QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added -- Detailed Descriptions

QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added - 1 - Quoted Toots.

A new Feature we just added to QOTO.org is this neat “Quote” button - what does it do?

  • It will start a New Toot (NOT a Reply), while including a reference to the post you were interested in (and where you used the “” Quote mark Button).

  • You will be able to use the Toot Editor as in any other posts; selecting Privacy level, adding images or video attachments.

  • And once your post is complete, it will contain a “Frame” which in our Web client looks quite neat – containing the username and avatar, text of the Quoted post.

  • That Frame is also a Live link to that original post, so people can quickly jump to it if desired.

Simple, quick, and it will not break other Mastodon clients; they will simply show a simplified version of the info we see here.

(It will be similar to the many Retweet posts, with a link to the original Toot)

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Here are Two screenshots showing what a Quoted post looks like (our sys admin here, who Quoted my own post above in a new message).

a. As seen in our instance, with the Mastodon Web Client.

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b. as seen via Pinafore, and other mastodon clients (possibly also the same in other Mastodon instances Web Clients).

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QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added - 2 - Bookmarks.

A much desired feature in Mastodon (which is already present and used in GlitchSoc instances) is to have “Bookmarks”.

  • a way to save the location of important content; your own, for reference and reuse, or someone else’s neat, relevant post.

  • Mastodon has the “Favourites” (thank you Eugen for the UK spelling!) which could theoretically do;

  • but which is most commonly used as a “Like” button, I seen your post, thanks buddy, etc.

So we didn’t have any good way to keep track of neat posts other than :

  • maybe using a special hashtag; like @Full_marx 's ingenious #bookmarx idea.

  • or laboriously copying the Toot URL and pasting it into a text file.

Fear not – Like the GS elite, we now have Bookmarks in our instance. How to use them?

  • Add a bookmark for any Toot, reply, etc - by simply selecting the little flag icon under it. (screenshot #1)

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Access that Bookmark via the “Bookmarks” List in the right side panel of your Webclient (or somewhere else in a mobile client, it could vary.). (screenshot #2)

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And just to show, this is what it looks like (identical) in a GlitchSoc instance.

(Hackers.town in this example)

GS-Bookmarks-385x293p

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QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added - 3 - Non-Federating, Strictly LOCAL posts.

Another desirable feature in Mastodon (which is already present and used in GlitchSoc instances) is to have Strictly LOCAL, non-Federating posts.

What defines these posts?

  • The root idea is that they will NOT be shared or sent anywhere else, but stay visible only in the instance where the Toot was posted.

  • The choice you made here is to create a post that is only for the local, logged in users.

  • All the other normal Toot Privacy settings can still be used - a non-federating toot could be Public, Unlisted, Followers only (in this case, only local users in the same instance would see it) or a Direct Message (showing only to Local users mentioned in the Toot text).

Why do we need this feature?

  • It’s an option to the author of the post, sometimes they might have a small audience in mind, just some local users.

  • sometimes the content of the Toot is relevant to local users only, like an event happening soon after.

  • or you might be looking for help and someone who is close enough physically to respond, meet, etc.

How is controlled and selected?

  • We have a new "Chain" icon in the tools area of the Toot Editor. (see screenshot #1)

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  • Clicking on the “Chain” icon will present the two possible choices: a normal, Federated toot (which will be shared and spread on the Fediverse.

  • Or a Strictly Local, non-Federating toot, which is selected via the "broken chain" icon. (see screenshot #2)

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The same “broken chain” icon will be displayed in the lower part of any toot posted in the instance which used this option.

See an example of Non-Federated Toot, note the Broken Chain icon is there. (screenshot #3)

NonFederatingToot-Example-430x155p

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I mentioned that this feature is present (and our code derived from theirs) in GlitchSoc instances.

Here’s an example of the Non-Federating Post control on a GlitchSoc instance (Hackers.town once again).

** We thank Renato Lond, the admin from https://masto.donte.com.br/ for porting the code from GlitchSoc and creating a Mastodon version, which he added to the main project Git.

Renato pointed me to https://github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/pull/8427 for the code in question.
NonFederatingToot-GlitchSoc-Control-394x343p

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QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added - 4 - Domain Subscription.

As per the original annoucement post by @freemo :

“Domain Subscriptions - Bring another instance’s local timeline as a feed in QOTO, no need to have an account on another server again, just import their timeline here!”

So this is another new and unique feature – we can add another instance’s Local timeline and view it locally here at our own instance.

Why would someone be interested in that?

  • for diversity : the fediverse has a myriad of instances, and that means there’s many different places. Some are big, some are small, many we can’t even read the local languages, but it’s fun to travel and see.

  • when things get quiet at Qoto’s local timeline… we open one of these and have freshly posted content from whichever instance we selected.

Isn’t this snooping, or uncool, or frowned upon?

No, not at all.

  • we can only see posts that were made Public at their original instance.

