Experiments with a Photo feed site in the Fediverse

Experiments with a Photo feed site in the Fediverse

A tabby cat with blue/pink/purple coloured wool between her teeth

I have a block of time off from work over Christmas and New Years. I spent a little time hacking on TootSDK, we’re very very close to a public release but I wasn’t the way it formats the HTML from a post to be just right before we do.

I also registered a domain for Photo feed site about my cat Stevie 😅
I’ve had a play with a few different approaches, namely Wordpress + the ActivityPub plugin, and PixelFed!

It has been a mixed bag. The Wordpress approach works, but the plugin has a bug with media that’s not new; it doesn’t push pre-existing photos in a post to the Fediverse. It’s a bit clunky and not quite what I was hoping for.

PixelFed looks nice enough, but I am running it via Docker and I have failed to get it federating so far with Caddy as a reverse proxy. I can make posts, and even send people direct messages. Following people, being followed by others, and seeing other people’s posts in my feed does not work.

In any case, I’ve needed to make sure I put everything down for a bit now so I actually have some holiday in my holiday leave from work! I will return to TootSDK again soon enough, and we will hopefully get that to it’s public release very soon.

As regards my photo feed site for my cat. I’m unsure what I really want to do with it. I could set Mastodon up on there no problem, or Pleroma, but neither of them format things in the way I like for a photo feed on a website.
My current plan is to have a look at a static site setup:

* Post to a Mastodon account for federation
* Run a Swift program on batch once every hour.
* That Swift program uses TootSDK to access the acount’s posts. This reads new posts, and then outputs the post data and media to a content folder for Hugo.
* Hugo is then refreshed, and the updated site is hosted on the domain.
* The updated site content is also pushed to a github repo so I have a sequential (and restorable) history there.

I’m keen for this, in that it gives me the posts in markdown formats that can then be loaded into wherever I want.

It’s also a lot of fiddlyness.

Anyway, enough fiddly and more holiday moments 🏝️