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commit 6c6d8e0872a8f32f407a3e7896d67a6eb03c7ae1 (patch)
parent da01dbab9576be786ebccfd97ac3640b43c340f1
Author: Alex Karle <>
Date:   Fri, 20 May 2022 00:19:11 -0400

blog: Add post about

Mwww/blog/index.txt | 1+
Awww/blog/starting-a-tilde.txt | 82+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2 files changed, 83 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/www/blog/index.txt b/www/blog/index.txt @@ -12,6 +12,7 @@ For an up to date list of software/hardware I use, see ## 2022 +- 05/22 [Starting a Tilde Community for Fun and the Learnings](/blog/starting-a-tilde.html) - 05/22 [Typesetting a Resume with `mandoc(1)`](/blog/mandoc-resume.html) - 04/22 [Exploring Acme, Plan 9, and `NO_COLOR`](/blog/exploring-plan9.html) diff --git a/www/blog/starting-a-tilde.txt b/www/blog/starting-a-tilde.txt @@ -0,0 +1,82 @@ +# Starting a Tilde Community for Fun and the Learnings + +_Published: May 19, 2022_ + +Like most good projects, this one started with a name: _garbash_. + +The name was my friend [Anthony's]( idea. +It came out of a PR review as a self-deprecating take on his bash +code (which actually turned out to be mine). + +We laughed and I realized the domain was for sale, so I snagged it +and resolved to find its purpose later. + +That purpose came in the form of starting a small tilde community +together: []( +For those unfamiliar, a [tilde]( is a public UNIX system, +usually combining external services (web hosting) with a small +internal social network (local only IRC, `talk(1)`, etc). It's +a harkening back to the days when UNIX was a multi-user system-- +a fun escape from the complexities and ephemerality of modern +container based infrastructure. + +In this blog post, I don't want to go too much into the technical +setup (I wrote [detailed notes]( and +published [all the configs]( +Instead I want to write about the experience creating it. + +I wasn't sure I'd ever write this post. +Originally I thought I'd keep garbash separate from my personal +portfolio. There's a certain feeling of freedom when coding, +writing, or self-hosting services without association to a career or +professional life (something that has touched this blog more recently). +I imagine it's how writers feel when using a nom de plume. + +But ultimately, I spent days on garbash, and it's a project that I'm +really proud of. It's something I do want associated with me, +and above all I want to broadcast it in hopes that someone finds +the collective research, configs, or notes valuable. + +## Reflections on Success + +On the outside, garbash might look like a failure or abandoned side +project. A "budding tilde" with only two users--the admins. +And while it's true that we never quite got around to making it a +larger community, garbash was, to me, a massive success. + +The simplest win was that I got to explore new technologies. Having +a sandbox to set up services I've always wanted to use proved +invaluable in terms of learning. The best example of this is email; +almost every hackernews comment will tell you *not* to self host +it. Don't even try! You'll forget some DNS record and big senders +will mark your domain as bad. You'll never be able to reach their +inboxes. Well, with garbash, I was able to say "so what" and +[set up email addresses with OpenSMTPD]( +fully featured with DKIM signing and proper SPF and DMARC records. + +Better yet, the act of pairing and explaining services I've set up +before like [git hosting via `stagit(1)`]( +or [a Wireguard VPN tunnel for internal services]( +solidified my mental model of the technologies. Writing scripts +together to automate things like setting up users or Wireguard +key management was both fun and a chance to share coding +tips and tricks. + +But best of all, I came away from garbash with a stronger friendship. +We [set up an IRC server]( +expecting it to be the hub of the network. Instead it became our +preferred way to chat just the two of us about life and tech. + +We may still find friends who want to join, but if we don't +that's OK; as a project it's been one of my favorites. To +Anthony--thanks for all the good times pairing and for agreeing +to take on such an out-there project. + +## Conclusion + +If there's one takeaway from this post, it's not just to +try self-hosting your services--_find a friend to set them up with +you and learn from each other._ + +And of course feel free to use what we wrote as a +[starting place]('s all FOSS!