Pinned toot

To my friends and followers

…at my qoto account, @design_RG :

Good afternoon, I would like to inform you that, for personal reasons, I have submitted my resignation from my moderation position here at the mastodon instance, effective today.

I have been on a sabbatical for a period since late June from my work here at Qoto, but trust that my contribution has helped make it a better place.

I also use various other accounts and some of you might have seen posts originating from them, or blog announcements with my signature indicating my Publishing account at @rgx .

That has been my main account since late June, 2020 – as I felt I needed a smaller instance that allowed more time to focus and concentrate on Writing, which is currently my main personal interest and expression.

Since mastodon currently does not offer user data portability, my 7,200 posts at this instance will remain. And I might login occasionally, to check for personal messages or retrieve past posts. Anyone wishing to contact me can do so at the address referred above, which is likely to receive prompter attention.

Thank you!

Pinned toot

-- my Blog post yesterday on Pleroma as an Alternative to Mastodon was surprisingly well received.

I have received messages from various people, asking for recommendations of good Pleroma instances to join.

And i am working on it. Serious. As I write here, I am logged in and chatting with friends I just met, all in various Pleroma nodes, that responded to my post there, thanking the admin for the service.

I will prepare a detailed Blog post, with more suggestions and reasons, but for now, kudos and a mention are appropriate.

Highly Recommended -- FAB

Also known as the German instance with the impossible to remember name, which is *completely accurate*.

Thank you to @absturztaube

for FAB

fedi.absturztau.be/

Pinned toot

Don't like CATS or all those cat photos that some of us keep plastering all over the ?

Fear not, as Mastodon has built in FILTERS -- and all it takes is to configure one or more to get rid of pesky posts.

As a local moderator, I feel compelled to explain and share this with you - so you can hide all these pesky photos which I am particularly fond of, as are many, but maybe not everyone.

So, what to Do?

1. Click on the Gear icon, to visit the "Preferences" area of Mastodon.

2. Navigate down to the "Filters" menu item (see it on screenshot, on the left side).

3. And here you can configure *ANY filters you like*, based on a piece of Text to search for in fediverse posts.

To hide all the Cat maniac photos, I would suggest using something similar to the hash tags I normally use:

Enter that, or any other expression to search for in the proper line, see screenshot #1.

4. Hit the Save button and the filter will be saved and in effect from now on. See screenshot #2.

You have the options of "Delete" or "Edit" the filter later, if you change your mind, or if the poster changes their offending post routine.

** GREAT way to get rid of mindless Twitter reposts which some people hate -- I recommended that at another instance that had some Really BAD cases like that, and got many thanks from relieved users. 😜

Any questions, please ask.

Love Cats? Post some, boost some, thank you! 😺

Pinned toot

* Memories, a visit to the Archeology Museum *

It started this morning, the thread. And over short posts, someone told a story. Of a Greek man, who lived in antiquity, by the Mediterranean side; in a city whose name is still preserved, and today is written "Marseille".

This series of posts was interesting, liked it and went to the top to find the rest.

Enjoying his post, I remembered similar thoughts, of History, and how things worked, how small bits and pieces came to me as I visited an exposition, at the Archeological Museum, in Lisbon.

Now the story is on my blog: write.tedomum.net/rgx/memories

Pinned toot

"The Web We Have to Save
The rich, diverse, free web that I loved — and spent years in an Iranian jail for — is dying.

Why is nobody stopping it?"

medium.com/matter/the-web-we-h

Amazing art on the post header. See the FULL SIZE image here, lots of detail: miro.medium.com/max/2999/1*DLI

Creating a site specific Search box in a Write.Freely blog

It's possible, with a DuckDuckGo custom search.

I found out a way to create a Site specific search which can be used in our Write.freely blogs. (had posted a topic here a month ago, about using Google's Custom Search Engine -- which cannot work for us as it requires JavaScript, not supported in standard WF instances).

DuckDuckGo has this - and it is all inside an iFrame block, which does work from a normal WF page. I have tested it and it's even better than the Google one as we are not logging into their voracious indexing of everyone's behaviours.

Details are here : duckduckgo.com/search_box

I made a post at the Write.as forum with the source code for a tested and working search page for my WF blog at TeDomum.net.

See the post and source here.

#FediReporter #WriteFreely #Blog #Search solution

A Glitch-Social Fediverse Instances List?

That is really needed.

On June 3, I wrote a Toot at my new account, found late on the previous night. (the busy tabs list mentioned is the banner below)

A picture of my busy Tabs list in #Waterfox browser shows that I really was looking for some good GlitchSocial instances.

