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Kaffie's Blog

I apparently just write about my search engine. But I do more than that, honest!

I just wanted to write a quick update letting you all know that I haven't just up and left ZeroNet. I'm still here, I'm still a big supporter of this whole thing, and I'm still going to work on Kaffiene and other projects. I'm a bit shocked at how time as flown by since my last update. I'm certainly far behind on indexing sites, and quite frankly the workload has now piled up.

What this means is that Kaffiene likely won't get any more index updates until I manage to write a crawler to do it automatically. ZeroNet has simply exploded, and there's no way to keep up by hand anymore. I see Bwoi has returned using the Kaffiene index. I'm really glad to see people picking up where I left off (even though I haven't left!). I saw the PSA about meta tags for sites, and I think that's probably a good idea. Though a solid search engine should be able to index sites even without the site owner marking their site with proper tags.

I made a tiny bug fix update to Kaffiene that fixes the Bwoi search (that broke quite a while ago). Hopefully I'll be able to work on Kaffiene a bit more in the near future.

As for me, I've had a lot going on. I'm still entirely unemployed and out of school. Meaning I've got all the time but no money, and have to worry about life stuff. Medical bills, doctor visits, etc. have all kind of snuck up on me. I've also sunk a lot of time into various Discord communities (which I know is like the exact opposite of ZeroNet, haha). I've been lazing off lately, and I really need to get back into productive habits. And I hope ZeroNet dev will become one of those habits.

I sincerely apologize about Kaffiene's slow decay into irrelevance. This was not my intent at all! I've actually had ZeroNet running in the background on my computer for this whole time, haha. Since my disappearance I've noticed that ZeroNet's quality has kind of declined in general. Let's work together and try to make ZeroNet great again! Build up key services like video streaming, music sharing, search, social networks, and whatever else you might think of.

That's all for now!

<3 Kaffie

I was just about to share a search I happened to do on ZeroMe before I realized that what everyone else would see is not what I intended! Kaffiene has had it's 'index select' feature for quite a while now, however the share links lacked the index and only ever referred back to the default Kaffiene index!


So I went ahead and updated the share links. They work almost the same as before. Any old links will continue to work as they have: using the default Kaffiene index. However, new links now contain a new parameter i=[text] which tells Kaffiene which index to use. For the built in indexes, all you need to do is include the case-insensitive name. i=Kaffiene, i=kaffiene, and i=kAffIeNe will all select the Kaffiene index appropriately. For sites not built in, just include the url and Kaffiene will automatically figure out how to use it.

Most of you likely won't need to worry about that, as Kaffiene's share link it provides will automatically update with the right index and parameter already set. So you can continue sharing like you always have.

Here's an example of a full share link, using the Bwoi index: https://www.zerogate.tk/kaffiene.bit/?q=Search|Term&i=Bwoi

As always, thanks for using Kaffiene.

<3 Kaffie

KaffieID Re-Opened

- Posted in Kaffie's Blog by with comments

As you might be aware, shortly after it's grand opening, KaffieID had to shut down for a while. Namely this was due to signing and publishing errors. Fortunately, this was just due to a small error on my part. I had been using the ID site's address (public key) as I had assumed that's how it worked, due to ZeroID having a similar entry. However, the address needed was actually the public key that is paired with the private key that was used to sign the cert. So I made the necessary tweaks to show what needs to be added to content.json in order for KaffieIDs to work.

Everything should be good to go now. The rename feature works fine. KaffieIDs should work both here on this blog, and on KaffieHub. However, due to the other hubs only accepting ZeroIDs, you won't be able to comment or like things in different hubs.

The clone feature of KaffieID has been fixed to provide more clarity on this matter, as well as make an easy template for providing the relevant info to your users. Please enjoy, and let me know if there's any other issues with KaffieID. Thanks!

