Niall’s virtual diary archives – Saturday 19th January 2019

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Saturday 19th January 2019: 6.54pm. Link shared:

As preparation for Google Plus coming to an end soon, I improved the Python scripting which mirrors this stream of posts onto to also extract post locations and images and videos. Indeed, is now 100% served from my own servers, and no longer uses Google for anything at all. So Google Plus can now vanish tomorrow, and all my post data - seven years of it now - is safe.

I have no idea what I'm going to replace Google Plus with in a few months time. None of the alternatives I have tried I have found compelling. What I want is a very simple single person ActivityPub client-to-server service which uses the filesystem for storage, perhaps using a filesystem layout so your post store can double as a statically generated Hugo website. I very specifically do not want databases, Docker instances, or complexity i.e. maintenance. I also would like a server-to-server ActivityPub service which can serve the RSS feed from the Hugo website to the federated social network, but that's much less important right now than the former given Google Plus goes away in April.

Given the lack of any alternative, I suspect that I'm going to have to implement the former myself, which sucks, but it is what it is. At least ActivityPub is well documented (, and probably others will find my solution useful to them as well. I'll probably write it in Python, it's well suited for parsing JSON and HTTP, and while we do need scalability in the post database, we definitely do not in the service seeing as it'll only ever be you personally using it. So a simple CGI script is probably fine - though I'll implement it as FastCGI anyway, as nginx can't do CGI.

Anyway, that's next week. Let's see if I'm back to employment next week first before launching into new software projects!

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