FOSS dev, self-hosting fan, Matrix, degoogling, small tech, indie tech, friendly tech for families and schools. Let's own our own identity & data.

Last week I was setting up Draupnir on my matrix test rig, in order to become familiar with Draupnir deployment before I integrate it with PubHubs.

Now I need to address end-to-end-encryption (E2EE). PubHubs exclusively uses encrypted matrix rooms, and Draupnir doesn't yet have E2EE functionality built-in. (Why is that? Moderation in public rooms is Draupnir's main use case, and for several reasons public matrix rooms are usually not encrypted. However PubHubs is different.)

There is a generic solution for adding E2EE to a matrix bot, and it's called Pantalaimon, an “E2EE aware proxy daemon for matrix clients.” So this week I'm setting up Pantalaimon.



You know that feeling when they send you a PDF to sign? “Simply print, sign and scan!” Or the more sophisticated ones, “Sign it digitally in our partner's secure signing system!”

Well, thanks to this awesome open source SignaturePDF, created by 24eme.fr, now we can sign a PDF file digitally, in our own home network.


Nice campaign page! Fedigov.EU


Federated communication for public authorities

Communicate confidently and respectfully with the public

Congratulations to GNU/Linux.ch and FSFE-CH for this initiative! I love what you're doing here. I think maybe I want to get involved.

I'm a FLOSS dev and thinker, and recently blogged about how we need to be doing exactly this kind of campaign. I'm delighted that you are! Though I'm no PR expert I have some ideas. In my Social Media Links for A People-Centred Community, the messaging I made up begins,


Embarrassing. As a Free/Libre/OpenSource developer, I have shied away from choosing a licence for over twenty years. It's time to make some decisions.


This week I'm setting up Draupnir on my matrix test rig, in order to become familiar with Draupnir deployment before I integrate it with PubHubs.

Very glad to be able to use matrix-docker-ansible-deploy's Draupnir setup to automate the majority of the Draupnir deployment.

I also want to automate, with Ansible, as much as possible of the set-up that is required before running that playbook. I aim to document here what I have done and open questions about it. The numbered steps here correspond to the manual instructions in that documentation linked above.


I was reminded of the Detect Missing Ad-blocker WordPress plugin made by Stefan Bohacek.

I hate intrusive advertising on the web. I always install ad blockers to manage my own experience but I often forget that many of my friends and family are oblivious and see ads as a routine annoyance. Presumably they assume it's an inevitable part of modern life. And they don't even see the adjacent class of content, the invisible, nefarious, mass surveillance and tracking.

Could I do something to help my friends and family? Presumably these people are likely to share my values.

Why, yes, I could!


Privacy is over-rated. It's not unimportant, but what I mean is privacy is an over-used trigger word, easy to mention, but it (the lack of it) is not one of the main harms of big tech. The main harms of big tech are more subtle, to do with opportunity cost, diverting the direction in which societal tools are built, towards capitalism investment value return, away from the shapes of technology that would be in society's best interests and values. Wish we had a word to express that. Oh, we do, thank you Cory Doctorow. Enshittification.

#enshittification #bigTech


You can see it at the bottom of my blog posts, and in some of my other web pages.

logo cloud

At last I have got around to making a picture with a whole bunch of logos or icons of projects, products and organisations I love. Mostly open-source related, some real-life.


Last week

  • I officially received confirmation of funding. (Thank you, PubHubs team and Dutch government open-source funding team.)
  • I re-joined the project team after a summer break, having previously joined them as a volunteer, and joined a general meeting and a technical meeting.
  • I posted a short announcement/introduction on my blog.
  • I updated and re-started my own test-bed installation of Pubhubs components.
  • I made some progress on my Ansible installation scripting of Pubhubs components.
  • I joined the new pubhubs-hosted project discussion room, in a “stable test hub”, which we would like to use instead of Slack, both for reasons of living our values and to “eat our own dog food”.
  • In our pubhubs dev room, we discussed implementing email notifications using Synapse's built-in support, which would be very useful for us maintining a long-term conversation in the room; and we discussed briefly some privacy implications if we wanted to offer follow-up notifications by email, or in other ways, to users who would like to remain pseudonymous.

This Week

  • Get some part of my Ansible deployment tested and published?
  • Start self-hosting Draupnir (on a normal matrix server) to get experience of deploying and using it.

Tech note: Dependency Updates

Updates needed, since around June/July.

  • dependencies: NodeJS and NPM: update to later than Node 12 (which was installed via Debian 11 packages). I now install via Ansible role geerlingguy.nodejs, which in turn uses the nodesource.com APT repo, and currently defaults to Node 16.
  • dependencies: add package libssl-dev, required by Cargo openssl-sys package dependency (error was failed to run custom build command for openssl-sys v0.9.60).

PubHubs icon

#PubHubs #matrix


This is how we explain to children the importance of software freedom!

Ada & Zangemann – A Tale of Software, Skateboards, and Raspberry Ice Cream

I've been waiting for this ever since I heard about it last year. Now available in the UK, I bought mine from Hive Books .

“In this hopeful story Ada and her friends join a movement that started back in 1983. Their courageous adventure of software freedom and learning how technology works is a wonderful way to introduce young people everywhere to the joys of tinkering!” —Zoë Kooyman, Executive Director, Free Software Foundation

I want to send a copy to every library and every school.

#awesomeFOSS #outreach #openEdTech #openHardware