Had been intensively searching for a list (non-existant, afaik) of Glitch-Social instances. They tend to be blended in with generic mastodon ones, so it was quite a chore.

In a Blog page about this, I wrote:

I WILL provide that list soon -- there is a need.

And now here it is.

That is the topic of Today's Blog Page

A Big List of known Glitch Instances. Updated as of December 27, 2020.

Why I had been thinking about a better Instance. [Part 3]

Back in June, 2020 I had decided to look for a better instance for my main account. I had various reasons for that, one of the most important being I wanted an account at a Glitch-Social instance, which supports many advanced features, compared to the plain Mastodon ones.

Things like : MarkDown text formatting support. Larger maximum Toot sizes. Finer UI controls and many other advances not present in the main Mastodon branch.

I found one - and wrote a nice Blog page about it, which has been popular. It has been my Home in the Fediverse since June.

Many thanks to Niklas, our admin at muensterland.social, for the service. 👍🙂

#FediReporter information gathering for us all..
#Glitchsocial #instances #newusers #welcome

A non-computer-person’s guide to how Mastodon instances work

What to know about how it works before you sign up for it

An excellent post at Medium.com by manga Columbo. Recommended reading for newer users, a good reference to pass to your friends in other networks.

Maybe you’re antsy about the news about Elliott Management trying to force out Jack Dorsey, or perhaps your curiosity is piqued because you see a bunch of your friends talking about joining, or maybe you just want to check out a relatively new corner of the Web. So what is Mastodon? Specifically, what does it mean when it talks about signing up for an instance rather than for Mastodon itself?

The Full article is Here. 👍

#FediReporter #Reference readings. Recommended.

Pinafore, a wonderful Client for the Fediverse

A Powerful and Light, FAST client for Mastodon, etc...

Originally posted as a sequence of Toots from my account at Koyu.Space, this was well received, appreciated by the Pinafore client's Author and I think is quite informative.

There's a lack of good reporting and documentation on many projects in the Fediverse.

But Pinafore is beloved of its users - see screenshot below, from the Pinafore fediverse hashtag. And some others in the blog too. 👍🙂❤

...and that is just the beginning of this special Christmas Day edition of my Tech Blog.

Dedicated to Nolan, with a big thank you for the great work in the Pinafore client.

Pinafore, a wonderful Client for the Fediverse - Mastodon, Glitch-Social and Pleroma Instances all supported

#FediReporter on #Tools for Power Users.

#Recommended for All Fedi Users in fact. #rgxJournal

In response to an earlier post

After reading about #blogging on #fediverse I found out that commenting facility is quite a hassle.

But fear not, write.as, a great blogging platform, is currently developing remark.as, a discussion and commenting system for write.as.

Once the developers release remark.as, we will have a great publishing suite running on fediverse.

Currently the publishing suite consist of:

Write.as
Submit.as: accept writing submission
Draft.as: edit together
Snap.as: photo sharing
Remark.as

OP above is by @ heavenly_general @social.linux.pizza

Important clarifications are needed here, so people know more precisely what software packages they can use under a free license agreement.

Write.as is a great company - I am a happy user of the Write.freely.org site and the write.freely blog platform.

WF is indeed free and open sourced. There are various instances in the Fediverse we can chose from. Their terms and conditions do vary - so some comparison is a good idea.

Write.as is the company's main site and their funding source. Getting a free blog there is still possible, but it's VERY limited in comparison with what one can get from the write.freely hosts.

I know since I do have an account at write.as, which went unused due to these limitations. I do operate two blogs which are hosted in different WF instances, and would recommend those and others as well.

Write.as continues extending their platform. Their Snap.as photo and image sharing platform is wonderful - and I would love to use it, but it's currently to anyone other than 'Pro' Write.as members - a paid service level.

The other items you mentioned equally are in active development and available to Write.as members - some restricted to the paid membership levels.

Will develop this post further - and publish as a proper Blog page soon.

#FediReporter on #blog platforms on Fediverse.

#Writefreely is wonderful. Recommended.

Find a good WF host, see link for suggested sites.

Why choose Glitch-Social for a main account?

That is a Good Question. Here's why.

A collage of recent posts on important issues we face in the Fediverse. And which we hopefully can move forward on.

Originally In response to a post by Snow

Why you chose Glitch social? It still can be affected by Eugen.

Indeed — Glitch-Social is a Much Better mastodon, but still has the heavy load of all the mastocode under the hood.

