FIXME: Break these pages up into separate sections...
- External libraries
- Public feed
- Queues and daemons
- Twitter bridge
- Facebook application
- Notice inboxes
- UTF-8 database
- Configuration options
Laconica 0.7.1 ("West of the Fields") 6 February 2009
This is the README file for Laconica, the Open Source microblogging platform. It includes installation instructions, descriptions of options you can set, warnings, tips, and general info for administrators. Information on using Laconica can be found in the "doc" subdirectory or in the "help" section on-line.
Laconica (pronounced "luh-KAWN-ih-kuh") is a Free and Open Source microblogging platform. It helps people in a community, company or group to exchange short (140 character) messages over the Web. Users can choose which people to "follow" and receive only their friends' or colleagues' status messages. It provides a similar service to sites like Twitter, Jaiku and Plurk.
With a little work, status messages can be sent to mobile phones, instant messenger programs (XMPP), and specially-designed desktop clients that support the Twitter API.
Laconica supports an open standard called OpenMicroBlogging <http://openmicroblogging.org/> that lets users on different Web sites or in different companies subscribe to each others' notices. It enables a distributed social network spread all across the Web.
Laconica was originally developed for the Open Software Service, Identi.ca <http://identi.ca/>. It is shared with you in hope that you too make an Open Software Service available to your users. To learn more, please see the Open Software Service Definition 1.1:
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program, in the file "COPYING". If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) has *different requirements* from the "regular" GPL. In particular, if you make modifications to the Laconica source code on your server, you *MUST MAKE AVAILABLE* the modified version of the source code to your users under the same license. This is a legal requirement of using the software, and if you do not wish to share your modifications, *YOU MAY NOT INSTALL LACONICA*.
Additional library software has been made available in the 'extlib' directory. All of it is Free Software and can be distributed under liberal terms, but those terms may differ in detail from the AGPL's particulars. See each package's license file in the extlib directory for additional terms.
New this version
This is a minor bug-fix release since version 0.7.0, released Jan 29 2009.
Notable changes this version
- Vast improvement in auto-linking to URLs.
- Link to group search from user's group page
- Improved interface in Facebook application
- Fix bad redirects in delete notice
- Updated PostgreSQL database creation script
- Show filesize in avatar/logo upload
- Vastly improved avatar/logo upload
- Allow re-authentication with OpenID
- Correctly link hashtabs inside parens and brackets
- Group and avatar image transparency works
- Better handling of commands through the Web and Ajax channels
- Fix links for profile page feeds
- Fixed destroy method in API
- Fix endpoint of Connect menu when XMPP disabled
- Show number of group members
- Enable configuration files in /etc/laconica/
Changes in version 0.7.0
- Support for groups. Users can join groups and send themed notices to those groups. All other members of the group receive the notices.
- Laconica-specific extensions to the Twitter API.
- A Facebook application.
- A massive UI redesign. The HTML generated by Laconica has changed significantly, to make theming easier and to give a more open look by default. Also, sidebar.
- Massive code hygiene changes to move towards compliance with the PEAR coding standards and to support the new UI redesign.
- Began the breakup of util.php -- moved about 30% of code to a views hierarchy.
- UI elements for statistical information (like top posters or most popular groups) added in a sidebar.
- Updated online documentation.
- Cropping of user avatars using Jcrop.
- fix for Twitter bridge to not send "Expect:" headers.
- add 'dm' as a synonym for 'd' in commands.
- Upgrade upstream version of jQuery to 1.3.
- Upgrade upstream version of PHP-OpenID to 2.1.2.
- Move OpenMicroBlogging specification to its own repository.
- Make tag-based RSS streams work.
- Additional locales: Bulgarian, Catalan, Greek, Hebrew, simplified Chinese, Telugu, Taiwanese Chinese, Vietnamese,
- PostgreSQL updates.
- Nasty bug in Twitter bridge that wouldn't verify with Twitter
The following software packages are *required* for this software to run correctly.
- PHP 5.2.x. It may be possible to run this software on earlier versions of PHP, but many of the functions used are only available in PHP 5.2 or above.
- MySQL 5.x. The Laconica database is stored, by default, in a MySQL server. It has been primarily tested on 5.x servers, although it may be possible to install on earlier (or later!) versions. The server *must* support the MyISAM storage engine -- the default for most MySQL servers -- *and* the InnoDB storage engine.
- A Web server. Preferably, you should have Apache 2.2.x with the mod_rewrite extension installed and enabled.
