Saturday Bits 7/15/2023

654 words.

14:16 Still trying to make this gotosocial instance visible to the Internet. I think I’m going to abandon CloudFront. Maybe. I can’t get it to work. I think because of some nuance because it’s trying to fetch data from a different domain name, which messes up the headers, which messes up the ActivityPub HTTP signatures. But it should work. It’s very difficult to debug these things. It’s just trial and error over and over again, change settings, test, change settings, test, etc. After a short while it’s hard to tell which settings affect things and which don’t.

14:21 A major issue I’m having in testing my gotosocial server is that Mastodon seems to cache search results, which means that every time I search for my account on a Mastodon account, I can’t be sure if it’s looking something up in its own local database or reaching out across the Internet and trying to contact my server. In most cases, it isn’t even trying to get to my server, which is a big problem for testing.

14:41 Okay I successfully signed up for a completely different mastodon instance, searched for my server account, and found it. So I think it might possibly be working now. I’ve successfully located the account from instances of Mastodon, Pixelfed, and Friendica. And maybe some others I can’t think of at the moment. The point is, I think traffic is successfully getting to the server and back, with the appropriate headers intact.

14:44 New Post: The Coming Blaugust - July 2023. Blaugust 2023, a little Pathfinder, setting up an ActivityPub server, what I’ve been watching, and a little more.

18:54 A thing that I intensely dislike about (which is what I use right now to type these missives) is that it defaults to every post being unlisted, because they want you to make a conscious choice to make posts public. That seems quite silly to me. Why would you be posting anything on a federated platform like ActivityPub if you didn’t want it public? Non-public ActivityPub is a private web forum, implemented badly.

19:15 Now I’m trying out a web client called Statuzer. It successfully logged into my server even though it said it only works with Mastodon. The UI layout is a little weird, but I can get used to it. It has a multi-column layout which is nice, although I doubt I’ll use it much. Most importantly, the default is public posting, which is just what I want. Weird that so many social media clients emphasize creating a poll in their UI, which is something that I hardly ever think about doing.

19:55 Okay I think I successfully followed this account from a Mastodon account, which should be the final test before I feel comfortable publishing this account. Now to see if this post successfully transmits to the Mastodon client.

20:14 @ultrviolet The post did show up on the Mastodon account. It took a while. I find the default Mastodon web interface somewhat nonsensical. For example, it weirdly doesn’t give me any obvious button to click on to show me a timeline of the people I’m following, which seems like the most important thing it should show me.

21:36 Okay here’s a test I want to conduct. I can see from the database tables and the log output on the Unraid terminal that these status messages are stored in HTML format, and each one is surrounded by p tags. My question is how do I do two paragraphs? Do I double-space like it’s Markdown? Or do I just start a new line? How smart is this thing? And what would two paragraphs look like to a viewer?

21:39 @ultrviolet The answer is the worst possible answer. It does not make new paragraphs; instead it puts an HTML line break in the middle. Which means I shouldn’t ever write more than one paragraph in a status post.

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