Mastodon, Steampipe, and RSS | InfoWorld | House Tech

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I used to be decided to jot down my #intro to Mastodon immediately. To get began, I used the tag search on the board I am creating.

mastodon tag quest kathy nickels in mod3 IDG

The concept was to have a look at a bunch of different #intro posts to get an thought of ​​what mine ought to appear like. If you particularly seek for hashtags, the Mastodon Search API returns this data.

"hashtags": [
    
      "name": "introduction",
      "url": "https://mastodon.social/tags/introduction",
      "history": [
        
          "day": "1574553600",
          "uses": "10",
          "accounts": "9"
        ,
        // ...
      ]
    ,

An early model of the dashboard, which solely had this information to work with, solely listed the tag names that matched the search time period together with the corresponding URLs. Right here was the preliminary question.

choose 
  identify,
  url
from 
  mastodon_search_hashtag 
the place 
  question = 'introduction'

That produced a listing of hyperlinks, like https://mastodon.social/tags/introduction, to touchdown pages for variants of the tag. These are helpful hyperlinks! Each goes to a web page the place you may see who’s posting to the tag.

To make this view a bit extra helpful, I touched on the third aspect of the API response, historical pastin a revised question.

with information as (
  choose 
    identify,
    url,
    ( jsonb_array_elements(historical past) ->> 'makes use of' )::int as makes use of
  from 
    mastodon_search_hashtag 
  the place 
    question = 'introduction'
)
choose
  identify,
  url,
  sum(makes use of)
from
  information
group by
  identify, url
order by
  sum desc

These outcomes assist me resolve which variant to make use of.

+-------------------+---------------------------------------------------+------+
| identify              | url                                               | sum  |
+-------------------+---------------------------------------------------+------+
| introduction      | https://mastodon.social/tags/introduction         | 1816 |
| introductions     | https://mastodon.social/tags/introductions        | 218  |
| introductionpost  | https://mastodon.social/tags/introductionpost     | 19   |
| introductionfr    | https://mastodon.social/tags/introductionfr       | 6    |

However I nonetheless want to go to every hyperlink’s web page to discover the way it’s getting used. It could be good to point out extra context on the dashboard, and I discovered a nifty means to try this, however first let’s dwell on the revised question for a minute. Postgres’ JSON capabilities are highly effective, and it is typically difficult (no less than for me) to visualise how they work.

the postgres jsonb_array_elements() perform is what known as set return perform. Right here you unzip the Postgres JSON illustration of the listing of historical past constructions returned by the Mastodon API. In its easiest type, the perform name jsonb_array_elements(historical past) produces a brief desk with information by tag and by day.

choose
  identify,
  jsonb_array_elements(historical past) as historical past
from
  mastodon_search_hashtag 
the place 
  question = 'introduction'
+--------------------------------+----------------------------------------------------+
| identify                           | historical past                                            |
+--------------------------------+----------------------------------------------------+
| introduction                   | "accounts":"16","day":"1670371200","makes use of":"19"   |
| introduction                   | "accounts":"250","day":"1670284800","makes use of":"269" |
| introduction                   | "accounts":"259","day":"1670198400","makes use of":"274" |
| introduction                   | "accounts":"253","day":"1670112000","makes use of":"270" |
| introduction                   | "accounts":"245","day":"1670025600","makes use of":"269" |
| introduction                   | "accounts":"345","day":"1669939200","makes use of":"383" |
| introduction                   | "accounts":"307","day":"1669852800","makes use of":"339" |
| introductionsfr                | "accounts":"0","day":"1670371200","makes use of":"0"     |
| introductionsfr                | "accounts":"0","day":"1670284800","makes use of":"0"     |
| introductionsfr                | "accounts":"0","day":"1670198400","makes use of":"0"     |
| introductionsfr                | "accounts":"0","day":"1670112000","makes use of":"0"     |
| introductionsfr                | "accounts":"0","day":"1670025600","makes use of":"0"     |

historical past is a JSONB column that accommodates an object with three fields. The revised question makes use of the Postgres JSON indexing operator ->> to get to that object and lift the variety of day by day makes use of by itself column, so it may be focused by an SQL SUM perform.

OK, prepared for the intelligent answer? Keep in mind that https://mastodon.social/tags/introduction is the house web page for that tag variant. There you may see intro posts from individuals utilizing the hashtag. These posts typically embody different tags. On the board proven above, you may see that Kathy Nickels is sporting these: #Music #Artwork #Equestrian #Nature #Animals. The tags seem in her intro publish.

kathy nickels mastodon tag search in app IDG

I did not instantly see easy methods to seize them to be used on the board. Then I remembered that sure lessons of Mastodon pages have corresponding RSS feeds, and questioned if tag pages are members of a kind of lessons. Certainly they’re, and https://mastodon.social/tags/introduction.rss is one factor. That bond, fashioned by tacking .rss within the base URL, it offers the extra context you have been on the lookout for. That is the ultimate model of the question.

with information as (
  choose 
    identify,
    url,
    ( jsonb_array_elements(historical past) ->> 'makes use of' )::int as makes use of
  from 
    mastodon_search_hashtag 
  the place 
    question = 'introduction'
  ),
  makes use of as (
    choose 
      identify,
      url || '.rss' as feed_link,
      sum(makes use of) as recent_uses
    from 
      information 
    group 
      by connection, identify, url
  )
  choose
    u.identify,
    r.guid as hyperlink,
    to_char(r.printed, 'YYYY-MM-DD') as printed,
    r.classes
  from
    makes use of u
  be part of
    rss_item r
  on 
    r.feed_link = u.feed_link
  the place
    recent_uses > 1
  order by 
    recent_uses desc, printed desc
)

The brand new substances, courtesy of the RSS feed, are guidwhich hyperlinks to a solo introduction like Kathy’s; printed, which is the day the introduction appeared; Y classes, which has the tags used within the intro publish. Candy! Now I can scan the board to get an thought of ​​what displays I need to see.

The primary three queries use the Steampipe plugin for Mastodon, and particularly its mastodon_search_hashtag desk , which encapsulates the Mastodon API for trying to find tags. The ultimate model joins that desk with the rss_item desk supplied by the RSS plugin, utilizing the widespread base URL as the premise for the be part of.

This delights me in some ways. When the blogosphere first emerged within the early 2000s, a few of us found that the RSS protocol was able to rather more than simply delivering feeds to RSS readers. The opposite scorching new protocol on the time was XML internet companies. As an analyst for InfoWorld, I used to be speculated to be rooting for the latter as an enterprise-grade expertise, however I could not assist however discover that RSS stored turning out to be an effective way to maneuver information between cooperative programs. That is at all times been true, and I like how this instance reminds us that it is nonetheless true.

I am equally delighted to point out how Steampipe permits this contemporary train in RSS-based integration. Steampipe was initially an engine for mapping outcomes from JSON API endpoints to SQL tables. Nonetheless, over time, you could have broadened your view of what constitutes an API. You should utilize Steampipe to question CSV information, or Terraform information, or, as we see right here, RSS feeds. Information is available in all types of flavors. Steampipe abstracts away these variations and brings all of the flavors collectively in a typical house the place you may purpose about them utilizing SQL.

And eventually, it is simply great to be on the intersection of Mastodon, Steampipe and RSS at this extraordinary time. I am going to readily admit that nostalgia is an element. However RSS totally opened issues up 20 years in the past, Mastodon is doing it now, and I like that RSS might help make it occur once more.

Now I want to jot down that #intro!

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