<3 Kaffie

Kaffie.bit Rebranding

- Posted in Kaffie's Blog by with comments

As you may have already noticed, a lot has changed here on this blog, on Kaffiene, and on Kaffie.bit. As I've hinted in the past, I was preparing an overhaul to my collection of sites, so that everything flows smoothly. And here it is! Kaffie.bit is now a splash page that's used currently for redirecting zero:// links, old blog links, etc. It also has a test page so you can see if your protocols are working properly.

There's a new KaffieID service. It works like a Nanasi ID in that it's completely locally generated. This also means names are not unique. The cert is also name-agnostic, meaning you can change your name as many times as you want, and your cert will still work with all the sites you've logged in to! It's a pretty simple page. It's also freely cloneable, like Kaffiene. So you can easily make your own ID service with a click of a button. Just be sure to generate your own key before sharing (look in the index.html on how to do this!).

I also pushed out KaffieMe, which is a ZeroMe clone. Nothing special. It just has the navbar, and I've set KaffieHub to be the only default hub.

KaffieHub has gotten officially renamed. It's no longer 'Kaffie's Hub' or 'Kaffie's Long Post Hub'. No! It's simply KaffieHub now.

Kaffiene didn't really get much changes. I fixed a bug that occurred when there's a lot of navbar links. And I added the new stuff to the navbar.

Each Kaffie site has also got it's own subdomain: blog, me, search, id, and hub. And each site has it's own color (except for Kaffiene, which retains it's rainbow theme).

That's all for now. Please enjoy the new Kaffie.bit experience.

<3 Kaffie

Tagging My Blog

- Posted in Kaffie's Blog by with comments

I've been meaning to add tags to my blog for a while, but didn't get around to it for various reasons. I saw a post over on ZeroMe about it and decided to do it real quick. Please let me know if something isn't working. Thanks. The table of contents sorted by both date and tags is available over on the left.

Amusingly, the majority of my posts are about Kaffiene. Haha. Maybe I'll have to change that.

Edit: If it doesn't work, try manually refreshing this page.

Kaffiene UI Overhaul!

- Posted in Kaffie's Blog by with comments

I showed a sneak peek of this last night on ZeroMe, but now it’s published and accessible for everyone. I completely overhauled Kaffiene’s design to make it look way nicer, and much closer to ZeroMe’s design. I’ve been toying with the idea of merging the two, to make an all-in-one destination for ZeroNet users (maybe I’d need a KaffieID as well?). There’s been a few other tweaks as well. So without further ado, here’s what’s changed.


Obviously the most noticeable thing is the CSS overhaul. it looks pretty different. Kaffiene now is a dynamic page! When you start typing in the search box for the first time, the big splash content goes away, and the search box (and index selector) move up to the top header bar to get out of the way to make room for the search. To do this, I finally added jQuery. So the site’s a bit larger due to that (sorry!). The links up in the top left also go away when you’re searching, to clean up the UI a bit.

The search results now have multiple proxy links. I’m sure you’re all familiar with bit.no, which I had previously used (linked with a blue B now). And the more recent kindlyfire proxy (linked with a red K now). I also added the wrewolf proxy (linked with a yellow W). So now you have plenty of options in case one goes down. I also kept the proxy labeling to ensure people know they’re proxies.

The links up in the top right, as I mentioned, go away when searching. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. As you may remember, I removed a few links during the past few updates to clean up the UI. I want to ensure users know how to view the index and management tools, as well as know that they can install the search engine to their browser. But I’m unsure of how to make that known without obvious links. Ideas? I also added a link to Kaffie Hub for ZeroMe to start driving attention to it. Hopefully that’ll later change with a Kaffiene/Kaffie Hub ZeroMe viewer.

Speaking of ZeroMe, I also made and added a new index for ZeroMe hubs. There’s only a couple at the moment though. They also lack tags, so it’s a bit difficult to search through. I kept them out of the main index, since they aren’t normal sites.