Now in the polished and extended Blog edition.

With reference links and screenshots. (original toot earlier today here)

Ready now at my Write.Freely host, courtesy of my friends at TeDomum.net - with my sincere thanks. One year Anniversary of my 'Musings by rg' blog.

Merci, to Ange and all the others in TeDomum Team!

Why choose a Glitch-Social instance for my main account? is Today's Blog. 📝🙂🖍

#FediReporter on the beat... #Markdown love.

#MarkText used for Blog post creation - recommended tool.

MarkText editor - nice free, open source tool

New find, a lovely MarkDown text editor

This morning I stumbled across an interesting blog - The Plain Text Project, and in it, a reference to a good markdown text editor.

Have tried others before, and not for long; I am familiar with the MD tags, and work well with the EditPad Lite text editor, or from inside the nice Dark Themed Write.freely blog editor, if I am composing a new blog page.

The review is really well done,

...got my attention - and I made a post on Twitter about it soon after. Painful, with Twitter's crippling small limit for posts, broken up in many parts, which makes it more difficult to create a coherent presentation.

However - writing it was the push to download and install MarkText - and to collate some of the thoughts in the Tweets into a longer, Fediverse intended post. This one, being written inside MarkText itself, my first trial. And it looks and feels wonderful already.

See my Blog post for Today about it Here.

#FediReporter new Tools of the Trade report... Recommended.

#rgxJournal #MarkDown #WriteFreely #MarkText is a great find!

This Blog Page announce was entirely produced with MarkText editor.

The Need for Better UI Design and Wide Screen Support in Fediverse

In relation to an 11 months old topic and a mockup Pinafore 2 panels design proposal

Looking back at this proposal, and sadly we didn't get ahead in the months past.

Pinafore is still my favourite client - speed, lightness, unobstrusive design and an attentive, responsive designer and project leader, @nolan

I understood Nolan's reluctance of changing the basic design principle of Pinafore - the single column display is the chassis and engine of this project. Works wonderful in a mobile, small screen environment, and acceptably in a wide display setting for laptops and PCs.

Clarifying - it works wonderfully in PC/Laptop mode,

...most of my posting in Fediverse is done via Pinafore.

But we still haven't dealt with the fact that Wide Screen Displays can do better than a single panel of information, centered on screen. With acres of wasted pixel land around in unused side areas.

My quest for better support and UI design for wide screen displays is not over. Maybe we can get progress?

We had some excellent solutions,

...in the recent past, with the use of the 'Collapsed Mastodon' browser add-on for Firefox.

Sadly, that add-on was broken by changes appearing in Mastodon 3.1.x code, and it has not been repaired.

For anyone interested in a full explanation, a detailed and illustrated Topic is presented in this Forum Topic

I have made a Suggestion and feature Request submission at the Glitch-Social GitHub - here - as suggested by one of the GS MastoFE project maintainers.

Sadly, 6 months passed. I was off fediverse mostly. Not much has changed, other than some once good instances dropping in my estimation.

But there's always hope, no?

Wanted : Good support for wide screen displays.

2 Columns setup, with space to read and write properly. A workspace for serious reading and write.

Not a TweetDeck clone, thank you.

#Mastodon #UI #UX #mastodev #AWI needs improvement.

#PleromaFE is pretty, but it's a single column by design -- which suffers from the same wasted space problem.

#MastoFE in Pleroma is a compromise, and we could optimize it's use of wide screens (same as mastodon, as the FE is really Glitch-Social's web client software).

MarkDown Rendering -- Glitch-Social still has The BEST one.

It's pretty dismaying to me, as a writer and publisher, to see some of my posts displayed in less than optimal presentation.

I had known that Glitch-Social does the very best job of MarkDown rendering. It is a big reason I selected a GS instance to call my home and main account, this one.

Pretty sad that Pleroma...

...Can't seem to understand and render properly such basics as Heading sizes. You know, the various H1, H2, H3...H6 possible heading sizes we can use in any web document.

Case in point

A post I just made an hour ago. Lightly formatted, without abusing Markdown, as the intention is to get readers for the full article on the blog mentioned.

The post in question is here.

And then, look how different platforms render it

Took some screenshots.

a. from the web client at a Glitch-social instance, the source for the post linked. Attached.

b. from inside Pinafore web client, which did a good rendering of it.

c. from a Pleroma instance I have an account on, and where :

H2 heading text is rendered smaller than normal paragraph text with Bold applied ? Really, #Pleroma?