Your PHP installation must include the following PHP extensions:
- Curl. This is for fetching files by HTTP.
- XMLWriter. This is for formatting XML and HTML output.
- MySQL. For accessing the database.
- GD. For scaling down avatar images.
- mbstring. For handling Unicode (UTF-8) encoded strings.
- gettext. For multiple languages. Default on many PHP installs.
For some functionality, you will also need the following extensions:
- Memcache. A client for the memcached server, which caches database information in volatile memory. This is important for adequate performance on high-traffic sites. You will also need a memcached server to store the data in.
- Mailparse. Efficient parsing of email requires this extension. Submission by email or SMS-over-email uses this extension.
- Sphinx Search. A client for the sphinx server, an alternative to MySQL or Postgresql fulltext search. You will also need a Sphinx server to serve the search queries.
You will almost definitely get 2-3 times better performance from your site if you install a PHP bytecode cache/accelerator. Some well-known examples are: eaccelerator, Turck mmcache, xcache, apc. Zend Optimizer is a proprietary accelerator installed on some hosting sites.
A number of external PHP libraries are used to provide basic functionality and optional functionality for your system. For your convenience, they are available in the "extlib" directory of this package, and you do not have to download and install them. However, you may want to keep them up-to-date with the latest upstream version, and the URLs are listed here for your convenience.
- DB_DataObject http://pear.php.net/package/DB_DataObject
- Validate http://pear.php.net/package/Validate
- OpenID from OpenIDEnabled (not the PEAR version!). We decided to use the openidenabled.com version since it's more widely implemented, and seems to be better supported. http://openidenabled.com/php-openid/
- PEAR DB. Although this is an older data access system (new packages should probably use PHP DBO), the OpenID libraries depend on PEAR DB so we use it here, too. DB_DataObject can also use PEAR MDB2, which may give you better performance but won't work with OpenID. http://pear.php.net/package/DB
- OAuth.php from http://oauth.googlecode.com/svn/code/php/
- markdown.php from http://michelf.com/projects/php-markdown/
- PEAR Mail, for sending out mail notifications http://pear.php.net/package/Mail
- PEAR Net_SMTP, if you use the SMTP factory for notifications http://pear.php.net/package/Net_SMTP
- PEAR Net_Socket, if you use the SMTP factory for notifications http://pear.php.net/package/Net_Socket
- XMPPHP, the follow-up to Class.Jabber.php. Probably the best XMPP library available for PHP. http://xmpphp.googlecode.com/. Note that as of this writing the version of this library that is available in the extlib directory is *significantly different* from the upstream version (patches have been submitted). Upgrading to the upstream version may render your Laconica site unable to send or receive XMPP messages.
- Facebook library. Used for the Facebook application.
A design goal of Laconica is that the basic Web functionality should work on even the most restrictive commercial hosting services. However, additional functionality, such as receiving messages by XMPP, require that you be able to run long-running processes on your account. In addition, posting by email or from SMS require that you be able to install a mail filter in your mail server.
Installing the basic Laconica Web component is relatively easy, especially if you've previously installed PHP/MySQL packages.
1. Unpack the tarball you downloaded on your Web server. Usually a command like this will work:
tar zxf laconica-0.7.1.tar.gz
...which will make a laconica-0.7.1 subdirectory in your current directory. (If you don't have shell access on your Web server, you may have to unpack the tarball on your local computer and FTP the files to the server.)
2. Move the tarball to a directory of your choosing in your Web root directory. Usually something like this will work:
mv laconica-0.7.1 /var/www/mublog
This will make your Laconica instance available in the mublog path of your server, like "http://example.net/mublog". "microblog" or "laconica" might also be good path names. If you know how to configure virtual hosts on your web server, you can try setting up "http://micro.example.net/" or the like.
3. You should also take this moment to make your avatar subdirectory writeable by the Web server. An insecure way to do this is:
chmod a+w /var/www/mublog/avatar
On some systems, this will probably work:
chgrp www-data /var/www/mublog/avatar chmod g+w /var/www/mublog/avatar
If your Web server runs as another user besides "www-data", try that user's default group instead. As a last resort, you can create a new group like "avatar" and add the Web server's user to the group.
4. Create a database to hold your microblog data. Something like this should work:
mysqladmin -u "username" --password="password" create laconica
Note that Laconica must have its own database; you can't share the database with another program. You can name it whatever you want, though.
