Content about dev

Scripting News: Sunday, April 28, 2024 (

But if I don't know you, I honestly don't care what you think, esp if it's negative and has less than ten syllables total.

This is frustrating to me. I don't know Dave Winer, and he certainly doesn't know me. I've read his blog for years, though, and as a hobbyist developer, I've got nothing but respect and admiration for him and his foundational contributions to web publishing, distribution, and interoperability. I understand his main point here — he doesn't care about spam comments and doesn't want them associated with his content.

What frustrates me is the way he framed spammers as a subset of people he doesn't know. He doesn't care what spammers think, but he also doesn't care what I think. This is the technorati attitude that has frustrated me since I started tinkering in web dev twenty plus years ago. I've now worked on Daystream in my spare time for over a decade. I have no formal education in software or web development. I'm a lawyer for crying out loud. I do this for fun and for my own personal growth and satisfaction. Mostly at night and on the weekends. I have no aspirations or even hopes of being viewed as relevant on the topics of web content publishing, distribution, and interoperability. Dave's post tells me I have the right mindset on that. It's a reminder that the technorati (the people, not the website) still exists and clearly remains a closed group that "[doesn't] care what [outsiders] think."

I'll follow Dave's lead and blame the spammers for this. They got us here, not him.

tags: dev

posted by matt in Sunday, April 28, 2024

With all the prepping for the first fully-automatic test run of the Raspberry Pi Sunsetter...I forgot to flip the switch on the power cord when I plugged it in yesterday. Last night, at Pat and Denny's, I checked my day view at the appropriate times and found nothing. I discovered the switch issue when we got home.

So, we'll try again tonight. She's powered up and ready to roll. I'll check back later this morning—the post with the sunset time should be added at about 11 AM, and the first sunset deviation pic (minus thirty minutes) should be added at around 8:45 PM.

tags: dev raspberrypi

postposted by matt in Monday, July 10, 2023

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Ok, so the first automated photo and upload from the Raspberry Pi is not a sunset photo. I had the Pi laying on the floor next to my chair in the family room as I was coding the upload script. Now that it's working, I'll put it in place for a better view. Should have a decent test tonight!

tags: raspberrypi dev

photo posted by matt in Sunday, July 9, 2023

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I added the camera to the Raspberry Pi today and got the script to the point where it's adding commands for snapping the sunset pic and pics for six deviation times (-30 minutes, -10, -5, +5, +10, and +30) to the crontab. I actually finished it right before the -30 time for tonight's sunset, so I hastily strapped the camera to the outside of the Pi with a rubber band, put it on a little tripod, and pointed it out the window. An hour later, I logged in and was pleased to see seven jpg files right where I expected them.

My aim wasn't bad, but the camera clearly focused on the screen in the window. I'll work on that.

Here's the -30 pic for tonight, taken at 8:42, 30 minutes before the sunset time of 9:12. You can see the sun as a pinpoint of orange light through the trees in the bottom left.

tags: dev raspberrypi sunsetter sunset

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, July 4, 2023

That photo I just posted is a milestone of sorts for Daystream. It's the first piece of content I've entirely round-tripped through the API. I posted it through the API using my long-standing Drafts/Shortcuts setup, and then viewed it through the Daystream iOS app. There's still a lot of work to do before the app is ready for launch, but it feels good to have gotten it to this point. Onward!

tags: daystream dev ios

postposted by matt in Saturday, September 24, 2022

I've officially started working on the Daystream iOS app. It's a long time coming, but I don't regret the wait. Time has really focused my views on what the app should look like and how it should function. I'll set a timeframe for the project soon.

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Sunday, August 21, 2022

I need to set it up so I can post today stream from my watch. I know what I'm gonna do today.

It would be nice if drafts had actions available on the watch. Doesn't look like that's the case though. I think I'll be able to create some combination of tags that, once synced to my phone, would trigger a posting action. I'll explore that.

tags: dev

postposted by matt in Sunday, July 10, 2022

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I finally got around to connecting photo uploads to AWS Lambda. I've now offloaded version generation to Lambda, which is working nicely. I used this photo of Teddy for my testing.

tags: dev daystream

photo posted by matt in Saturday, June 11, 2022

I recently upgraded the Daystream web app to Ruby on Rails 7. Everything went rather smoothly, but I did discover a hidden issue a few days ago. Basically, images in articles weren't being rendered.

