So the big move to WordPress here on Lonely Cactus has not seemed to have the desired effect of encouraging me to move my web presence back under my own control. I still seem to spend most of my time on Twitter making snarky comments and posting random pictures out into the void in the hopes that strangers will like them and give me validation.
In practice, my attempt at using social media to actually improve my social connection has been a bit of a failure. The social media conversion rate: the percentage of people I’ve met online that I consider real-like acquaintances has been quite low.
For Twitter, I’ve not converted anyone into friends. I do feel like I have a sort of a connection with @kcog, and I do see some random posts from Brandie Sylfae, and rarely David Haugen.
Getting off Facebook has has a mixed success. I certainly feel better about my friends because I don’t know so much about their political opinions, and visiting them has been more fulfilling because I don’t know so much about them. There is an actual experience of “catching up”. But I did crawl back to Facebook just as a lurker so that I can get invited to parties.
The social media platform where I’ve actually created acquaintanceship have all been related to hacking: the Guile mailing lists, irc, things like that. Because these culminate in meet ups like Fosdem, where real interactions actually occur. Social media that doesn’t have physical meets is really rather useless.
But anyway, I keep looking at the technology of creating a new self-hosted social media platform, and since I treat everything like a learning experience, I’ve looked at all sorts of things and played with many random bits and tools. So here are a dozen things I’ve learned that are vaguely related to my thoughts about web presence and social media.
- The 2018 C standard prerelease — I’ve been following the mailing lists for the updates in the C standard with some interest. The idea that people are still out there clarifying how C works is satisfying. C does come with a standard library, but, that standard library is really quite limited. Much of what we think of as belonging in the C library, such as sockets, is really part of an operating system layer. If you truly wanted to make a portable C program and limited yourself to just what is present in the library, you’d be stuck with file I/O, which would, in practice, require that you write stdin/stdout daemons that get launched by inetd or as CGI.
- A standard C library headers project — If I wanted to just use the standard C library, it might be fun to create a set of C header files that only contained the standardized functions. Basically make my own <stdio.h>, <stdlib.h> by pulling the info out of the appendix of the C standard. And then I could compile with those headers and see what I break.
- systemd daemons — The great and terrible systemd has its own daemon infrastructure, and would like you to write daemons that use the “new style” sd daemons procedure, as well as having DBus infrastructure.
- Docker containers — I’ve been learning that the “correct” way to do Docker is to run one application per container. That I’d have an apache container, a mysql container, a php cgi container. These containers would communicate with another over sockets. And that I’d use docker compose to launch them all as a unit.
- Azure — Microsoft is all in on Azure, which, at first glance is just a fancy Docker service. So if I did actually split up a web presence into an app made of a set of containers launched with docker-compose, I could up load them “to the cloud” on Azure much like AWS. I think.
- Fedora Server — I have a box running the server spin of Fedora, which comes with monitoring tools for docker in its web GUI
- Guile and FastCGI — From an article on Docker, I gathered that one should run Apache in one container, and then run a PHP Fast CGI instance in another container. So naturally I looked to see if Guile had a Fast CGI library. There was a guile-fcgi, but, it seems have have vanished many years ago. There seem to be at least a half-dozen webservices frameworks cobbled together with Guile, and there is no convergence on a one true path.
- Markdown — many blog engines have a feature where you can write your posts in Markdown. Markdown might actually be a great post format if I ever got back to writing a grand unified HTTP & Gopher blog engine. For the HTTP visualization, I’d convert markdown to html plus a style sheet. For Gopher, I’d more or less display it as is, but, then I’d examine it for links. Any picture links I found would be converted to GIF and placed in the same directory. Any outbound links would be added to the gophermap for that entry.
- Video — For a while I was working on my video editing, and I though about how I could put videos on YouTube, my own web presence, and my own gopher presence. I’d put the proprietary on YouTube, Ogg/Theora/Vorbis on my web presence, and h241 on my gopher site.
- Twitch — I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the “Always On” channels on Twitch, that stream whatever all day long. There are enough public domain movies from the 1930s on archive.org, that I could probably put together a week’s worth of content and make my own Always On channel. That would be fun.
Anyway, this is how my brain works.