I filled a bug report at the PleromaFE github months ago, about errors in MD Rendering (quote blocks, suppression of blank lines to separate blocks of text, etc)

No screenshot from the plain Mastodon vanilla instances, which I am not really frequenting for the past year - tired of their limited capabilities, 500 characters max toot size limit, no markdown, etc.

#PleromaFE bug report, please fix this - I love the project, and really think it's the Leading edge, the future.

But markdown is a make or break for me.

@lain please forward to the proper developers? Thank you.

Zonelets -- Storing new Blog pages names, dates in a custom file

An idea for improvement?

This is in regards to the cool new 'Zonelets Blogs', created and maintained by Marina Kittaka.

Marina create this new project last month, November 2020, and it's got some really interesting aspects - a very simple approach, pure html source code, allowing people to learn and get familiar with the inner workings of the Web.

It is a minimalist approach, intentionally - as opposed to the heavy and too complex situation we see with WordPress and other large publishing platforms.

Based on simple fundamentals

Like having a free host ([like NeoCities.org](https;//neocities.org/)), which gives everyone a home, 1 GigaByte of storage space for their files, full access to them via a web tool, allows java-scripting and other good points.

I have been blogging for a year now with the very nice Write.freely platform, and am very happy. It is simple, polished and fast - a comparison with WordPress really did not impress me (bloated, slow to load a page upon an edit, preview).

Zonelets is javascript driven

All of the work needed to show a list of all recent posts, the one previous or newer to one you are currently reading, some assorted headers for the blog as desired -- all of this is done via Marina's nice work in the 'scripts.js' file.

(In stark comparison to that, my loved Write.freely platform does not allow any javascript at all to be used; for security, which is understandable.)

Zonelets works well, it's light and fast.

But I was worried about messing up the magical 'scripts.js' file with the frequent editing needed to add new posts to the blog (hopefully a frequent occurrence, no?)

Fast forward a day, and we have it.

Thanks to the assistance of a fellow programmer, much more versed in web dev than myself, I have made some modifications that allow this to happen.

The full report and details are on Today's Blog Post - at Write.Freely via TeDomum.net or via Zonelets - at Neocities.org

#FediReporter new tools in development
#Blog #writing #publishing #rgxJournal

Verdana Pro -- why use 'Arial'

...when something much nicer is freely available?

20 different styles on the Windows Store download pack, Free. Verdana and Georgia were specially developed for on-screen reading. #dxp

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verdana

FREE Download from :

Microsoft directly

or Online Web Fonts

Georgia is also a better on-screen font

...designed to replace a serif font like Times New Roman.

Georgia is a serif typeface designed in 1993 by Matthew Carter and hinted by Tom Rickner for the Microsoft Corporation. It was intended as a serif typeface that would appear elegant but legible when printed small or on low-resolution screens. The typeface is inspired by Scotch Roman designs of the 19th century.

-source: Wikipedia

Georgia is a serif typeface designed by Matthew Carter for Microsoft Corporation in the mid-1990s. This typeface was designed as a serif companion to the Verdana font family with a goal to appear elegant but legible on low-resolution screens as well as when printed at small sizes.

-source: Microsoft

Also a FREE Download from :

Microsoft directly

or Online Web Fonts

Improve your on-screen Browser reading

...by selecting custom fonts which were developed for this exact task. Professional work, skilled designers. All for no cost and a minimal effort.

Install the better fonts (if not in your system yet) and :

a. Replace 'Times New Roman' with much smoother 'Georgia'. ✔

b. Replace 'Arial' or 'Sans' with 'Verdana Pro' ✔

And voilá. Enjoy. (see attached screenshot)

Repeat this customization for other systems you use regularly as well. 😉👍

This is the Topic of Today's Web Magazine

#FediReporter tips for better web reading experience
#rgxJournal #Typefaces #Design are important

To my friends and followers

…at my qoto account, @design_RG :

Good afternoon, I would like to inform you that, for personal reasons, I have submitted my resignation from my moderation position here at the mastodon instance, effective today.

I have been on a sabbatical for a period since late June from my work here at Qoto, but trust that my contribution has helped make it a better place.

I also use various other accounts and some of you might have seen posts originating from them, or blog announcements with my signature indicating my Publishing account at @rgx .

That has been my main account since late June, 2020 – as I felt I needed a smaller instance that allowed more time to focus and concentrate on Writing, which is currently my main personal interest and expression.