(If you don't have shell access to your server, you may need to use a tool like PHPAdmin to create a database. Check your hosting service's documentation for how to create a new MySQL database.)
5. Run the laconica.sql SQL script in the db subdirectory to create the database tables in the database. A typical system would work like this:
mysql -u "username" --password="password" laconica < /var/www/mublog/db/laconica.sql
You may want to test by logging into the database and checking that the tables were created. Here's an example:
6. Create a new database account that Laconica will use to access the database. If you have shell access, this will probably work from the MySQL shell:
GRANT SELECT,INSERT,DELETE,UPDATE on laconica.* TO 'lacuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'lacpassword';
You should change 'lacuser' and 'lacpassword' to your preferred new username and password. You may want to test logging in as this new user and testing that you can SELECT from some of the tables in the DB (use SHOW TABLES to see which ones are there).
7. Copy the config.php.sample in the Laconica directory to config.php.
8. Edit config.php to set the basic configuration for your system. (See descriptions below for basic config options.) Note that there are lots of options and if you try to do them all at once, you will have a hard time making sure what's working and what's not. So, stick with the basics at first. In particular, customizing the 'site' and 'db' settings will almost definitely be needed.
9. At this point, you should be able to navigate in a browser to your microblog's main directory and see the "Public Timeline", which will be empty. If not, magic has happened! You can now register a new user, post some notices, edit your profile, etc. However, you may want to wait to do that stuff if you think you can set up "fancy URLs" (see below), since some URLs are stored in the database.
By default, Laconica will have big long sloppy URLs that are hard for people to remember or use. For example, a user's home profile might be found at:
It's possible to configure the software so it looks like this instead:
These "fancy URLs" are more readable and memorable for users. To use fancy URLs, you must either have Apache 2.2.x with .htaccess enabled and mod_redirect enabled, -OR- know how to configure "url redirection" in your server.
1. Copy the htaccess.sample file to .htaccess in your Laconica directory. Note: if you have control of your server's httpd.conf or similar configuration files, it can greatly improve performance to import the .htaccess file into your conf file instead. If you're not sure how to do it, you may save yourself a lot of headache by just leaving the .htaccess file.
2. Change the "RewriteBase" in the new .htaccess file to be the URL path to your Laconica installation on your server. Typically this will be the path to your Laconica directory relative to your Web root.
3. Add or uncomment or change a line in your config.php file so it says:
$config['site']['fancy'] = true;
You should now be able to navigate to a "fancy" URL on your server, like:
If you changed your HTTP server configuration, you may need to restart the server first.
If you have problems with the .htaccess file on versions of Apache earlier than 2.2.x, try changing the regular expressions in the htaccess.sample file that use "\w" to just use ".".
To use a Sphinx server to search users and notices, you also need to install, compile and enable the sphinx pecl extension for php on the client side, which itself depends on the sphinx development files. "pecl install sphinx" should take care of that. Add "extension=sphinx.so" to your php.ini and reload apache to enable it.
You can update your MySQL or Postgresql databases to drop their fulltext search indexes, since they're now provided by sphinx.
On the sphinx server side, a script reads the main database and build the keyword index. A cron job reads the database and keeps the sphinx indexes up to date. scripts/sphinx-cron.sh should be called by cron every 5 minutes, for example. scripts/sphinx.sh is an init.d script to start and stop the sphinx search daemon.
Laconica supports a cheap-and-dirty system for sending update messages to mobile phones and for receiving updates from the mobile. Instead of sending through the SMS network itself, which is costly and requires buy-in from the wireless carriers, it simply piggybacks on the email gateways that many carriers provide to their customers. So, SMS configuration is essentially email configuration.
Each user sends to a made-up email address, which they keep a secret. Incoming email that is "From" the user's SMS email address, and "To" the users' secret email address on the site's domain, will be converted to a notice and stored in the DB.
For this to work, there *must* be a domain or sub-domain for which all (or most) incoming email can pass through the incoming mail filter.
1. Run the SQL script carrier.sql in your Laconica database. This will usually work:
mysql -u "lacuser" --password="lacpassword" laconica < db/carrier.sql
This will populate your database with a list of wireless carriers that support email SMS gateways.
2. Make sure the maildaemon.php file is executable:
chmod +x scripts/maildaemon.php
Note that "daemon" is kind of a misnomer here; the script is more of a filter than a daemon.
