what features would you like to see in fedibooks?

things i'm definitely doing:
. customisable post frequency
. multiple bots
. bots learn from multiple accounts
. edit name, profile picture, etc. from fedibooks

things i'm probably doing:
. misskey support

things i'm not doing:
. patreon exclusive features
. different types of bots

i don't know when this will be ready because it's a fairly big undertaking, right now i've only got a few pages prepared and none of the backend stuff

i'm not looking forward to the SQL stuff but the rest should be fun :bun:

here's the bot edit page so far, it looks pretty gross i know

are there any options that seem missing? there are some other options not pictured here, such as turning off replies, banning given words, or changing the profile picture

i don't want to overwhelm the user with options but i don't want it to be too limiting either

this page allows you to manage your bots and such. the buttons on the bot are a little confusing because they're just icons. they mean, from left to right:

. toggle bot enabled/disabled
. bot settings
. accounts learned from
. banned words
. chat with your bot
. delete

before i shut down my free bot hosting service, i was hosting 108 bots. that means my server had 108 open connections listening for replies at all times. i don't know how many it can handle, but the answer's at least 108 :blobcatfingerguns:

i have no idea how many people are going to use this, though, so it might not go so well. each reply listener needs to be its own process, too... i might have to either get a separate server just for this or upgrade my current server to the prohibitively expensive next tier

in other words, when this goes live, i'm kinda hoping for people clicking on those donation links so i can upgrade the server! :blobbun_mlem:

this is by the people (henlo) for the people (you!) so if there's anything at all you'd like to see, let me know!

what do you want in an ebooks bot? what annoys or disappoints you about the current ones? if you could program, what custom functionality what you give your own one? what do you like or hate about webapps (like mastodon and gmail) that could apply here? what is your favourite breed of rabbit?

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allowing users to get their bot to post once every five minutes is probably a bad idea, right

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i'm excited to work on the backend but the frontend still isn't done, there's just so much to do!! :bunrainbow:

the more hardcore lynnesbian fans may note that fedibooks looks rather similar to curious greg (no not :greg:​, i mean cg.lynnesbian.space)

i did take inspiration from that design, which in turn took inspiration from mastodon's web UI. however, i made a few changes, most noticeably to the buttons, to give it its own unique identity. i also decided to go a little bit brutalist (and i really do mean a little bit) by leaving everything with sharp, square edges, flat colours, monotone icons, and so on.

who says programmers can't design frontends? :chloeblob:

you may also notice that fedibooks used to be a different project. i've abandoned the old fedibooks and moved to this one instead. in retrospect, the old fedibooks concept was way too ambitious. it was around the time i was considering how to create a simple UI for displaying complex decision trees that i realised i was in too deep.

if you can't wait for fedibooks and really want your own bot now, you can try following the mstdn-ebooks setup guide: cloud.lynnesbian.space/s/jozbR

i've tried to make it as easy to follow as possible but it's not exactly intuitive

why create fedibooks? (long) 

I've been working on ebooks bots for a long time. My first project, mstdn-ebooks, dates back to October 2018. It's a much less ambitious project than FediBooks, but maintaining and developing it has still been a formidable undertaking. It's changed a lot since the initial version, and has worked very well for a long time.

Using mstdn-ebooks is nowhere near as easy as using FediBooks. There's a long guide you'll need to follow, and you'll have to install some programs like Python and possibly Git to get working. It runs on your own computer, meaning that if you put it into sleep mode, it stops working. Updating it to the latest version is also your responsibility, and the error messages it gives aren't exactly user friendly.

To help with this issue, I decided to create a Patreon where I offered a $2.50 per month tier to host up to three bots for you. I would take care of configuration, maintenance, updating, et cetera. This worked pretty well up until recently.

A new change in Mastodon and Pleroma adds something called authenticated fetches. Reffered to as "authorised mode" by Mastodon, this new feature prevents unauthorised instances and programs from accessing the API. In other words, if instance A blocks instance B, then instance B won't be able to see instance A's public posts anymore. However, this also means mstdn-ebooks can't see your posts. This can be fixed, however, by requesting permission from instance B. So what's the problem?

I would need to ask every single person I run a bot for to click a link I send to them, and then send me back the authentication code they received. This is messy and annoying, and greatly tedious. Furthermore, mstdn-ebooks' code base is starting to show its age (I used to be even worse at programming, believe it or not), and I thought this gave me a good motivation to create a new project.

