The months on koyu.space (August 2020)

The development work is now over for August 2020 and we are ready to present everything that happened around koyu.space to you. A lot of things happened and we don’t want you to miss out on all these important changes.

Fixing repetitive downtimes

The repeated downtimes of koyu.space are now resolved.

The hosting provider of the routing server had messed up something since the 11th of August.

Despite many, stressful, nights spent trying to resolve it (i.e. blaming our setup), we discovered it was an issue with the hosting provider. The server that manages connectivity for the production machine had intermittent connectivity issues (i.e. pinging 8.8.8.8 would fail, even pinging the hosting providers gateway would also fail).

A ticket was opened with the hosting provider on the 22nd.

Repeated attempts to get a response was met finally with

“For the root cause we isolated the problem to a rogue device that was failing and was causing a routing loop within the network. "

Which was very very concerning since it appears only our instance was affected.

So I thought “ok great, we’ll see if it goes down again”. Of course, I woke up to 60 notifications of things going down. I sent 3 follow ups with 1-2 hours inbetween to the provider and was ignored.

The hosting provider has now been ditched, and a new provider is used for the routing setup as of 30 minutes ago.

Apologies for the severe instability from the bottom of my heart, I promise to be more proactive in future.

Automatic downtime alerts are posted to the Telegram channel at https://t.me/koyuspace

Yubikey support

koyu.space got support for Yubikeys and other hardware security keys. Securing admin accounts through hardware 2fa makes it even harder from an outside-attacker to gain access to koyu.space’s internal infrastructure. We think this is a crucial step to make koyu.space even more secure and fun to use.

General database fixes

The database was being moved to faster storage to finally resolve some long-standing performance issues, along with a DoS bug we had found.

Trending hashtags

Trending hashtags are now updating and have been re-enabled again, thanks to this friendly guy on GitHub.

Offtopic

To celebrate way better speed and stability of koyu.space koyu and arduino101 had a little party. Also koyu is inviting everyone to play some Overwatch soon again.

The months on koyu.space (July 2020)

The development work is now over for July 2020 and we are ready to present everything that happened around koyu.space to you. A lot of things happened and we don’t want you to miss out on all these important changes.

koyu.space on VHS

koyu.space now has its own PeerTube instance. This is a core service and wouldn’t be shut down. PeerTube functions like YouTube, but decentralized (with ActivityPub and WebTorrent). The difference is that if a video on koyu.space on VHS should get viral the server doesn’t get under full load thanks to people that would happily seed the video. If you need a more detailed introduction of what PeerTube is there is a video on their official website. The server is currently limited to 15 users, but we will increase the limits if we don’t see people uploading. You can upload as much as you want, but please use this power in moderation or we will have to limit that as well. Of course if you upload something make sure it isn’t copyrighted or is okay to reupload and also make sure your videos don’t violate against the koyu.space community guidelines.

koyu.space on VHS

Mastodon 3.2

koyu.space now ships with Mastodon 3.2 which has been released a few days ago at the time of writing. Since koyu.space usually rebases the latest glitch-soc master branch, most of these changes were visible in July. It contains a number of useful features and improvements so check out the blog post we linked.

The new and improved audio player

Nordcast updates

Nordcast received a few bugfixes and improvements in July so these have been published to Google Play now. The iOS version is still pending, because we have problems getting a development machine running for iOS (sadly Apple only allows their compiler to run on Macs).

What will happen with BlueOS?

BlueOS seems to be a long-standing elephant in the room. Right now the project is halted until koyu can pour more time into this project since maintaining a Linux distro always comes with its consequences. The old ISOs will still run fine until 2023 so there’s no way to throw them away yet. BlueOS will return, we promise.

A little bit more speed

koyu.space received next to a few updates a speed boost as well. Previously every container on the machine the container for koyu.space runs on had to fight against each other and claim their resources. Eventually our Minecraft server ran out of memory and consumed over 800% (!) of CPU power. That of course is way too much so we limited what these containers should do. So right now the koyu.space Mastodon instance should run faster than anything else. This is okay, because most people use the Mastodon instance anyway and it consumes the most resources as well. We will adjust these limits as we see fit, but on the bad side we had to temporarily shut down the Minecraft server until we figured out what is causing these massive memory leaks.

Anything else?

Nope that’s basically it. We weren’t that much productive in July, because we also have to take the time. Right now the koyu.space team is very small and keeping such a big project running consumes a lot of time. Sorry if you didn’t see anything that deserved more love, but we aren’t physically capable of being at more than one thing at once (until someone gives us superpowers).

