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RSS proxy [Apr. 1st, 2008|05:45 pm]
distributed blogs

dimrub
I've written a small web-app that acts as an RSS proxy, providing ability to read protected feeds from an RSS aggregator that does not support authentication. Here's how it works:
1. The user registers with his username and password (only LJ is supported at this time, but other sources of feeds can be easily added)
2. The user is then given an option to either register a single feed, or to download an OPML file with several feeds (either all of user's LJ friends, or any custom group per user's choice).
3. The user then adds those feeds to Google Reader - either by clicking on a button (in case of a single feed) or by uploading the OPML file (in case of all friends or a custom group)
4. The feeds thus generated point back to the RSS proxy, and their URLs contain all the information necessary for the proxy to regenerate the user's credentials (that are kept on the server in an encrypted manner) and to serve the feed in an authenticated manner.
5. In addition, one can specify that:
a. the feeds thus created only contain protected items (so that one can subscribe separately to someone's public and private entries)
b. the protected entries are marked as such in the feed (so as to prevent their sharing, for example).

The proxy is written in Python, using the Django web framework, and it uses Apache2 and MySQL DB. It's sources are available here. A deb package is available for download here.

What's next? Ofcourse, anyone is free to download it and to try it wherever one wants (I have it running on my home PC right now off my private ADSL line, serving myself and 9 of my friends). However, I would like to have an installation on which to test it more thoroughly and to make it available there for the general public. And the first question to ask is whether this is interesting for anyone at all. If so - can anyone help me with the hosting?
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Standalones [Mar. 30th, 2008|01:22 pm]
distributed blogs

dimrub
While we were all scratching our collective head, the world seems to have moved someplace, and we'd better catch up. More and more of my friends are moving to standalone blogs. While the combination of RSS (or, rather, Atom) and OpenID and OPML (through which one can recreate one's friend list in a matter of seconds on any new RSS aggregator) gives the illusion of no functionality being lost, this is not entirely true. Here's what missing:

1. Limited visibility blogging. Some would say this is better done through other means, such as closed mailing lists, but I disagree. Distributing your toddler's photos is something a) very well suited to the blog format b) something you may wish to limit to certain group of people. It can be easily solved using authenticated feeds, however there is just one tiny problem: the one most popular RSS aggregator (i.e. Google Reader) does not support authentication. I think I am able to solve this problem through an RSS proxy that adds the missing authentication functionality. Anyone knows another online RSS aggregator that does not have such a limitation?

2. High availability and failover. Here we have a real problem, but one (perhaps) more or less easily fixed through caching and some sort of notification protocol. I am willing to tackle this problem - offhand it doesn't seem too hard to fix.

3. Comments notification. LJR thought up a clever idea, where the number of comments is shown as a picture (which is not cached, and fetched from the server each time you look at the entry in question). However, I'm not at all sure it's a real problem, and possibly new comments notification is enough (and an easy way to subscribe to comments from RSS aggregator can be provided on a client - e.g., through a GreaseMonkey script).

If that is all there is, things are much-much easier than we thought initially. Maybe no end-to-end security is required after all - e.g., high availability of the entries of limited visibility is performed through the ones who have access to the entry being considered.
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Distributed commenting protocol [Mar. 22nd, 2008|11:43 pm]
distributed blogs

vitus_wagner
I've written a description of protocol for distributed blog commenting, vaguely modelled after IETF drafts.

http://vitus.wagner.pp.ru/distributed-comments.txt

Any comments, suggestions, clarifications, language improvements are welcome.
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Объединятор [Jan. 8th, 2008|11:33 am]
distributed blogs

nchaly
http://www.bestpersons.ru/about/
"Bestpersons.ru предлагает вам простой способ объединить все ссылки на ваши персональные страницы в социальных сетях на одном сайте вида ваш_ник.bestpersons.ru."

(Bestpersons.ru prodives a simple way to unite links to your different social networks personal pages in one: name.bestpersons.ru)

подглядел у n0xi0uzz.
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An interesting article [Dec. 24th, 2007|06:27 pm]
distributed blogs

dimrub
By non other than Brad Fitzpatrick:

http://bradfitz.com/social-graph-problem/

Some of the stuff sounds familiar, doesn't it? :)
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OpenID comments in blogger [Dec. 20th, 2007|12:03 am]
distributed blogs

simonff
Blogger has recently allowed posting comments with OpenID authentication.
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wiki changdes [Dec. 13th, 2007|10:37 am]
distributed blogs

nchaly
[Tags|]

http://code.google.com/p/dist-blog/wiki/BasicConcepts updated, added two Q&A
http://code.google.com/p/dist-blog/wiki/MiscQuestions - added by i.hamsa on 7 Dec, updated as well (message structure and database distribution).
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State of the art [Dec. 12th, 2007|11:17 am]
distributed blogs

dimrub
Are there people here, who are firmly knowledgeable in the existing blogging technologies? What I mean is being able to explain the various protocols and the differences between them. What's the diff between Atom and RSS? Between Atom Publishing Protocol and MetaWebLog API? Between OpenID and the other similar technologies? I think a primer in these techs is a must if we don't want to invent a wheel here.

Update: a very nice comparison of RSS and Atom - here (Atom seems to be winning hands down).
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Free my mind ) [Dec. 10th, 2007|04:35 pm]
distributed blogs

nchaly
As far as I understand, each of the nodes should contain complete mirror of each other node. Messages should be instantly or almost instantly copied to all other servers.
So each post or comment can be read from all servers, but written from primary only. This looks like a house - there are many windows you can look into,
but enter through the sole door.

So, messages should be "protected" for users of other servers to make sure that message is correct. Public messages are signed just to verify integrity. Private messages are
encrypted with destination person key (what is there are many recipients?). Comments are signed/encrypted as well as the message the are posted to; hidden comments are stored
only at primary server of the message and at primary server for comment author.

Is this vision correct?
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(no subject) [Dec. 8th, 2007|11:01 am]
distributed blogs
oblomov_jerusal
AFAIU, most of code in typical blogging engine deals with information presentation (correct me if I am wrong). Should we for distributed bloging some existing engine such as that of LJ or some engine for standalone blogging, or should we develop our own presentation engine? (The latter seems unfeasible due to development time considerations).
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