Hello everyone --
I got some interesting info to share with you all, including some updates on the backend rewrite for shortie, and a rant about DRM on e-books.
Over the weekend, I checked out Polywork, a resume/changelog/LinkedIn-type social network that aims to show off the work that you've actually done, and not just parrot your jobs and education.
It was quite simple to set up an account and get going, but we'll see if I keep updating it, as the maintenance burden is much more than something like LinkedIn. The user experience is quite nice and easy to use, but has some beta bugs for sure.
Overall, I think it could make some headway on GitHub and LinkedIn in the tech sphere, but I don't see it going much further than that.
My profile: https://www.polywork.com/reesericci
Join invite link: https://www.polywork.com/invite/reesericci-charmander
I have slowly made progress on the backend rewriting for shortie. I decided to write it in Go as I wanted to get more familiar with the language, and this seemed like a great opportunity. Furthermore, I decided to go serverless with Netlify Functions and Upstash Redis as this would allow me to host shortie for free, ship to production faster, and allow other people to host their own server in a matter of minutes without knowledge of how to use Docker.
Currently, I have a GraphQL server running on a Netlify Function that accepts a basic query with arguments! I expect to have a fully working alpha done by next week.
For starters, I have the aws-lambda-go packages to handle the serverless function invocation. I also use graphql-go to manage the GraphQL server/resolvers, as well as go-redis to connect to my Redis database to store the Redirects. Other than that, it's just basic parsing libraries like mapstructure.
There will be one new feature: Editing after the fact! I am setting it up where you get an edit code to change the URL after the fact. The ending cannot be changed as it is the key in our Redis DB.
DISCLAIMER: I'm about to go on a rant about how DRM is ruining e-books, and if you don't want to read me ranting, then I advise you skip to the next section.
I buy (or do I?) e-books for my English class every so often as I forget to acquire a book for a project or whatnot. This then forces me to go search around for the book on various websites, and when I finally find one that lets me download as an EPUB (e-book format), I buy it. The immediate realization then hits me that it downloads in a .acsm file and I need Adobe Digital Editions (I'll refer to it as ADE from now on) to convert it to a locked-down EPUB that I can put into Calibre with a special DeDRM tool to unlock the EPUB, so I can finally read it. This is insane, and I can never actually do it because I can't download ADE on my Linux laptop. The other fact is that the EPUB has all kinds of restrictions in place on how you are allowed to use it. How long it lasts in your library, what types of e-readers can it be loaded onto, etc. Contrast this to regular books: I can buy it, and then I read it. The physical form is the easiest text ever to read, whereas the digital version is the most cumbersome and hard to use. I just want to own my EPUBs the same way I do my books. It all just boils down to control for big companies, which comes at a massive cost to consumers. This my friends, is a prime example of DRM or Digital Restrictions Management, and it's how big companies control digital media in a way they never could have dreamed of if it was on physical copies. It's about taking away choice and consumer freedoms, and we need to do anything we can in order to get rid of it. I just want to own my e-books, own my videos, and own my music. Thank you.
Please visit https://www.defectivebydesign.org/ to learn more about this digital freedom crisis.
Thank you for reading the second edition of my newsletter, it means a ton.