The months on koyu.space (June 2020)

The development work is now over for June 2020 and we are ready to present everything that happened around koyu.space to you. A lot of things happened and we don’t want you to miss out on all these important changes.

koyu.space Discuss

We opened up our first discussion forum for koyu.space. Having a forum has a few more advantages over a traditional social network. Posts can be indefinitely long and have even richer formatting options than we already have on our Mastodon instance. Also it allows us to quickly document important things that should be noted down for others to look at so they don’t miss out on other important things. This forum also has a link on the koyu.space sidebar so it’s worth giving it a try. You will need a seperate account for it though, because we haven’t figured out yet how to use the forum software Flarum with our own custom OAuth2 provider we already have on koyu.space.

The rebirth of our merch store

Good news: we’re selling merch again. Now get your koyu.space-styled shirt and support us as well. Win-win. We’re also working on a new shirt which will be the first one with the second generation of koyu.space clothing and having a full-size shirt print as well.

Going back to the good old days

We disabled whitelist mode and reverted the Android app to a web app. Disabling whitelist mode now should make more clients like Pinafore want to play well with koyu.space again. The native Android app is now unmaintained, because we couldn’t keep up with all the upstream changes from Husky, so we will give that one into the hands of the community in case someone wants to maintain it.

A few little updates

We updated our notification sounds to match a new theme and made custom emojis a little bit bigger (tell us if they’re too big). Some fixes regarding the announcement mascot and emojis being cut off have been fixed. Also locked profiles should now show a lock next to the name again.

The months on koyu.space (May 2020)

The development work is now over for May 2020 and we are ready to present everything that happened around koyu.space to you. A lot of things happened and we don’t want you to miss out on all these important changes.

The big migration

We migrated from masto.host to our own infrastructure and it was a huge success. This gives is a lot more flexibility over what software can run on the server and a lot more scalability. If you need a Mastodon server yourself we can highly recommend masto.host, they have good pricing and a nice support e-mail. Hugo (the owner of masto.host) helped us to get the data from A to B and was there to give us some hints to fix some last minute bugs. Everything should run smoothly now and I hope you like the new koyu.space.

glitch-soc

You may have heard that we switched to our own fork of the “glitch-soc” platform. This also means we successfully migrated koyu.space from masto.host to our own infrastructure with a little bit of help. Given that we implemented a number of new features and here is just a small list of changes:

  • Media improvements
  • Images inside the CW spoiler
  • fullwidth images
  • scaling options
  • Formatted toots
  • Reply selection in lists
  • Filter improvements
  • Highlighting of misleading links
  • Hiding follower count
  • An app settings modal
  • Collapsible toots
  • Toot visibility icons
  • Local-only toots
  • Threaded mode
  • data-* attributes on statuses for custom CSS targeting
  • Advanced theming via flavours+skins
  • Doodle

Whitelist mode

We switched into a mode called “whitelist mode” on koyu.space. This was a really tough decision to make, but we already whitelisted instances where most of our content comes from anyway so that shouldn’t be a huge problem for most of our users then. We did this to prevent abuse to our systems. Since the fediverse is an open network anyone could join, especially bad actors and we wanted to throw them out to improve the overall user experience.

A native koyu.space app

Our latest survey gave us the impression that users wanted to have a native, more performant app on their Android phones. We listened and created our own fork of Husky which allows you to sign in with your koyu.space account and lets you enjoy the latest koyu.space features while having a performant and consistent user interface. The current limitations are no support for HTML (since it’s easier to type Markdown on a phone) and no support for stickers or animated emojis. We hope that we can address the last two issues in future updates, but for now we want you to enjoy the app.

BlueOS

We got nominated with BlueOS on Distro Watch! This is a huge thing and we hope we get listed soon to attract more people to this project. BlueOS is a Linux distribution by koyu.space with a focus on gaming, productivity and the internet. The goal is to have an easy to use operating system that runs great everywhere, especially on limited hardware. We think that recycling your computer with Linux and giving it a second chance is a good thing and we invite you to try it out on your old Windows XP machine (64-bit is required!). You can download BlueOS from blueoperatingsystem.xyz.

Offtopic

I hope everyone has a good June and we also want to wish you a happy summer and pride month and wanted to say that black lives indeed matter. If you want to help out hop over to our communication channels or give us some money so we can stay awake through the nights. This was the wrap up for last month and I hope you liked the changes. If you want to give us some feedback or have comments or suggestions, press the feedback button on the bottom right corner.

koyu.space and what the Keybase/Zoom acquisition means

Keybase has been acquired by Zoom. This is huge news for us, but it also means that a company known to create secure software is now in the hands of a company that had done years of damage to privacy and user trust. Today we are not going to support Keybase in the future and cease any integration of Keybase into koyu.space services. This also means you have to download new builds for the koyu.space desktop app any time soon as files were partially hosted on Keybase. Existing builds continue to run, but will fail updating.

Have a nice day and stay safe 💪