one of the crystal programming language’s greatest strengths is the ease with which you can work with c apis and external libraries without leaving crystal. you can even implement callbacks in crystal!

in sqlite you can define new functions—callable from sql—with sqlite3_create_function by providing a name and a callback that implements the function. i created a new function called strip, entirely in crystal, that removes html markup and leaves text. it can be used in a sql query like so:

select * from objects
where strip(content) like "%term%"

it’s part of the recently released content filtering code.

#crystallang #ktistec

I just released v2.0.0-8 of ktistec. The most impactful changes are:

  1. No more dependencies on externally hosted assets (and fewer dependencies, overall)
  2. Basic support for timeline filters (no shares and no replies).
  3. Support for content filtering by keyword.

Volume has dropped off in my timeline, for the most part, now that the surge of people who signed up for Mastodon accounts a couple months ago have gone back to posting on Twitter, or have stopped posted about the transition, or whatever. But fine grained control is nice, and filtering allows me to tune my experience—better late than never!

Read the changelog for all of the details.


i released 2.0.0-7 just in time for the new year.  it includes contributions from @relistan and @rahul, the introduction of CI (the build is successful), and bug fixes.

i am slowly working my way toward more flexibility for reading and managing federated content.

#ktistec (as always, it's pronounced "tiz-tek")

getting starting on my new year's 🥂 resolutions early. added a changelog to ktistec.

the changelog covers changes back to v1.0.0, which was released about this time last year!


i finally set up ci for ktistec. surprisingly, it only uncovered one mysterious build issue...


(i should probably just add support for mastodon style polls to ktistec...)

i have an informal poll for ktistec users. should we require (and use features from) the most recent versions of sqlite? how recent is too recent? if you're running ktistec, i'd love your point of view.

some background... sqlite is the most significant dependency in ktistec. to minimize problems for potential users, i intentionally stuck to features found in "older" versions of sqlite. as i write this, the current version of sqlite is 3.40.0.  ktistec only depends on 3.11.0, which was released in 2016. that's very conservative.


Today's release of code fixes things that have been annoying me for a while: 

  • Commits c01e797 to b21a97a ensure that bulk assignment raises an error when the type of an argument value does not match that of the corresponding property being assigned to. In the past, attempts were silently ignored. As you'd expect, adding the check and raising the error was easy—cleaning up all the places I'd carelessly passed in nil and other garbage was not. Lesson learned? We'll see...
  • While I'm in there, commits 1ac498e to 3d45ece ensure that bulk assignment raises an error when attempting to assign a property defined only by a getter (which is, effectively, a read-only property). Previously, this code wouldn't even compile, thereby unintentionally coupling database persistence and bulk assignability.
  • Finally, commits 5c2ec70 to 99dca65 clean up a few small defects in presentation: wide blocks of code no longer blow out the width of the parent container, image attachments present at ratios closer to what Mastodon uses (the presumption being that's what people optimize for if they optimize for anything) (this should also fix issue #53), and figure captions get a little breathing room. I'm no good at CSS, so this kind of thing takes me forever.


attachment showing profile metadata from both a mastodon site and a ktistec site

i built @relistan 's branch this morning and tried out ktistec support for mastodon profile metadata. the attachment shows profile metadata pulled from the mastodon instance, as well as @relistan 's own personal ktistec instance. this is something i've wanted for a long time!

a shoutout is due both these two (the owners of the two profiles shown in the attachment): @alexanderadam has been posting encouragement about ktistec all year long, and maybe before—an intangible that's immensely valuable when you're banging away on open source software—and @relistan is the first person besides me to contribute major feature functionality to the project—which takes a huge leap of faith.



i added some in-process data collection to ktistec in order to better understand how it uses memory.

attachment 1: chart of total requested, heap, and free

the chart shows the accumulated total requested memory (blue) over time. as expected, it grows monotonically and almost linearly. in theory, i guess, if i posted something engaging, you'd see the effect of the engagement  (likes, shares, follows, etc. etc. etc.) on memory usage. in any case, the heap (red) remains flat.

attachment 2: table of total requested, heap, and free

i think it would be great to have this chart on the metrics page. when time permits, i'll add it. in the meantime, if you're running a (very) recent build, you're collecting data.


i'm currently working on a few ktistec enhancements in parallel.

  • performance improvements to rule evaluation. performance isn't a problem during regular inbox/outbox processing imo, but large batch operations take too long and use too much memory.
  • dependency minimization (and removal). for expediency, a few dependencies are pulled from cdns instead of being served locally. since "minimal dependencies" is a feature i'm pushing, i should clean up where i can.
  • interoperability enhancements. the fediverse continues to evolve/innovate. it looks like another pass of interoperability testing might be warranted.

there are ~13 instances currently running that i'm aware of, so there's also a solid stream of bugs/enhancements coming in 😉 thanks everyone!