When FediBooks needs permission from instance B, all you need to do is click "authorise". No copy and pasting codes and sending them in a Patreon DM. This is much cleaner and easier for the end user, which is what this is all about!

FediBooks is one of the biggest projects I've ever taken on, and it's been wonderful working on it. I hope you enjoy it!

hmm what if someone tries to make a bot that learns from someone with in their profile

when you ask me a question like "why pour all this time and energy into creating a free service" the answer always boils down to "i want to make people happy"

that's all there is to it really. my current dream job (not that i'm really capable of working) is a computer science lecturer, because i've seen how dry and boring compsci lectures are and i think i can do better. i want people to learn and have a good time doing it!

if i'm making other people happy, i'm almost always happy! i just need to remember to not let that get in the way of my own health.

okay so i think this is what the database is gonna look like

yes this is an ERD what about it

i just realised that i actually used a skill i learned at university today

holy shit

university taught me something i used in a real life scenario

if you had have told past me that i would get so dedicated to a passion project that i made an ERD for it, i would say "really? fuck"

hmm i could either work on more frontend stuff or try to convert this ERD into SQL

i might work on the SQL stuff since it's been a while :bunrainbow:

known issue: fedibooks will stop working after 4,294,967,295 people connect their accounts

looking over this SQL is writing is making me feel very Powerful

i could change fedibooks to only allow one user per instance and all it would take is a single word

i could cause privacy issues and wasted disk space by just deleting one rule

i could change a single column's data type and break pleroma compatibility

i actually kinda like working with databases, i just don't like database theory

i fixed up some of the issues with the entity relationship diagram and it's looking pretty solid now :chloeblob:

fedibooks can store (2^64)-1 posts

that is a lot of posts!!

i'd probably run out of disk space before getting anywhere near running out of post IDs :blobbun:

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@lynnesbian idea: have it auto stagger so we don't have The Botting Hour

@zoe hmm but then it's not exactly once per hour

and things like once per 55 minutes will get messy ;u;

@lynnesbian no i mean like
have them post every hour, but not on the hour

@zoe ohhhh

so if you created your bot at 4:13 it posts every 13 minutes past the hour or something

@lynnesbian ye! but instead of "when it's created", maybe uniformly staggeActually I just realized that'd be eons of pain, ignore me

@lynnesbian @zoe pick a random minute at creation (as you are supposed to with cronjobs) prooobably?

@halcy @zoe but then what do i do when people want their bot to post every 55 minutes ;-;

@lynnesbian

Maybe you could look into what systemd timers do with AccuracySec and RandomizedDelaySec? It's all in systemd.timer(5)

@josh that's a good point, but then i'd need my python webapp to generate systemd services, which sounds a little risky

@lynnesbian Not necessarily, I mostly meant just emulate the behaviour yourself

@lynnesbian @zoe probably best you can do is still pick a random start time tho in this case you’re just kinda generally hosed I am pretty sure

and/or wow that sounds like a really interesting problem

@lynnesbian The "hide media" button covers the first two letters of "class", so it's 'ass="large"' for me

@lynnesbian lynne i am legit excited, this looks like a super cool project

@lynnesbian are you using an ORM lib, or just sql-ing directly?

@halcy oh i completely forgot about ORM

i'm just using mysql.connector and writing the SQL myself since i'm fairly familiar with it and the queries shouldn't be too complex

@lynnesbian oh no, it can only support more than half the world's population

@autistikai @lynnesbian hmm that's assuming one account per person. i have like eight alts, but imagine if the womenarestupid guy got a hold of this lmao. still a lot of capacity, like holy shit

@burgin @autistikai i can actually make it a lot higher than 4bn by changing the column type from INT to BIGINT but it doesn't really feel necessary ;3

@burgin @lynnesbian yeah but that's assuming at least one account per person. most people probably aren't doing ebooks of themselves

@lynnesbian Let's just implement the relation types as a property of that foreign key in the database engine and call it a semantic database. Relational databases will be hip again!

@lynnesbian Nono. I mean a less experienced Ben would have made all my ID primary keys ints (or some number), but now I have realized that IDs should almost always be some kinda string. It is _incredibly_ more flexible.

@lynnesbian why is there a contacts settings table? why isn't part of the user table? just curious :)

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