  • these posts will be Federated and will join the millions of others in the Home and Federated feeds.

The advantage is that we see them in the same way we see the posts made locally here at Qoto:

  • a local timeline tends to be a place where there’s more socializing, as we see each other’s posts daily.

  • we see all the local’s posts, not only a few we followed.

  • if some local event or news item is trending, we can see and participate in that with less distractions.

So, I hope it makes sense why you could want to try this.

How to do it then?

  • Select the "Gear" icon, to access the Mastodon full page “Preferences” menus.

  • On that page, navigate down to “Follows and Subscriptions” – then select ¨Domain Subscribes¨. (see screenshot #1)

  • on that section, click the ¨Add New Subscription¨, and enter the instance´s complete domain name. E.g. ¨mastodon.social¨ or ¨expired.mentality.rip¨

  • Do NOT enter the HTTP or HTTPS protocol as in the normal browser URL. Here it isn’t required.

Finished that, you will see the saved new domain added to your list.

Accessing the Subscribed Domains :

  • From the main Mastodon Web client screen, look for the ¨Lists¨ item in the right side menu (see screenshot #3)

  • From the list of subscribed domains, select the one you want to look at.

  • it will now display the most recent posts in a column, just like the local timeline. (see screenshot #4)

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QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added - 5 - Account Subscriptions.

As per the original announcement post by @freemo :

“Account Subscriptions - This allows you to follow a remote accounts public toots in your Home timeline without actually following them, great for following users with locked accounts.”

So this is another new and unique feature – we can see posts from users similarly as if we Followed them, but without actually Following them.

Why would someone be interested in that?

  • For Locked accounts (which display a small padlock besides the user name); these normally will require you to click the “Follow” button as usual, but will only work once the user approves your follow request.

  • so you can get similar access, but only to their “Public” posts. You will not see “Unlisted” or “Followers Only” posts.

  • If this is an account you have a slight interest in, that might be enough.

Isn’t this snooping, or uncool, or frowned upon?

No, not at all.

  • we can only see posts that were made with “Public” privacy setting at their original instance.

  • these posts will be Federated and will join the millions of others in the Home and Federated feeds.

The advantage is that we see them in the same way we see the posts from users we actually Follow.

How to “Subscribe” to a user?

  • If you visit any user’s Profile page, you will see a new “Subscribe” icon, which looks a bit like the typical WiFi one (see screenshot #1)

  • Notice that this particular user has a Locked profile (padlock icon beside his username, as highlighted in screenshot #1)

  • Regardless of the Locked Following, we can click on the Subscribe button.

  • and it immediately switches to a Blue, highlighted button, indicating a Subscribed account.

  • bringing the mouse over it shows an “Unsubscribe” action legend (see screenshot #2)


From this point on, things will work very similar to being a Follower to that user.

  • you will see any of their new Public posts in your “Home” timeline (the one with the little House icon).

  • you will not see posts if they were made with more restricted Privacy settings (Unlisted, Followers only, or Direct Messages)

  • And if you are no longer interested, visit their profile and unsubscribe from them, similar to Unfollowing a user.

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QOTO.org new January 2020 Features Added - 6 - Quick View Remote Timeline.

This is something I have just discovered, as I prepared screenshots for a post.

It is similar to the “Domain Subscriptions” feature listed in previously above. But :

  • It can be done from ANY post, and allows you to instantly open a column showing the originating Instance’s Local Timeline.

  • Done taking a look? Just back out of it, open any other timeline and done.

If you liked what you see in their timeline, then you could consider Domain Subscribing as described above.

Why would someone be interested in that?

  • for diversity : the fediverse has a myriad of instances, and that means there’s many different places. Some are big, some are small, many we can’t even read the local languages, but it’s fun to travel and see.

  • when things get quiet at Qoto’s local timeline… we open one of these and have freshly posted content from whichever instance we selected.

Isn’t this snooping, or uncool, or frowned upon? No, not at all.

  • we can only see posts that were made Public at their original instance.

  • these posts will be Federated and will join the millions of others in the Home and Federated feeds.

How do we open this Quick View into a Remote Instance ?

Reminding everyone that this feature is now available here at Qoto.org, and it will not work elsewhere (unless the instance installed similar modified software).

But, I was really surprised on finding it here too - even @Freemo hasn’t mentioned it, and likely unware this is now possible.

  • From ANY post in the Home or Federated feeds, click on the “…” Dots menu in their lower part.

  • There are various options, some quite useful for controlling unwanted content (mute, report, etc.)

  • And on this list we now find “Open instance.name timeline”. (see screenshot #1)

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  • Voilá… Click on that, and the screen will display a Full column of the remote instance posts; their Local timeline in fact. (see screenshot #2)

As shown in the screenshot above, we are still on the qoto.org domain, but the timeline displayed is from blob.cat’s posts.

That’s it, simple as that!

Like it? See the instructions above and Subscribe to their Domain if desired.

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