityPub server) instance myself because, well, I could do that. I don't, for now, because Mastodon is not packaged for Debian (and for all I can tell neither are alternative ActivityPub servers). Looking at Mastodon's source I can understand why. Also, I won't rule out that the whole Fediverse thing will be a fad for me (as was around 2009), and if I bother to set up unpackaged infrastructure, I need to be dead sure it's worth it.

Zitiert in: Taming a Synaptics Clickpad Giving in to Network Effects

Kategorie: edv