Open Collective
Open Collective
Scuttleverse Newsletter #15 (Butts & Potatoes edition)
Published on August 2, 2020 by Alexander Cobleigh

SSBC Newsletter, June-July 2020 Edition

Hi-ho friends, and butts, and extended internet-family!

I hope you have managed to find some calm in the time since my last missive. Personally, I have checked-in on the potatoes I planted with a friend a while back. The 47 plants are all doing well, despite our lengthy absence.

Let's check in on what our lovely community has done since last, and see if there has been any sprouting as with my lil earthapples~


➫ European Meetup: Tornio, Suomi

Hoodownr is organizing Extra Solar a physical meetup [0] hosted in Tornio, Finland. See the channel #crabmeet2020 and the announcement post for more information (incl. how to buy a tshirt!).

The event poster, and graphic included above, was illustrated by Glyph, one of many talented artists in the community :3

➫ Village Kit Update

dinosaur shared an update [1] in their village kit dev diary of their progress making gridbeams with a second-hand robotic arm (!!). Grid Beam is a design, idea and specification for how to create modular physical structures. It declares a standardized hole size, and an interhole distance. The holes are then drilled into all sides of a piece of material with a standardized width and depth, typically of wood or aluminium.

The post contains tons of images and videos, as well as links the original Gridbeam project. Basically, Village Kit is like IKEA except you can reshape your furniture when you tire of their current configuration.

dinosaur also created a gathering [2] to commemorate the 5th anniversary of SSB!! Wednesday, August 8, will mark 5 years since the first post made in the Scuttleverse.

➫ Little Webby Press

SoapDog shared his project, Little Webby Press. It is an open source tool for easily producing ebooks / epubs. Check out the video detailing it, Little Webby Press itself, or the post on ssb [3]

➫ The End is here

Andre Staltz shared a song, The End, which he made over the past 6 months [4]. It is really nice :)

➫ Garden Paradise

Lucy shared a wonderful glimpse into her garden in [5]

➫ Life & Work & Projects in the Scuttleverse

  • scott shared the 17th entry of his literary newsletter Polylith [6]

  • Au Dri said hi [7] in the #new-people channel, which is where people introduce themselves to the broader ssb community, and shared the fantastic image above (animated in the original post) that they captured during their academic biology research.
  • Daan shared an electronics project he and his father made together (which transforms ultrasonic recordings into the audible range) [8]
  • Luandro wrote a new entry in their Autonomous Community Communication dev diary [13]
moinho-mesh started from the opportunity given by the anarchist ssbc-grants process, which happened in 2018. My personal goal was to make SSB accessible to my local community thus creating our own safe piece of cyberspace.
  • This thread [9] started by glyph, initially asking for advice on monitor placement to aid in better posture & reduce discomfort, evolved into a wonderful thread of people sharing their life experiences and tips on ergonomic desk-based work

  • Wingy Scruffhead shared their process [10] creating a new website (including a paper-based collage-style workflow!)

➫ Friend Gallery

Zach! shared Friend Gallery, an application made for use inside the hypercore protocol-based Beaker Browser. Friend Gallery makes it easy for people to create image galleries of art and pictures they want to share with friends. [14]

➫ Critical Discourse on Decentralization

Finally, Shiba Computer shared a link to their critical essay "This is Fine": Optimism and Emergency in the Decentralised Network, a recent output from the New Design Congress. The article generated a lot of introspection and healthy discussion in the community; it is intended to inspire & motivate rather than demoralize or discourage, so bring that kind of lens with you if you are reading it for the first time :) See the discussion in the two parallel threads [11] and [12]

🔗 Community Links

  • [0] %MIaJLD5D5Zt1OBqtpA4wwUWI0UXezagl+7Cc0r6BcDA=.sha256 ssb meetup
  • [1] %9x11KH1qzl4sD2xFRpepsbxUcVGfq3qZTNUkYNyYoH8=.sha256 village kit
  • [2] %WMaIl9bnvUUudsSgQiSZrp7CT044f/SHScrKnRXSG2k=.sha256 ssb 5 years
  • [3] %MNzVvI8ptlIjNLNA3spQSgTtWLIkkCNttNNjXMUMvJI=.sha256 webby press
  • [4] %mpQamzLupfKAZ8mCHfqX3RtgpEqPKQhS2hqoH6vnSII=.sha256 the end
  • [5] %36UTJ2cXsyriDtN7iVZWoCSRcoIhv+i/n4cXJe5ITs8=.sha256 the garden
  • [6] %Un1yog6lBmR996XPjNtJeK5hKez4MQb3J29YMh6HuKo=.sha256 polylith
  • [7] %qzTtRNYmruSdp717YUPCWE8vFB1DEGGCNr8oUFe6wXE=.sha256 biology
  • [8] %PxPDT52J2YUcLeUJ1VVzlG8cNnfYxY6yma79q0wIlg0=.sha256 electronics
  • [9] %I9vdWa/v1+C6CNMWj63MdSh9h/GSsjos1A0aaYF/0Ho=.sha256 ergonomy tips
  • [10] %E1B9TS5fB3txcgZA2K2hxLGXGAPKsctk0NPf6L7dcK0=.sha256 analog website
  • [11] %ZoCGFKRKAc7915nXr28KKd+G1omUIjjyA1zRDXGAq4I=.sha256 this is fine pt1
  • [12] %iVKsNQziL5fA+9ChLysHDsxrLhfbmr9TR02uUvkbe9E=.sha256 this is fine pt2
  • [13] %L9slT5FKhCcn+niz8+SFNyVHoUa7k77zsraMeVyns1U=.sha256 community comms
  • [14] %Y+zxqKUGV2Dd9Z+vrXkhDzzqeEH551kytOv9Zyl/M6Q=.sha256 friend gallery


