Friday, September 24, 2010

Meteor showers Live StatusNet Updates

If you are a regular visitor to sites like Twitter or FriendFeed (not via a client) you may notice how these sites update as new feeds come in without requiring you to reload the webpage.  This type of behavior is delivered via technologies like Meteor.

StatusNet, the open source microblogging platform I use, supports a number of technologies within their plugin architecture, one of which is Meteor.  Only having a single server (for now) hosting my StatusNet site, I wanted to get Meteor running and coincide with Apache.  Since they both want to play in the HTTP playground known better was port 80, I needed to reconfigure Meteor to run.

Meteor Configuration:

- Follow all the setup instructions from the Meteor site.

- Before RUNNING Meteor you need to change Meteor's to avoid colliding with Apache on port 80. (for example 8085 instead of 80)


- Edit /usr/local/meteor/Meteor/ to match the following:

  1. ControllerIP => '', (This is empty by default, leave the port to 4671)
  2. SubscriberIP => 'ip.of.your.statusnet', (I used the IP of my domain name)
  3. SubscriberPort => '8085', (This is my example port mentioned above)

- An additional change was made to the meteor.js file to reflect my new port specification (8085 in our example)


  1. port: 8085 

- Run Meteor in the background, however in Ubuntu you will need to modify the "Meteord" file first.  This is detailed on step 3 in the Meteor installation site since they test in Fedora. (Also make sure /etc/init.d/meteord is set to executable (chmod +x meteord)

sudo /etc/init.d/meteord start

NOTE: You can also check that Meteor is running by running the following command:

sudo netstat -plunt


 StatusNet Configuration:

Since StatusNet has an extensive plugin framework, adding technologies like Meteor is a snap!  A few lines in your Config.php and realtime will be live!  Here are the steps: (using our 8085 port)

  1. Edit your Config.php
  2. Add the Plugin: (this will communicate with your Meteor server and add the play/pause buttons to the top of your site's timeline)

addPlugin('Meteor', array('webserver' => '', 'webport' => '8085', 'controlserver' => '', 'controlport' => '4671'));

      3. Release the daemons!
NOTE: Depending on what plugins you have enabled a number of daemons will be launched.  If you have the daemons already running, you will need to stop and restart them: (from StatusNet instance root)
I have noticed that the queuedaemon typically doesn't get killed with the above script so I have manually killed it and relaunched. Usually I just look up the PID and kill it:
ps aux
sudo kill PID (replace PID with found process ID)

Additional Notes:

Currently there appears to be an issue with pages continuously reloading on Webkit browsers like Chrome and Safari. The good folks at StatusNet have fixed this issue with on their Meteor site at  I just pulled down the 4 files located in their public_html folder and replaced mine, adjusting the port in their meteor.js file as mentioned above. ~Lou

Friday, September 3, 2010

RSS echos realtime with


For about 2 years now I have been using Twitterfeed to post my feeds into my StatusNet instance THE HEaRD.  With Twitter, Facebook pages, Buzz and other accounts on these services, getting my content to everywhere was a challenge. is a great service for allowing to echo to many social networks out there and Twitterfeed would post to that so things seemed fine...for a while.

Twitterfeed started to have issues posting to about 4 months ago and the communication between these two services has yet to be resolved.  I moved my personal feeds to HootSuite, which can post to Ping.FM, but wanted to get back to posting direct to StatusNet again.

Recently it appears that Twitterfeed is having issues posting content whose feeds reside on Feedburner.  Since I post from RSS to StatusNet directly, I am unsure where exactly that issue stems but this has been down for almost 3 weeks now. That was IT!  I pull in about 35 different feeds into an RSS account and this was a HUGE problem and Twitterfeed has been absent at best.  I decided to move on...

Enter, (Deliver it) builds upon the same premis as Twitterfeed but I think it takes all the features and reorganizes them for ease of routing RSS feeds to different accounts.  The best part is how you can setup global settings like a preferred URL shortening service and all accounts and feeds can be selected once created for future routes setup.  


Currently offers posting to the following services:

The support staff (@dlvrit_support) is active on Twitter and they just named a new CEO so it appears this could be a service that is going to have some stiction.  Currently to join you add a feed and connect using OAuth with twitter or facebook but once the account is created, you can remove posting to those accounts if you don't want to use it.  I suggested having OpenID so you could use any provider like Google or even your StatusNet site (if you have the plugin enabled) and they responded via twitter. 

I have had this dialed in for the past few days and all is working wonderfully.  I was not aware of how unreliable Twitterfeed had become now that all is working again.  Twitterfeed was a great service and to their credit, their success has made them grow to a size that reliability has taken a downward turn.  Competition is great for the consumer and this is a perfect example.  Thank you for the great service and keep innovating! ~Lou