Spritely at the hackathon

I’m trying to decide what to work on at the hackathon. I’m also interested if others are interested in learning Spritely fundamentals and helping them over the week, if there’s interest.

As for me, I think the most interesting and immediately useful thing would be the Mandy layer of Spritely, since that’s the most ActivityPub relevant: https://spritelyproject.org/#mandy

I have lots of ideas of things to work on though; I’ve also been very interested in the serialization layer, Aurie, since that’s what I’ve been most recently reading papers on and thus am itching to implement: https://spritelyproject.org/#aurie

Also, I guess I could either hack on Terminal Phase (my space shooter game thing) because that would be a nice “break”, and it does use Spritely Goblins, but it might not be as useful as an “APConf” style contribution.

If others are interested in learning Spritely stuff over the course of this hackathon, maybe weigh in… maybe we can talk ahead of time. One thing you can already do is go through the Goblins tutorial: https://docs.racket-lang.org/goblins/index.html

But I would also be happy to help people learn. Thoughts?

So I think there are probably two good ways to go:

  • Doing the Mandy “Goblins <-> ActivityPub bridge” is the most APConf appropriate. And arguably I should do that.
  • However I’m also experiencing a lot of burnout and it might be good to do something fun. I can say what I want to do and that’s create the start of the first textual virtual worlds demo. But that wouldn’t be as ActivityPub specific.

I’m going to explore both and decide but if I do fall into the latter would that still be ok?

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So some updates. Yesterday I set up a simple demonstration of HTTP based representations of Goblins actors. It worked! It’s nothing really to jump up and down about but it functioned correctly with a very small amount of code. (I guess I should put it somewhere…)

I also had a call with @sl007 where I walked through the whitepapers on petnames and secure UIs. It was recorded; here’s a preliminary video stream. It went quite well I think… and since the Secure UIs one started with “how do we map this stuff on Mastodon’s UI as an example”, it should hopefully feel familiar. (I think I mentioned some of these ideas to @nightpool previously but didn’t do a good job; this video does a better one I think.) Anyway I’m excited to see what comes out of Sebastian’s entry this week!

After that I tried to get some more work done but I felt quite sick and had to lie down. I think a lack of sleep and rest had mostly gotten to me mostly; @mlemweb kindly encouraged me to really actually take a break. I’m happy to say that I’m feeling much better today.

As for what I’m working on now, I felt more motivated to hack on Aurie than Mandy and I decided that since I’m trying to recover from burnout, I should work on whatever’s most interesting in front of me… so I’m doing that. I’m making some progress, and hopefully I’ll have more to say later tonight.


Closing out Tuesday’s progress… I did some work on Aurie (the authority-preserving serialization framework mentioned above). The design is based on this paper.

I’ve got a little bit of progress towards it… considering what I can do to make this a compelling demo by the end of the week.

But now, it’s bedtime…

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Progress was made today! I got the serialization part working, I believe… even threw in a test

Tomorrow when I add the deserialization code (which shouldn’t be too complicated I think…) we’ll find out if everything else works right.


I didn’t put out an update yesterday because I was too wiped between this and putting out a FOSS & Crafts episode. BUT! I got deserialization working! You can now serialize a running Goblins process using Aurie and bring it back to life!

I also ran it past come ocap friends of mine and they generally thumbs-up’ed the design and suggested some minor improvements. So working on those now!

Now we need a demo. However, we have a good idea for one… I say “we” because a wild @mlemweb has joined the party! I’ll let her explain our demo idea.


We’re making a small text adventure that you can edit live then save and restore it! cwebber and I just spent some time making whiteboard mockups of both the UI and of the world map. I’m currently writing the narrative descriptions of the environment!


At this point in the hackathon, we have three things:

  • A working serialization-of-the-running-process system
  • A full scenario written up by @mlemweb
  • A GUI that is structured most of the way we want it and even includes a code editor:

Unfortunately these three things are not yet hooked together, and there are only 3 hours of the hackathon officially left! Can they be brought together in time??? (Probably not but I’ll try!)

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Scratch that, two hours until demos!

Demos over! We ended without all the pieces hooked together, but I still think it was cool to get those done… and I hope to have them all hooked together soonish!