It took me a couple days, but I finally tracked the issue down to a change in the default variant processor in Rails' Active Storage Module. Turns out, Amazon's Linux doesn't seem to be configured with the new default processor (vips), so the servers couldn't render the images whenever a relevant article was requested.

Fixing the problem was straightforward - a simple settings change to use the default processor from Rails 6 (mini_magick) instead of the new default (I decided this was easier than installing vips on the AWS servers).

So, articles are now being rendered in their full glory again, letting me reflect on some of my favorites, like The Hustler is not a Pool Movie.

tags: dev daystream rupbyonrails aws

postposted by matt in Thursday, June 2, 2022

I'm mad at myself. I've neglected posting lately, mostly because I was doing some work on the back end of Daystream (moving it to the most recent AWS Ruby platform, upgrading Rails, etc.). That's probably the biggest downside of the solo setup—working on Daystream takes away from the time I have to use it, especially when it's not my day job, so to speak.

But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

The shame is that we've done a lot over the last couple weeks—moved Jonathan, Paige's wedding, a friend's wedding—and I haven't posted about any of it.

Maybe I'll make some posts to the past.

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Thursday, May 26, 2022

Scripting News: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 (

"[I]t's time to love RSS again."

I fell in love with RSS when I started my first blog in 2004 (Promote the Progress, one of the three original patent blogs started during January of that year). It fascinated me as a tool for consumption and distribution of content. I've loved it ever since and still use it extensively today. I read this post from Dave Winer (who invented RSS) with my feed aggregator (NetNewsWire). I've also built it into Daystream from the beginning. I'm glad to hear Dave's fixing to shine a light on it again.

tags: web dev rss

posted by matt in Thursday, April 21, 2022

I completed a pretty major update to Daystream last night. I've been working on upgrading to Rails 7 over the last couple weeks and, while doing that, decided to switch from Bootstrap to Tailwind CSS. Last night I pushed everything to production.

Getting Rails 7 to work on Elastic Beanstalk is far simpler than the process for doing so for Rails 6. And deleting node and yarn from the process felt way better than I expected.

And I'm loving the flexibility Tailwind provides. There's still a lot to do on the design front, including a lot of cleanup, but the Tailwind's approach to CSS is more logical to me and, dare I say, has me excited about improving the design of the site.

So, the work continues.

tags: dev daystream

postposted by matt in Saturday, April 16, 2022

I did some maintenance on Daystream user RSS feeds tonight. Fixed a few minor issues that broke feed validation from time to time (depending on the items in the feed at any given time.)

Digging into RSS is always a source of frustration for me. It's beautiful and, yes, simple. It's amazing to me that more people don't use it to consume content from the web. I get why publishers moved away from it - eyeballs on sites are more valuable than quickly scannable content in a reader.

They won, we lost.

tags: dev daystream tech

postposted by matt in Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The significance of Daytona (

"Even if no one else reads my blog, having an idea harvester and an archive of years of writing gives me something no one has had before. No one."

Except Daystream.

I understand Dave Winer's excitement about his Daytona (and now Drummer) project, but to claim "no one" had something like his new feature simply because he's not aware of it is sort of naive and, well, arrogant. It's like every inventor that comes to me for a patent application, claiming their invention must be new because they've never seen anything like it in stores before. Nine times out of ten a simple patentability search reveals something really close to what they've got. Did Dave make a search before writing that claim? Or is he just making a judgment based on the various blogging and writing platforms he has used or is familiar with?

I mean, damn, one of the main reasons we started Daystream was because of the frustration we had when looking for content on someone's wall.

I've tried to engage with Dave over the years, but he's never responded to any of my efforts. I'm not in the club, I understand that...and I'm ok with it.

I experimented with his Fargo product a few years back, and swore I'd never use anything of his again after that experience—trying to follow his projects was like trying to untangle a bowl of spaghetti before eating any of it. And then he killed it.