But worry not about searching untagged indexes! The random search (now changed into a tiny button with just an ‘R’ label) now grabs possible searches from site names. So if the sites are untagged, Kaffiene will just use words from the site name to use as a random query. It’s much more fun to search untagged sites now, using this method.

I hope you all go check it out, and enjoy the new changes. And as always, thanks for using Kaffiene.

<3 Kaffie

How to change your ZeroMe Hub

- Posted in Kaffie's Blog by with comments

So some people want to change hubs. Maybe they're a dirty ~~red~~ ~~blue~~ infinity user and have regretted their decision and want to join Kaffie's Hub. Well here's how to cleanly migrate hubs.


First things first is to seed the new hub you want to switch to. You're likely already seeding Red and Blue, but you'll need to seed the Kaffie hub or the infinity hub, if you want to switch to those.

Don't bother going to the create profile page. That's for suckers. It's nice to check which hubs you're seeding, but the create profile button just messes things up. Instead, go to your home hub (you can figure out what this is by hovering over your name and looking at the URL) and go into the /data/users/[your id]/ folder. You'll want to copy over this whole folder into the new hub's equivalent.

In the destination hub, open up content.json in a text editor (like sublime, so formatting doesn't get messed up). All you want to do is edit address to point to the new hub, instead of your old one.

Next, open up data.json in the destination hub. You'll see all your original hub data. Here's what we're going to do. Delete all of the entries under comments. These are comments relating to the hub they're in, so you don't need them migrated. You should still keep the array though, since that's where all your new hub comments will go.

Change the hub to the new hub you're migrating to. Just like you did in the content.json. This is a reference to say what your 'home hub' is. We'll eventually edit this in EVERY hub you're seeding or posted in, but one step at a time.

Change next_comment_id to 1. Since we deleted the comments, we need to reset the counter.

Here's where you get a choice. There's two options for your posts. Either you can migrate the data, which switches the name link on those posts (and hosts it in the new hub) but also unlink everyone's comments, or you can leave the posts in the old hub, and start fresh. If you start fresh, your old posts will still appear, but they'll link back to your old hub profile. So keep that in mind. I personally started fresh.

To start fresh, do the same thing to your posts as you did your comments. Delete all the entries ~~and change the next_post_id to 1.~~ Changing the next_post_id will cause a duplicate like bug. Leave it at wherever it is to avoid the bug.

Lastly, delete everything under post_like. Keep the array though.

That should set up your new hub account. Now we need to repoint your data on the other hubs. For each hub you've posted in, go into that hub's folder and find your user folder, like we did before.

On each one, open the data.json and simply edit the hub variable to point to your home hub. This is probably optional (as it repoints the comment links), but I went ahead and did it to reduce the amount of problems.

On your original hub, a couple more things need to be tweaked. Delete everything under 'follows'. Remove the variable entirely. Delete next_follow_id as well. Change hub to your new hub, as usual. And if you opted to migrate your posts, delete the entire posts section along with the next_post_id variable. If not, leave it. I didn't migrate, so I left the posts there.

Change the intro to something to notify people to switch the profile they follow. This is technically optional, and you can just delete it if you feel like it. Delete the avatar if you migrated posts (it's unneeded), but if you kept your posts there, then you'll want to keep it, as otherwise your old posts won't have an avatar (perhaps this is preferred?)

Finally, we save up and go to sign/publish our changes. Visit each hub site (the actual site down at the bottom of zerohello, not zerome). Then drag the sidebar open and select 'i own this site'. Put your user content.json in the bottom box (should look something like: data/users/[yourid]/content.json) and hit sign. It'll prompt for a privatekey. Use your ZeroID private key (found at the top of your zeronet's user.json file) and then click publish. Do this for every hub you've edited.


So now all of the changes are made and published. Everyone else should see everything just fine. But you might still be stuck logged into your old hub. So delete every hub but your destination hub. Then go into zerome and ensure you're logged in properly. Finally, redownload each hub and everything should be good to go!


