After many months of relentless keyboard bashing, Epicyon ActivityPub server version 1.2.0 is released. The main changes from the last version are:
This adds the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds and have them appear in a column on the right hand side of the screen. There is a publish button at the top of the right column which enables you to write a blog, with the ability to cite news items from your RSS feeds. Other Epicyon instances or RSS apps can subscribe to your blog feed or your news feed.
For additional resilience, you can also mirror the content from RSS feeds to your own site so that if the original source server goes down the articles will still be readable.
This uses the left column in a similar manner to a blogroll. You can add any links which you or other people on your instance may find useful. You can also add headers in order to group links under a topic.
If you are following many other people in the fediverse and they often use hashtags, then the hashtag swarm on the search page can get rather busy. To tame the hashtag chaos they can now be categorized into groups. When you select a hashtag from the swarm you can set a category at the top of the screen, and if you do this occasionally then over time you'll have more orderly groupings. To help with this process hashtag categories are also published as an RSS feed at the top of the right column, and other Epicyon instances can then add it to their followed feeds list along with the news feeds. Hence you can either have categories unique to your instance, or you can bootstrap the process through collective organization.
The system now defaults to what in Mastodon is known as a "locked account", so that others will need to get your permission to follow you and also you will only receive direct messages from people that you're following. This helps to improve the default user experience because it means that random spammers/trolls in the fediverse can't immediately begin sending you their latest offers or outrage-inducing hot takes.
Improved tools for moderators
If you suspect that a particular account might be a problem - whether it's on your own instance or not - then you can use the info button on the person options screen or the moderator screen to get a quick overview of what instances they're talking to and whether any of those are blocked.
At last, you can now assign petnames to people that you're following. This helps especially if they are on onion or i2p addresses which are otherwise not human readable.
No replies option
There can be times when you just want to make a statement and don't want any replies. There is now the option to do this when creating a new post.
Creating customized themes has been made considerably easier. In the previous version adding a theme required manually hacking the Python code, but now themes can be created as a set of files in a directory - similar to the way that themes are implemented by other web apps.
Various bug fixes
Particularly including federation of avatar images and profile information.
We hope you enjoy flying Epicyon. If you find this program useful then consider supporting it on Patreon if you have enough financial resources to do so. Epicyon is a sub-project of the larger Freedombone self-hosting system.