#Mastodon

New blog with new design and ActivityPub support

It was absolutely time for bringing a new blog online.
The previous one was already quite outdated when we brought it online but we decided for it anyway because it was simple and free and we didn't have that big server capacities back then.
In the old situation it was a big advantage that it was centralized and hosted for free on MyBlogs servers so we had no trouble with it.
The downsides were the third party ads which ignore your privacy and couldn't be turned off - And for us that we had to rely on a third party we couldn't control.
We learned our lessons when there were some server outages but due to the software being proprietary,there wasn't a quick and easy solutions so we stayed there a little longer and longer and...
After our big success with the #Mastodon client #Halcyon and a growing number of users which could theoretically visit the blog,it was clear that something better would be needed sooner or later.
It's later now and the new and much better and more modern blog is finally online.
It was clear that the next blogging software must be open source and run on our own infrastructure which grow enough to handle all the traffic - At least we hope so,let's try if it's true.
Another of our requirements was the #ActivityPub support because we're doing much in the ActivityPub network so it wouldn't make sense not to have our blog there.
With this requirement the amount of available software wasn't that big anymore: Only Wordpress,Plume,WriteAs and Microblog.pub were left.
The biggest blogging software is #Wordpress but it's totally bloated and nearly every theme includes some third-party shit and ActivityPub support is only available using addons which are still in alpha stage so this one fell out of the decision quite early.
#WriteAs and #Plume are both very cool softwares which are built for ActivityPub Support from the very beginning and they are free of trackers and not that bloated so good choices but they're made for instances with more users what you can see in the way it's built and we think that's great for the big majority but not for our simple and small blog which should just contain some project updates.
Only #MicroblogPub is left at this point and that has been my personal favourite from the point when I first heard about it but when it also made the best points in the direct comparison,it was clear what software we have to use.
Microblog.pub is a single-user blogging software written in #Python which is open source and has only a few dependencies.
In it's original version you can see that it's meant for short posts even if it doesn't have a hardcoded character limit and should be used more in the way of a lightweight,single-user Mastodon instance.
To make it look more like a normal blog,we've rewritten most of the frontend source code using PureCSS which looks modern and isn't that bloated.
We made our modified source code available in the NikisoftBlog NotABug repository to make it easy for other people to run their own ActivityPub based blog.
We hope that you like what we did here and we're happy about comments,bug reports and feature requests in the comments (you can just reply to this post using a ActivityPub supporting software) or in our #NotABug issues.
But when requesting a feature,please keep in mind that this is a low priority project which we mainly do for our own use and as long as we don't attract hundreds of users,it may take some time until feature requests are implemented because we also have to work on our more popular projects.
Like this post?You can also follow this blog now using every ActivityPub compatible software.

tsileo/microblog.pub

A self-hosted, single-user, ActivityPub powered microblog. - tsileo/microblog.pub

GitHub
nipos/nikisoftblog

microblog.pub fork with new design and some customizations for running the...

Muensterland.social - Our new Mastodon instance

It's been quite a while since we've taken online the last public service for everyone.
Working on open source software is important for the whole community and it needs much time and resources but our server was quite bored all the time.
So additionally to the open source development stuff which will of course continue,we do now host a regional #Mastodon instance for public registration.
The #Fediverse is a great network with many nice people and it's built completely with open source software.
It's important for us to support a network of this sort and that was the right time to give something back to the network.
We had planned putting online a new Mastodon instance for a long time but then we saw that a small German instance would go offline soon and decided to take it over.
Continuing an existing service and making sure that all existing users don't lose their digital home is much better than creating a completely new service out of the nothing.
You can find the instance at Muensterland.social but it's mainly meant for people near Muenster and most posts are in German.
The instance runs with the #GlitchSoc software (Git repo) which is a fork of Mastodon which allows more settings for users as well as server admin.
For example GlitchSoc makes the 5000 chars limit instead of 500 chars possible and that's important for heaving real conversations and not just a short message.
Additionally we do now have a #Halcyon instance at web.Muensterland.social so you can use it with the easy and beautiful design of Twitter.
Muensterland.social runs on a HP ProLiant DL380 G6 server with two Intel Xeon Quad Core CPUs,32GB memory and 4x72GB RAID5 HDDs so there is still much space for new users.
Feel free to check it out and give comments how you like it.
For the next few weeks or months,there are even more free public services planned but you have to wait for the details until it comes online.

glitch-soc/mastodon

A glitchy but lovable microblogging server. Contribute to...

GitHub
Muensterland.social

Ein kostenloses und werbefreies soziales Netzwerk für Personen aus Münster...

Mastodon hosted on muensterland.social

Halcyon 2.4.0 adds sharing and more

Yesterday we've released #Halcyon version 2.4.0 which is a bit bigger than usual updates so it's time for a blog post once again.
The biggest and most important thing is that every Halcyon instance has a share page now at /intent/toot where you can link to from your website.
We already have a small script and a documentation page for using the share button,see here
It looks pretty much the same as Twitters share page and also allows writing without being logged in and then login when sending just like they do.
To make a redirect easy,we kept the API similar to #Twitter - You can simply rewrite twitter.com/intent/tweet to your-instance.com/intent/toot
Additionally we're planning a #Firefox extension which should automatically replace all Tweet buttons with Toot buttons so that you can use the share feature also on bigger sites which don't care about the fediverse.
Another thing that changed in version 2.4.0 is that there are small overlays when hovering a mention now.
#Mastodon does not have such a feature but Twitter has it and it's quite useful so we decided to add it to Halcyon.
When hovering over a mention,it will now show some basic information about the user like display name,about me and count of toots,followers and followings.
One of the bugfixes is that Pleroma users weren't able to add new accounts to lists caused by Pleromas change of the user ID format what wasn't fixed in Halcyon at this point.
Another bugfix is that Halcyon does now keep your scroll position when you aren't on top of the timeline and there are new posts appearing.
We're proud to announce that our language support still keeps growing.
There's an Arabic translation now which is unfortunately incomplete but we added it anyway.
This means that Halcyon does now support 13 different languages and we expect this number to grow even more in future.
If you want to help with translating Halcyon,you can do that on our Pootle instance.
Your help is also needed for existing languages as we added new strings for translation with this version.
We hope that you like what we're doing.
Feel free to give us feedback as comment to this post,as NotABug issue or as mention to @halcyon@social.csswg.org
We're always happy about constructive feedback,feature requests and bug reports.