Update: You may also have to edit and sign the content.json located in the 1UDbADib99KE9d3qZ87NqJF2QLTHmMkoV site in order to change your hub in the 'all users' listing.


Enjoy!

<3 Kaffie

Just a quick update this time. I added ZeroName to the list of indexes that are searchable, and fixed some bugs for it. Now you can look up what .bit domains point to, or find the .bit names pointing to a particular zeronet address using only Kaffiene. Yay!

More Kaffiene Updates

- Posted in Kaffie's Blog by with comments

It's time to roll out a new feature for Kaffiene. This time it's loading external indexes. There's a neat new drop-down menu that allows you to load various site indexes, like Bwoi's or ZeroSearch's. There's also two new options for Kaffiene: 'Kaffiene - Untagged' and 'Kaffiene - Full'. Untagged is exactly as it sounds. New sites that will be added to Kaffiene's index, but are still untagged and some are unnamed. That makes it a bit hard to search through, but I figured I should let you guys at it nonetheless. Full simply combines the untagged index with the regular index so that you get the full list of sites Kaffiene has to offer. Lastly for this feature, there's a 'Custom' option, where it'll prompt you for a URL. You can load your own Kaffiene-style index and search through it using Kaffiene! It's a bit flexible on what format it takes in. It'll read in the Kaffiene format perfectly (obviously), and it's backwards compatible with ZeroSearch's format. It's also made to work with Bwoi's format, so you can use that one if you'd like.

I also removed some pages that had old content and weren't really relevant anymore. The 'why' page is now gone, since the misrepresentation/duplication problem is now mostly resolved. I also removed the FAQ, since most of the data was out of date or simply was common knowledge by now. The donate page is now gone as well, since there hasn't been any donations since I've put it up, and it just cluttered the page. The wallet addresses are also in the sidebar on this blog, so it felt redundant.

The index link is now moved to the slogan. And the slogan itself has changed to 'X sites and growing', removing the 'unique'.

The Kaffiene codebase also got some cleanup work done on it. I removed the regex and naive search tags, since the regex one was redundant, and the naive search is now sort of useless (and can be replicated with regex).

And last but not least, I'm still working on the autotag script. It works, sort of. But it's still very rough and doesn't tag all that well. It's available if you dig in the site folder if you want to go check it out.

That's all for now. And as always, thanks for using Kaffiene.

<3 Kaffie

I figured I'd make a quick guide, since I just had to explain this, and more mac users seem to be coming onto zeronet with very little instructions on how to do things. So without further ado, here's how to set up ZeroNet with Tor on Mac.


  1. Make sure you have homebrew installed. Mac Ports apparently works too, but I use brew. For convenience, the terminal command to install homebrew is:

    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL <https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)">

  2. Run brew install tor in the terminal to download/install the tor daemon.

  3. After it's done downloading and installing, navigate to the /usr/local/etc/tor folder on your computer. The easiest way to do this is to open finder and hit cmd+shift+g and paste it in there. You should see a torrc.sample file.

  4. Copy the torrc.sample file and rename the copy to just torrc with no extension. Open it up in a plain-text editor. You should probably a plain-text editor or a code editor like sublime to prevent auto-formatting from messing it up. Avoid using mac's built-in one.

  5. Look for #ControlPort 9051 and simply remove the #.

  6. Two lines down you should see #CookieAuthentication 1 remove the # from this one too.

  7. Save the file and exit. Then launch tor using tor in the terminal.

  8. Restart zeronet and it'll run with tor. If you want to use tor for every connection (rather than just having one for a bridge or to access tor-only peers) then on the zero net homepage, click on the tor button in the top right, and hit 'enable tor for every connection' at the bottom. Then restart zeronet a second time. You can disable it in the same way.

Have fun! This guide doesn't cover how to use the tor browser with zeronet, since I didn't bother to set that up. Perhaps if there's demand, I'll set it up and write a guide.

<3 Kaffie