Mental Distractions

15 May 2022

2022-05-15 - Server software

I've been looking at my various options regarding the home server; whether to try to restore my old Hubzilla installation, or something new. I have several old laptops lying around that could be used. I thought again to try to use Bob Mottram's freedombone/libreserver installation. It doesn't have Hubzilla, but does have another Zot/Nomad based platform called Roadhouse. But I instantly got stuck with that because his basic instruction for installation does not work, and the directions are unclear.

It may or may not be possible to restore the old installation, depending on how much damage there is to the disk. I'm afraid that I will plod through all the steps of using dd or ddrescue, only to find that it won't go anywhere.

I think the simplest will be to set up a new Debian system with Apache or other server software. For my needs, I don't even need MySQL or PHP, because I want to keep everything as simple as possible. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty with stuff but I feel tech-weary. And I'm also unwilling to follow someone's instructions to set up a system that I would never be capable of understanding myself.

When I was growing up there was a Sci-Fi TV series in which an alien civilization requires earthlings to create a machine of such complexity and advanced tech that no one understands what they are actually building. It could save the earth or destroy it. I don't think I watched the series to the end, but it was a great concept, and I often think of that when I'm attempting to do things that go way beyond my comprehension.

For my blog, working either with simple html or the Bastion Bechtold's emacs org-mode system I feel reasonably comfortable. (When I have the time, I would enjoy learning the basics of Lisp programming too.) For now, I know that the output is simple html files that I can save, serve and move almost anywhere, such as on my Fastmail cloud server. The same with photos and other features that I would like to include. But I would like also to add a simple social networking system too. The easiest seems to be Bob Mottram's Epicyon, which uses the ActivityPub protocol, but has no database or javascript. The last time I tried it, I couldn't get it to work properly; but maybe now it's more stable. I hope so.

I was going through my newsfeeds yesterday and read a fairly negative review of Genesis. I had a similar intuition regarding it. He claims that it is "solutionism" - whatever that means. But I think he is saying that it tries to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. We can choose to keep things simple if we want to: for ordinary html and CSS based websites we don't need fancy Javascript frameworks, web applications and all the wizardry that modern commercial sites use. We can dumb things down to the level that we feel comfortable with, and spend our time writing and creating beautiful websites that rely upon simple code, instead of either delving into multiple layers of technology or deploying platforms through scripts that work well but leave us floundering when something goes wrong.

Being dependent upon technology that is beyond our reasonable ability to understand it, without specialization, is as bad as depending upon platforms like Facebook, in that we surrender control to someone else. I want to be go my own way, and be independent both of the big companies and complex technologies.


L'Inde brûle déjà du réchauffement climatique - tousdehors

« vivre décemment » dans un monde qui devient de plus en plus inhabitable et intolérable ne peut signifier que vivre, prendre soin les uns des autres et du monde et lutter tout à la fois.

Tags: software
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