2. Edit /etc/aliases on your mail server and add the following line:
3. Run whatever code you need to to update your aliases database. For many mail servers (Postfix, Exim, Sendmail), this should work:
You may need to restart your mail server for the new database to take effect.
4. Set the following in your config.php file:
$config['mail']['domain'] = 'yourdomain.example.net';
At this point, post-by-email and post-by-SMS-gateway should work. Note that if your mail server is on a different computer from your email server, you'll need to have a full installation of Laconica, a working config.php, and access to the Laconica database from the mail server.
XMPP, Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, formely named Jabber is the instant-messenger protocol that drives Google Talk. You can distribute messages via XMPP using the system below; however, you need to run the XMPP incoming daemon to allow incoming messages as well.
1. You may want to strongly consider setting up your own XMPP server. Prosody, ejabberd, Openfire, Tigase are all Open Source servers.
2. You must register a Jabber ID (JID) with your new server. It helps to choose a name like "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "notice" or something similar. Alternately, your "update JID" can be registered on a publicly-available XMPP service, like jabber.org or Google Talk.
Laconica will not register the JID with your chosen XMPP server; you need to do this manually, with an XMPP client like Psi, Gajim, Telepathy, or Pidgin.
3. Configure your site's XMPP variables, as described below in the configuration section.
On a default installation, your site can broadcast messages using XMPP. Users won't be able to post messages using XMPP unless you've got the XMPP daemon running. See 'Queues and daemons' below for how to set that up. Also, once you have a sizable number of users, sending a lot of SMS, OMB, and XMPP messages whenever someone posts a message can really slow down your site; it may cause posting to timeout.
NOTE: stream_select(), a crucial function for network programming, is broken on PHP 5.2.x less than 5.2.6 on amd64-based servers. We don't work around this bug in Laconica; current recommendation is to move off of amd64 to another server.
You can send *all* messages from your microblogging site to a third-party service using XMPP. This can be useful for providing search, indexing, bridging, or other cool services.
To configure a downstream site to receive your public stream, add their "JID" (Jabber ID) to your config.php as follows:
$config['xmpp']['public'] = 'email@example.com';
(Don't miss those square brackets at the end.) Note that your XMPP broadcasting must be configured as mentioned above. Although you can send out messages at "Web time", high-volume sites should strongly consider setting up queues and daemons.
Queues and daemons
Some activities that Laconica needs to do, like broadcast OMB, SMS, and XMPP messages, can be 'queued' and done by off-line bots instead. For this to work, you must be able to run long-running offline processes, either on your main Web server or on another server you control. (Your other server will still need all the above prerequisites, with the exception of Apache.) Installing on a separate server is probably a good idea for high-volume sites.
1. You'll need the "CLI" (command-line interface) version of PHP installed on whatever server you use.
2. If you're using a separate server for queues, install Laconica somewhere on the server. You don't need to worry about the .htaccess file, but make sure that your config.php file is close to, or identical to, your Web server's version.
3. In your config.php files (both the Web server and the queues server!), set the following variable:
$config['queue']['enabled'] = true;
You may also want to look at the 'daemon' section of this file for more daemon options. Note that if you set the 'user' and/or 'group' options, you'll need to create that user and/or group by hand. They're not created automatically.
4. On the queues server, run the command scripts/startdaemons.sh. It needs as a parameter the install path; if you run it from the Laconica dir, "." should suffice.
This will run six (for now) queue handlers:
- xmppdaemon.php - listens for new XMPP messages from users and stores
them as notices in the database.
- jabberqueuehandler.php - sends queued notices in the database to
registered users who should receive them.
- publicqueuehandler.php - sends queued notices in the database to
public feed listeners.
- ombqueuehandler.php - sends queued notices to OpenMicroBlogging
recipients on foreign servers.
- smsqueuehandler.php - sends queued notices to SMS-over-email addresses
of registered users.
- xmppconfirmhandler.php - sends confirmation messages to registered
Note that these queue daemons are pretty raw, and need your care. In particular, they leak memory, and you may want to restart them on a regular (daily or so) basis with a cron job. Also, if they lose the connection to the XMPP server for too long, they'll simply die. It may be a good idea to use a daemon-monitoring service, like 'monit', to check their status and keep them running.
All the daemons write their process IDs (pids) to /var/run/ by default. This can be useful for starting, stopping, and monitoring the daemons.
