Progress on the Piperka backend rewrite
First off, apologies. Recently, I had let the root partition become full. Twice. Backups take space and the partitioning could have been better. The second time was even due to my own action. I shouldn't try to do any sysadmin things when I'm dead tired already. The server itself still has plenty of space, I just used it poorly. I feel pretty embarassed about this and promise that it won't happen again. I would like to hold Piperka to a better standard.
You may have noticed that nothing much has happened to Piperka on the development front for quite a while now besides the usual gradual additions of comic entries. I'm still in the progress of rewriting the backend of Piperka. I purposely took the long road for doing it and I had to start with writing my own authentication backend for Snap. It was quite a dive to the deep end in an alien environment. For now, I'm using that single repository host the Piperka specific code together with the rest. I may still split two other libraries from it and make them all end up on Hackage. But that's still in the future. I'm using Heist for generating the site HTML and in the process I've ended up writing my own tutorial for using it and I've started contributing to Heist itself.
I'm hoping to have a running demo in a few weeks. I feel that I've finally got over most of the blockers for getting really into the action of writing a backend I'd really be happy about.
I got the question: Why Haskell? There's plenty of writing all around the web about why people like it. I, myself, find its purity pleasing and it has a static type system that is actually useful. I feel that programming, at best, is all about inferring connections and a good type system is the way to go about expressing that. I could also wax poetically about the Curry-Howard isomorphism. I have a math background and for me, ending up doing coding as a career still feels like a sidestep. CH means that programming and math are the same and Haskell is a programming language where I can really feel being in touch with that deep relationship. Types are like propositions in math and writing a function is like making a proof. I'm back home but I don't expect that I could convey how satisfying this feels to me. As I see it, the Haskell ecosystem is quite mature at this point and that it's practical to use it for writing a web site backend. I have no excuse for not going for it.
A lot of people have written me but I'm generally bad about responding. The main thing, for now, is that I'm dedicating my development efforts to the rewrite and I'm keeping touches to the current code base at a minimum. Even when it'd be something quick. Several people have asked for Piperka to use HTTPS and I hear you. I'll do it with the new backend.
I'll need to think of an issue tracker and some other development resources. It'd be better to stick the development ideas and requests I get there since I'm being slow about implementing them. I use github but I'm still feeling lukewarm about dedicating it for Piperka use.
People have requested for it: Piperka is now on Patreon! I would likely have done something like this sooner but I was worried that it would be too much of a hassle with regards to taxation and that it would interfere with my potential unemployment benefits. I've made some queries regarding those and I think I'm satisfied with the answers. It's still anybody's guess what it means with regard to a particularly odd Finnish law regarding soliciting donations but I've decided to not worry about that.
Please don't make any connection between Piperka's server having a partition full on two occasions recently and having Piperka come to Patreon. I'm certainly not throwing a switch just to make you feel like you should appreciate Piperka more. I've been thinking about this for a long time. Piperka's a bit ill fit for Patreon, since they emphasize content creation to such a degree and a service like Piperka falls outside of their model. They collect VAT from EU residents and there's a yearly limit in Finland below which you can sell things and not have to apply VAT and I'd expect to be well below that and Patreon's doing me no favors by being proactive on it. I'll be paying income tax for whatever I receive as is. Still, Piperka's better off going where the web comics reside.
Since I suspect that some of Piperka's users may end up going there: Worldcon's coming to Finland next year. Feel free to find me there if you're there.