So, yeah, his current Daytona and Drummer projects look interesting, but I'm blissfully happy with the "idea harvester and an archive of years of writing" that Daystream has given me for over a decade. And I don't care for spaghetti much.

tags: blogging dev daystream

posted by matt in Saturday, December 25, 2021

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This seems as good a photo as any to be the first posted through the Shortcuts app on iOS. I remember taking it at a gas station on a drive home from Florida. In southern Georgia, I think. The grammar police are everywhere...thankfully!

tags: dev daystream roadtrip grammarpolice

photo posted by matt in Monday, October 11, 2021

I struggled a bit with photo uploads through the iOS Shortcuts all. The interface for creating scripts is a little janky...still. After struggling with the logic of the photos script, I realized that it was a problem with the interface that was borking things for me.

Basically, the script calls a Get Contents of URL action to send a POST request to the API. The photo is included as a file in the form data. When you add a field to the form data in Shortcuts, it defaults to a text field, but allows you to change it to "file" when tapping on it. This doesn't actually change the field to a file, though. Rather, it allows you to pick text attributes of a file to send as text. I had changed it to File, and thought, for hours, that I was in fact sending a file.

I finally reconstructed the action from scratch, adding each field one by one. When initially adding fields, a separate text v. file option appears. Setting that to File actually sets the field as a file. In the list of fields, the file fields are right-aligned while the text fields are left aligned. I wish I would have known that a couple hours ago!

Anyways, the Shortcut is now working. First photo posted through the Drafts-Shortcuts-API conduit coming next!

tags: dev daystream

postposted by matt in Monday, October 11, 2021

I'm finally getting around to updating some of the scripts I have for Daystream in the iOS Shortcuts app. Shortcuts is still somewhat limited but has surprised me with what it can accomplish.

I've now got it working essentially as a conduit between Drafts and the Daystream API for posts. This allows me to publish to Daystream directly from my favorite iOS text editor, with tags and everything. My post earlier today about last night's football games was the first to use this setup. It should enable faster, and more frequent, posting.

I plan to create similar Shortcuts for links and photos, too. For those, I'll use drafts to write the main text elements for the content (the body and tags), and then use Shortcuts to get the other content (url for links and a photo for photos).

Then on to the watch.

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Sunday, October 10, 2021

We added markdown support to posts tonight.

Articles and posts are different types of content on Daystream. Articles have titles; posts don't. Articles are composed with a rich text editor, while posts have always been plain text entries.

I've always liked this distinction, and felt it was useful because it seemed to help me write more (omitting the need for a title was surprisingly freeing). But, I've always felt like something was missing with posts.

Emphasis and links are important aspects of web writing, whether the piece has a title or not. Markdown allows us to use these elements in posts without abandoning their plain text simplicity.

So take a review of the markdown style guide and start marking down your posts!

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Thursday, March 4, 2021

I added audio capabilities to Daystream today. You can now upload mp3's to your journals. This is something I've wanted to do for awhile, and I have some bigger plans for the feature in the future. Should be fun.

So where's the first recording? I used our Post to the Past feature to add a recording of water draining into a sewer to my journal for last Saturday.

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I've been experimenting with displaying images for links on Daystream. I though they would provide meaningful information alongside the title and any lede that the user adds. It was fairly easy to code, so I didn't think much of it.

After seeing them for a few days, though, I have to say I'm not a fan. I don't think they add much as far as context goes, especially when you consider we've got no control over the actual image associated with the link. They increase load time, too.

And, perhaps most importantly, the lessen the visual impact of images added by the user. Visually, these images should be the most prominent content on any given journal, not uncontrolled images associated with links shared by the user.

So, the experiment is over - images will no longer be displayed for links on Daystream.

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Thursday, February 18, 2021

Daystream has been a pet project for more than ten years. It's time to take it beyond that. It's time to change social media by implementing all the things behind the Daystream concept. It's time.

tags: daystream dev

postposted by matt in Sunday, February 14, 2021

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I found an old iPod of Jonathan's as I was going through our electronics graveyard. It still had copies of the Chip Trading and Daystream apps he created! Non-functional, but boy did this bring back some wonderful memories. And look how small that iPod is!

tags: ipod dev daystream

photo posted by matt in Sunday, January 3, 2021

Tutorial: Hosting a WordPress blog with Amazon Linux - Amazon Elastic Compute CloudTutorial: Hosting a WordPress blog with Amazon Linux - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (

AWS tutorial on hosting a Wordpress blog on EC2.

tags: dev aws wordpress

posted by matt in Saturday, October 24, 2020