April 2022 - June 2023
Published on June 28, 2023 by glyph
Solarpunk (social) hardware with Scuttlebutt
Warm greetings from the PeachCloud team! It has been a long, long time since we published an update. Sincere apologies for that! Rather than attempting to detail everything that has happened over the past 14 months or so, I'll simply skip between the highlights.
First of all, we have some massive gratitude to express for the funding we've received since the last update. Mikey made the decision to transfer the remaining funds from the Sunrise Choir Open Collective to PeachCloud in July 2022, totaling $5,665.67. We take our role as the current custodians of the Rusty SSB dream very seriously and are doing our best to maintain and develop the eco-system which spans Sunrise Choir and Kuska-SSB. I'll write a bit more about the latest developments further on in this newsletter.
Following conversations about shared goals between Planetary and PeachCloud, especially when it came to easily deployable and maintainable Scuttlebutt infrastructure, Rabble and the crew made a generous contribution of $9,000 to the collective between August 2022 and January 2023. Some of those funds helped to kick-start a wave of maintenance work on the Go-SSB eco-system. glyph worked with decentral1se to fully document the Go sbotcli tool. decentral1se also received funding from the Scuttlebutt Maintenance Fund to do further work hunting bugs in the Go-SSB stack. His presence on the project ultimately helped guide the volunteer contributions of Kyle Maas, who made major code and test contributions to the Go sbot. This cascade of activity may not have occurred were it not for the initial support from Planetary. Thank you!
Thank you as well to the many, many contributions from Sean Billig, Scocasso!, kr1sp1n, Anders, Mikey and Incognito. Your support is deeply appreciated!
Sweet Dreams, PeachCloud
I think it's fair to say that the original vision for PeachCloud is officially in deep-sleep mode. That includes our efforts to make it straightforward for community members to create and manage their own pub servers. In hindsight, we have been hindered by the lack of a solid and reliable non-JS implementation of Scuttlebutt. This ultimately meant that our software was not usable in the way we intended, even after years of careful development. It does not seem wise at this point to continue down the path. With that being said, a tremendous amount of good work and learning has come from the project and I have no doubt that the work done for PeachCloud will yield a harvest in the future. One could argue that it already has. For a more complete report on this topic, along with community discussion, please see the 'State of the (Non-JS) Ecosystem' thread on Scuttlebutt: `%VzXoTqB8Ws5DnY4PJHeWecMej7KKXzB9J1poCIWYcgQ=.sha256`.
While PeachCloud-specific work has ceased, our efforts have found new life in the form of the `solar` Scuttlebutt implementation from Kuska-ssb. Since December 2022, glyph has forked the project and contributed bug fixes, documentation and new features. `solar` now features a JSON-RPC server for message publishing and queries, and can be embedded as a Scuttlebutt node in any Rust project (by importing it as a crate). While it lacks the full complement of features found in the JS and Go implementations, it is a simple yet powerful piece of software which can be understood without too much time and effort. `solar` should offer an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning about how Scuttlebutt works, especially if they have some prior knowledge of the Rust programming language. If you wish to read more about recent developments, please see the 'Solar Flare' Scuttlebutt thread (`%1MhUcs6TsmTccuwGC4UBOSE/ARrnff14MwGgQAWFjRo=.sha256`).
glyph is particularly interested in applying the Scuttlebutt protocol outside of the usual social-media applications. He has recently published an article titled 'Environmental Monitoring with Secure Scuttlebutt' (`%0DWVKJaZiLoSm7jNXZPXr024v7vifD3ECgwotvrGZ7w=.sha256`) and is actively seeking collaborators to use Scuttlebutt in novel contexts. Please get in touch if you wish to contribute to `solar` or would like assistance in setting it up. Stay tuned for further updates on this front.