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it's now possible to prevent your bot from creating fake mentions.

preliminary testing using starwall-e

looks like it works! it's not generating any fake mentions anymore!

i've made a regex filter that will remove the fake mentions that appear at the start of ebooks bot posts. this behaviour will be optional, but it's been lacking from mstdn-ebooks for a while.

a new version of has been released for the first time in months. mstdn-ebooks, OCRbot, etc. will be updated shortly to work with it. please don't try updating your version yet.

info about the new release:

i'll be adding a new feature to mstdn-ebooks soon - the ability to customise the fake mentions.

it will allow you to set one of three behaviours:
- default - leave fake mentions in
- only allow mentions to appear at the start of a post
- never allow mentions to appear

a bug with OCRbot that prevented it from working with chinese text has now been fixed!

@OCRbot chi

sorry for OCRbot's unavailability over the past day or so - it should be fixed now!

heads up: the free ebooks bots are being shut down in around 60 hours. this only applies to the bots i host, and not any hosted by other people.

if you'd like your ebooks bot to stay up, you have several options:
- you can pledge the ebooks tier on my patreon: this is US$2.50 per month.
- you can ask me for the bot credentials and files, and host it yourself, using this guide:
- you can ask around and see if anyone would like to host your bot for you

thank you for understanding

okay i've decided that i'm turning off all of the free ebooks bots (that i host) in 72 hours. for the 5.5% of you who pay for yours, nothing will change, except they might reply a bit faster.

so what are your options? well:
- you can do nothing, and have them disappear. i'll be able to restore them if you decide to pay later.
- you can host it yourself. i'll give you the login credentials and the necessary files.
- you can find someone else to host if for you, either for less money or for free. i'm sure someone else is willing to do this for you.

here's a link to the tutorial on hosting the bot yourself:

To use OCRbot for non-English text, simply follow the mention with the language you wish to use. Here are some examples:

🇬🇧 @OCRbot eng
🇯🇵 @OCRbot jpn
🇩🇪 @OCRbot deu

You can usually also use full names, such as

🇵🇱 @OCRbot polish
🇱🇻 @OCRbot latvia

OCRbot now supports splitting captions over multiple replies. this means that you can tell it how many characters your instance has for the limit (e.g. 500) and i'll split posts up to ensure it doesn't hit the limit. this means that it's finally feasible to run OCRbot on instances that don't have ridiculously high character limits :toot:

OCRbot should now support multiple languages. simply say @OCRbot jpn and it will parse the image as japanese. support for other languages can easily be added.

one problem is that the error messages will be in english, and so will the instructions on how to use OCRbot. unfortunately i don't speak any other languages... i could rely on google translate i suppose, but that really seems like a bad idea.

the way i'm planning on doing this is checking for a given identifier after tagging OCRbot, for example, "@OCRbot arabic" or "@OCRbot jpn"

does this seem like a good idea?

currently working on adding more functionality to OCRbot. if all goes well, it should soon support languages other than english.

OCRbot is far from perfect, and should not be relied on as the sole method of captioning images. It's much better and more reliable to caption images yourself, if at all possible. If it's too long to fit in the description field, consider posting it in a reply (or multiple replies).

Here is a list of caveats and other flaws to be aware of when using OCRbot:

there was a bug with the way i handled patreon supported ebooks that actually prevented them from posting... that should be fixed now. sorry about that!

just a reminder that i have a patreon now:

the main tiers to be interested in are:
- ebooks bot ($2.50) - your own ebooks bot, hosted on my server
- custom bot ($6) - i'll make you your own simple bot. it can make images black and white, find rhymes, play tic-tac-toe, whatever you'd like

if you're interested in the custom bot i implore you to read the whole tier description

okay i've been thinking about patreon tiers, how's this?

$1.50 - thank you pledge
$2.50 - your own ebooks bot. this means that i'm discontinuing the free service. if you'd like an ebooks bot, you'll need to either host it yourself or do this (or get someone else to host it for you). i'll keep all the bots updated to the latest version, and i'll let you set things like posting frequency, accounts to learn from, whether or not to use CW'd and followers only posts, etc.
$5 - i'll make you your own bot. as in, you tell me what you want it to do (apply an image effect to profile pictures, set a weekly reminder, play tic tac toe), and i'll do it, as long as it's not too complex, a security risk, or so complex that it'd take me over a week to do.

do these sound like good options? would you consider paying for any of them? thank you 💜

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Lynnestodon's anti-chud pro-skub instance for funtimes