Matrix is Here

I’ve Talked About it Before…

And it’s finally here! After much head scratching, frustration, and eventually the building of an entirely new server, my Matrix server garappa.chat is up and running. This has been something I’ve talked about doing for a while as I try to get away from all bigger services in favour of hosting my own. While Mastodon and Funkwhale where considerably easier to set up, I have a feeling it will be worth it in the end.

This Was a Fight

For as long as I’ve used Matrix I have used the flagship server due to how prohibitively difficult it seemed to be to set up a synapse server. Having tried setting the server up as both a Docker container and a native set of applications on the same server as the other two services, I eventually conceded that I was going to need a clean sheet for this one.

So to DO we go to spin up a new VPS for my new whim. As I sat about getting the server itself ready for yet another Docker fight I decided to do some reading on other people’s struggles with Synapse and what could be done about it. The results were pretty discouraging, with many people hitting quite significant dead-ends and being unable to fix the issue before their patience ran out. However, while looking into other server options I chanced upon a certain Ansible Playbook

Having never used Ansible before I started doing some poking around. In my first run I tried running it from the server as I was pretty much clueless when it came to what Ansible was or how it was supposed to work. After a while, though, I started to see some results. With each new parameter passed I was seeing features added. With one last push this morning I finally got S3 media uploads working, which should hopefully help some with storage costs. Now I want to use Ansible for everything. Whoops!

Less Exciting News

With all that excitement here is a bit of less important but still fun news: this website will be written in rST instead of Markdown. The reason for this is trivial, but still important. rST is a proper standard and a really pleasing way to write documents. I can be confident that what I write in one place will render the same elsewhere in a way I can’t always be with Markdown. MD is still one of my favourite tools and I use it extensively at work, but for now I’m going to focus my efforts more on mastering reStructuredText for my work with the Funkwhale project

A Worthy Note

As an aside, I have been having a fantastic time interacting with the FW community. A more supportive group of people I couldn’t wish to know. The project keeps exceeding my expectations and the people involved show a real interest in improving the community and the level of interaction, which as a novice programmer is really encouraging to see.