Announcing Tometo 0.1

Wed Nov 27 2019 Written by  aun

Today we're releasing Tometo version 0.1. Tometo is a social network that's based on text-to-speech features. You can get this release here.

I made the first commit for this project on the 17th of April. It's currently the 25th of November, which by my subpar maths skills means that it's taken at least half a year to release this version. Granted, this is the first version, which means that we had to build the project from the ground up, but regardless, I think we've come a long way since then.

Today, we have about 150 Twitter followers and 45 people in our Discord server, which half a year ago I would have never expected for what is essentially a hobby project. For all of this, I'd like to thank the team for not giving up on this vision although it meant a lot of work, and to all of you for showing continued interest in the project!

There's not much point in putting a changelog here, since this release includes, well, every change since the start, but I encourage you to go back and read the previous update posts to get a feel for what we've accomplished so far.

What does this release mean?

Tometo 0.1 is our baseline version, upon which not only future versions will be built on, but which also guarantees a degree of stability. The core features implemented in Tometo right now will not change.

However, it's still prefixed with a zero, which means it's not completely stable. This gives us the freedom to make backwards-incompatible changes without a big upgrade procedure, among other things. You can read more about this way of versioning software at SemVer.

The release also means that we provide official compiled binaries and artifacts, which makes it much easier to deploy or self-host. You don't have to download all of the build dependencies anymore, you can just grab the release files, unpack them somewhere, run the server, and host the client files on any HTTP web server of your choice. The only thing you still need to do yourself is edit the configuration file.

What this doesn't mean is that we will start providing a hosted version immediately. Development of the Tometo software is going to be independent from the hosting of said software, and although it is our plan to provide a hosted version of Tometo, it won't be with this release.

What's next?

Some things are outlined already in the wishlist task, but here's a list of what I think would be the most interesting things to work on next:

Hosted Tometo

Of course, it would be cool if we could get a hosted version of Tometo live for everyone to play with. As it stands, I think there are essentially two ways we could go about this:

  • We set up a "staging" test instance that wipes most of its data every hour or day, to prevent people from spamming until we have more sophisticated features to prevent that
  • We implement some kind of invitation system so that (hopefully) spamming is at least in some part prevented

The former is fairly easy to do, while the latter requires us to implement a whole new feature. I think we'll end up having to do it anyways, but it would need around a month to do, so maybe we'll put up a staging instance first. We'll discuss this and let you know.

More flexible Avatars

Right now, Avatars are just two images that alternate. This is a very basic implementation, so we would like to make it more customizable by users. One way (and in my opinion, the coolest) would be to have each Avatar be a 3D model that's rendered right inside the browser, that a user can then upload a texture onto. Of course, we would have to make this be user-friendly by maybe just uploading a face texture or something. Admittedly, I don't know that much about 3D modelling and how it works, so if anyone would like to help us on this step, please contact us!!!

Replacing Statuses

Statuses are sort of like Tweets, but text-to-speech. The question remains whether we really want some sort of Twitter clone in functionality, where you have a timeline and can simply post Statuses whenever you want. One alternative would be to have a question-and-answer system similar to what Miitomo had, where users can ask each other questions (sort of like CuriousCat? I guess?). Or maybe something entirely different? We don't have a clear vision for this just yet, so if you have suggestions, feel free to pop into Discord and discuss it with us.

Other mostly useless but cool stuff

We can also pad the software with useless, but nostalgia-inducing features, like allowing you to overlay cool GIFs over your Avatar, sort of like Blingee or to put these 88x31 GIFs into some sort of signature on your posts. I'm sure that would get us a lot of attention.

That's pretty much all regarding this release. We hope you enjoy Tometo!

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