Development Teaser: I'm working on a self-hostable #bandcamp alternative - implemented as a static site generator written in #rust

As a small tech tradeoff and an experiment I'm integrating a soft paycurtain: Albums can display a price tag, (including a user interaction for setting a price for "name your price" albums), payment directions are given (Liberapay, SEPA, etc. as configured), but the payment itself is not technically enforced, i.e. the listener is asked to affirm by themselves - by clicking a button - that they have paid for what they want, and only then given the download link. I'm open to experiment further with this when I've released faircamp (current codename) to the public. I could also imagine an option for integrating a hard paywall based on entering a token that could e.g. be made exclusively available to your backers on an external platform (ghost, patreon, steady, paypal, ...).

Been fleshing out the first prototype all day today, and having a blast! ✌️


@freebliss Interesting! Is there a specific reason on why you chose the project or just plain curiosity?

@rostiger I want this badly myself so I can host some of my previous music projects :) (and maybe it will serve as an encouragement for me to get back to producing new stuff too ;))

@freebliss So I guess my question should have rather been: why don't you use Bandcamp?

@rostiger Good point :) There's many factors, one being that I'm currently researching online funding and specifically technological independence related to funding for a potential paid project, so to some degree this has been prompted by the findings of my research over the last weeks. Another is that I'm very much into giving structure and order to media, as in, finding the most simple and beautiful ways to arrange them, and this is an opportunity to do that in-depth with audio, which I haven't so far (or it's been a while at least). And lastly, towards myself it would feel a bit inflated to put my audio projects up on bandcamp right now - I've got a wild mix of demos, improvisations, rehearsal outtakes, gig recordings, experimental noise :D, really old stuff ... I'm not even sure what exactly I want to put up, but I think the process itself - of digging out stuff again, and considering what I want to continue on maybe - will be the really interesting thing, and that somehow feels more at home at my own self-hosted place. :) (and then of course also: making new free software to share with everyone <3 can't help it haha)

@freebliss Sounds like a healthy process! I can really relate to the idea of building tools that suit oneself - I‘m currently coding a static site generator in C. Pretty sure the world doesn’t need any more of these, but it makes me happy because I learn so much, it works just as I want it to and if not, it’s my own fault (and I can fix it!).

@freebliss Anyway, looking forward to what you‘ll come up with!

@rostiger Yeah supercool! I was in fact writing the first bits of faircamp in C as well (before getting impatient haha) :) I've written dozens of static [something] generators over the years and I don't regret any of it - generally when writing something for oneself the abundance of that thing elsewhere becomes competely irrelevant if one does it for the journey and the learning. On top of that I would even argue that the world _does_ need many more static * generators - there's just a lack of imagination going around in terms of what a static * generator can be - somehow 95% of what's out there does not emancipate from the confines of the "generic blog-like" or "plugin-based js-hipster super-generator-framework" notion. :)

@rostiger @freebliss Pretty sure building one's own static site generator is a kind of rite of passage. I seem to build a new one every few years, usually with various ambitions.

@fortifieduniverse @rostiger I've seen a few essays describing the act of creating one's own website as a deeply self-reflective act, one of finding and possibly reinventing yourself, and I couldn't agree more that writing one's own SSG is like a supercharged version of that, rite of passage is spot on. :)

@freebliss @rostiger Absolutely! I honestly think I've probably built about 5 different SSGs over the years.

I'm about to embark on the next one here shortly.

@fortifieduniverse @freebliss To be fair, I'm not really writing it myself. I'm typing off oscean line by line, understanding the code and modifying it where I want to adapt it to my needs.
Basically I'm learning C as I go, Combining it with a proper project makes it feel much more of an accomplishment, too.

@freebliss great to see a new project from you!

have you checked out projects like @funkwhale before implementing something from scratch? or using a mature SSG like #Hugo and just create a custom theme template?

can you share your research on funding? i try to solve funding for public goods like free software at @snowdrift. we have extensive research on funding methods and platforms, but i always like to see more opinions

@davidak Hey David o/ I checked out funkwhale before - I really hope they can sustain themselves further as I'd love to see them blossom! For me personally it's too much though and with faircamp I'm building something really simple instead: A website for browsing, listening and downloading(/purchasing) music - no metrics, no social, just you and the music (and wallet, optionally). ;)

As for hugo I think that would just add unneeded complexity and dependance here - the conventional SSG parts in faircamp are trivial, in fact, these are pretty much done already. However I do want to get into Go very soon, including hugo for potential one-shot SSG projects, which is where it really shines, I believe!

Thanks so much for that linked write-up on funding, that looks amazingly in-depth and well researched - hats off to you! :) As for my own research, I haven't written anything down yet I'm afraid as it's so far been strictly on the side and for my own planning/brainstorming. I'll let you know if and when I put some of it in writing! Just one addition from a cursory glance over your research: I think you might have missed out on (which I only recently have discovered and which looks almost too good to be true). ;)

@freebliss i know ghost as a blog software, but haven't seen their subscription model. that's something that does work (see Patreon), but is not compatible with free software values, since you have to offer exclusive content to paying members

our solution has to solve the freerider problem, so people have incentives to support the project without getting exclusive content. we think our crowdmatching mechanism does that, but we still have to test it

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