➫ Scuttlebutt Go Pub Tutorial

月光虹, who recently started working for Planetary (one of the iOS-based SSB apps) shared a great guide on how to run a go-ssb pub node in [0]. (Pub nodes are SSB clients that are easily accessible, and always online - they are basically community run infrastructure that facilitate information sharing between disparate peers in the Scuttleverse :)

In related Planetary news, a recent release added blocks (which now deletes content from your device!) and an explore view to browse posts from outside one's direct following range

➫ Earthstar Docs & Command-line Interface

Cinnamon shared a few useful links to Earthstar's docs, vocabulary, and cli in [2].

Earthstar is an SSB-inspired, parallel approach to the same problem space as SSB. It was intiated by Cinnamon during the Mozilla Spring Labs.

➫ TrustNet: Computational Trust

cblgh (that's me!!) shared TrustNet a "system for representing, and interacting with, computational trust" [3].

Fundamentally, TrustNet allows for chat systems like SSB to implement delegated blocks, allowing people to trust their friends and letting their friends block bad actors on their behalf (and vice versa :)

➫ Manyverse Release

Manyverse had its monthly release with misc improvements and bugfixes. Notably, the recovery phrase (which is what you would use if yr phone got stolen, to recover your profile on a new device) had its length cut in half. All that's required now is 24 words. You can read more in the blog post, [4]

➫ index database goes brr

arj shares JITDB which is a

"database on top of a flumelog-aligned-offset with automatic index generation and maintenance".

It attempts to be a queryable database which can run in both the browser and in node, with the goal to improve initial sync by only processing subsets of logs and automatically maintaining indexes for previously executed queries. Read the post [5] for more technical information, or check out the code.

arj is currently test driving jitdb by integrating it into ssb-browser, a browser-based ssb client he created.

➫ New SSB Plugin

mix shared ssb-recps-guard, an ssb plugin and node module which "guards against accidentally publishing messages publicly".

This was written for ahau where basically everything excluding a couple of deliberately public facing profiles is going to be in private groups.

🔗Technical Links

  • [0] %qfqUf3+dLfmyFC9kZUIA99E5s5qch/VSJBP9mSHP588=.sha256 ssb-go pub
  • [1] %+R/8SImdurcxQdmq7hcUeVdI/b/MNQujXMj+flgOQ6Y=.sha256 planetary changelog
  • [2] %PpbmcyaUmupf2mD0mHENVD+6Pvk0+nel8Rrhzggawq4=.sha256 earthstar
  • [3] %2bZLidkED6+45ZQyc7G9MqYLf/ZDsiVg20RlY1KB8xw=.sha256 trustnet
  • [4] %AP/x5+Zb55Y8rYYYFivXth9l7AdDIFPm1Lw5rnzX4Pk=.sha256 manyverse
  • [5] %LT/5HjqOkzOXMiRnyKlI2r7soscYXjBYciBzM1kUHvs=.sha256 jitdb
  • [6] %KXdecjRHU5Fqv8NM88YDweet+RH9ttSyIVI48HBY8mo=.sha256 ssbc-recps-guard


Our siblings in the dat ecosystem recently had a 2 day event, Dat Conference 2020, lots of fantastic presentations (some held by butts, the endearing term for Scuttlebutt users, from the Scuttleverse!). The conference was really fun and fantastically well-executed, especially considering it was online-only (and the first dat conference ever!!).

My favourites:

Nick Warner and I also held a workshop on Cabal's subjective moderation system, if that strikes your fancy.

Closing off

Phewwwwww, finally managed to get this out! Pardon the delay, my friends - July got a bit oddly busy.

I hope you found something interesting. If you did, remember that you can contribute to the Secure Scuttlebutt Consortium if you are financially secure and align with what all of us Scuttlebutts are doing :)


cblgh, scuttling off for last month