Since mastodon currently does not offer user data portability, my 7,200 posts at this instance will remain. And I might login occasionally, to check for personal messages or retrieve past posts. Anyone wishing to contact me can do so at the address referred above, which is likely to receive prompter attention.

Thank you!

FediRenderer - A much needed Mastodon tool

Long wished for, a way to view user data Backups

'FediRenderer' -- a project for a much needed new tool for viewing User Backup Exports from Mastodon instances in the Fediverse.

See a backed up toot as displayed by the viewer?

We have a working FediRenderer. And some background as well. Plus, very detailed, illustrated instructions for new users.

Sharing this in hope we can find people who value the idea and could take part in it in any way - contributing, suggesting, etc.

That is the Topic of today's Blog

#rgxJournal #FediReporter new tool...

I have moved. An update/postcard to friends.

It has been a while

...since you heard from me; the blog, the FediReporter tag, the Toots which came from the various instances I have accounts and a presence on.

Including the link above just reminds me it would be good to revisit and write a new page; as things change, and that page was popular. We could benefit from personal views from others.

But as you will see below, I am glad to be writing, and slowly getting more active here once again. Still quite annoyed by non-sense like cryptic one liner posts, or people who see no problem posting arms and dead animals in the open timelines, no content warnings from them. Or carrying flags that for me don't make sense.

** See Today's Blog Post for the full text.

#FediReporter #fediverse #glitch

@hansw Probably, but I was referring mainly to the flaws in their election system, like @design_RG said.

It seems that a vast portion of the people believe they have a democracy worth praising, while in fact the political freedoms in the US are below average. The artificial division between only two major sides (with little differences in practice?) is common worldwide, unfortunately. Still, the way candidates are nominated in the US is absurd by European standards. There is also the vote inequality because voters from each state have different impact on the national results.

@hansw@mastodon.social

A question for you, or anyone in the European Union, familiar with GDPR regulations.

I use an app that is based in Hong Kong, and is unique on what it offers (a pen pal application, nothing comparable out there that I know of).

Problem :

  • they are a small team, and very responsive, creative and competent.
  • but all of our data (the personal letters we write to penpals, in private and possibly with much personal info) is stored un-encrypted.
  • PRC has some pretty strict legislation, and it’s possible Intelligence agencies could demand a China based company to disclose any info in their systems.

And the question ;

  • Does the GDPR regulation mandate that a user’s data should be available for them to download on demand? (Facebook, and others offer this; I imagine it is probably mandated)

I would like to see if we could have a legal base, at least in some jurisdictions, to approach the team and ask them to offer the same personal data backup for download. Which currently, they don’t offer.

If European legislation backs this, we would have a big start.

Ideal would be for all data to be end to end encrypted, like WhatsApp offers, for example. We don’t have that yet; although it might be legitimate to ask.

Maybe @freemo might know something about this also?

'A Letter to a Cyclist Friend - VA Creeper Trail'

New page on my #Slowly related Blog

A letter to S., a friend from Czech Republic, who like me is a Cyclist. Discussing the Virginia Creeper Trail I visited last year. Stunning, check the photos, map.

wordsmith.social/friends-near-

#cycling #Touring #Travel #penpals #friendship #Virginia

What The Netherlands would naturally look like…

if they hadn’t built any dikes to prevent flooding.

“The Election that could break America”

A repost from my original Toot at Muensterland.social – an important article which got the cover for The Atlantic’s November issue.

Turns out we have tension, unclear path ahead and it’s a good reference. Recommended.

Original post follows.

Must-read, excellent in depth article at The Atlantic – discussing the what ifs and the possible avenues for the current president to dispute a loss in the upcoming election. And refuse to yield to a loss.

There is a cohort of close observers of our presidential elections, scholars and lawyers and political strategists, who find themselves in the uneasy position of intelligence analysts in the months before 9/11. As November 3 approaches, their screens are blinking red, alight with warnings that the political system does not know how to absorb. They see the obvious signs that we all see, but they also know subtle things that most of us do not. Something dangerous has hove into view, and the nation is lurching into its path.

The danger is not merely that the 2020 election will bring discord. Those who fear something worse take turbulence and controversy for granted. The coronavirus pandemic, a reckless incumbent, a deluge of mail-in ballots, a vandalized Postal Service, a resurgent effort to suppress votes, and a trainload of lawsuits are bearing down on the nation’s creaky electoral machinery.”

theatlantic.com/magazine/archi

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Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.

An inclusive free speech instance.
All cultures and opinions welcome.
Explicit hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.
We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.