Twitter Friends Syncing
As of Laconica 0.6.3, users may set a flag in their settings ("Subscribe to my Twitter friends here" under the Twitter tab) to have Laconica attempt to locate and subscribe to "friends" (people they "follow") on Twitter who also have accounts on your Laconica system, and who have previously set up a link for automatically posting notices to Twitter.
Optionally, there is a script (./scripts/synctwitterfriends.php), meant to be run periodically from a job scheduler (e.g.: cron under Unix), to look for new additions to users' friends lists. Note that the friends syncing only subscribes users to each other, it does not unsubscribe users when they stop following each other on Twitter.
Sample cron job:
# Update Twitter friends subscriptions every half hour 0,30 * * * * /path/to/php /path/to/laconica/scripts/synctwitterfriends.php>&/dev/null
Sitemap files <http://sitemaps.org/> are a very nice way of telling search engines and other interested bots what's available on your site and what's changed recently. You can generate sitemap files for your Laconica instance.
1. Choose your sitemap URL layout. Laconica creates a number of sitemap XML files for different parts of your site. You may want to put these in a sub-directory of your Laconica directory to avoid clutter. The sitemap index file tells the search engines and other bots where to find all the sitemap files; it *must* be in the main installation directory or higher. Both types of file must be available through HTTP.
2. To generate your sitemaps, run the following command on your server:
php scripts/sitemap.php -f index-file-path -d sitemap-directory -u URL-prefix-for-sitemaps
Here, index-file-path is the full path to the sitemap index file, like './sitemapindex.xml'. sitemap-directory is the directory where you want the sitemaps stored, like './sitemaps/' (make sure the dir exists). URL-prefix-for-sitemaps is the full URL for the sitemap dir, typically something like <http://example.net/mublog/sitemaps/>.
You can use several methods for submitting your sitemap index to search engines to get your site indexed. One is to add a line like the following to your robots.txt file:
This is a good idea for letting *all* Web spiders know about your sitemap. You can also submit sitemap files to major search engines using their respective "Webmaster centres"; see sitemaps.org for links to these resources.
There are two themes shipped with this version of Laconica: "stoica", which is what the Identi.ca site uses, and "default", which is a good basis for other sites.
As of right now, your ability to change the theme is site-wide; users can't choose their own theme. Additionally, the only thing you can change in the theme is CSS stylesheets and some image files; you can't change the HTML output, like adding or removing menu items.
You can choose a theme using the $config['site']['theme'] element in the config.php file. See below for details.
You can add your own theme by making a sub-directory of the 'theme' subdirectory with the name of your theme. Each theme can have the following files:
display.css: a CSS2 file for "default" styling for all browsers. ie6.css: a CSS2 file for override styling for fixing up Internet Explorer 6. ie7.css: a CSS2 file for override styling for fixing up Internet Explorer 7. logo.png: a logo image for the site. default-avatar-profile.png: a 96x96 pixel image to use as the avatar for users who don't upload their own. default-avatar-stream.png: Ditto, but 48x48. For streams of notices. default-avatar-mini.png: Ditto ditto, but 24x24. For subscriptions listing on profile pages.
You may want to start by copying the files from the default theme to your own directory.
NOTE: the HTML generated by Laconica changed *radically* between version 0.6.x and 0.7.x. Older themes will need signification modification to use the new output format.
Translations in Laconica use the gettext system <http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/>. Theoretically, you can add your own sub-directory to the locale/ subdirectory to add a new language to your system. You'll need to compile the ".po" files into ".mo" files, however.
Contributions of translation information to Laconica are very easy: you can use the Web interface at http://laconi.ca/pootle/ to add one or a few or lots of new translations -- or even new languages. You can also download more up-to-date .po files there, if you so desire.
There is no built-in system for doing backups in Laconica. You can make backups of a working Laconica system by backing up the database and the Web directory. To backup the database use mysqldump <ur1.ca/7xo> and to backup the Web directory, try tar.
The administrator can set the "private" flag for a site so that it's not visible to non-logged-in users. This might be useful for workgroups who want to share a microblogging site for project management, but host it on a public server.
Note that this is an experimental feature; total privacy is not guaranteed or ensured. Also, privacy is all-or-nothing for a site; you can't have some accounts or notices private, and others public. Finally, the interaction of private sites with OpenMicroBlogging is undefined. Remote users won't be able to subscribe to users on a private site, but users of the private site may be able to subscribe to users on a remote site. (Or not... it's not well tested.) The "proper behaviour" hasn't been defined here, so handle with care.
If you've been using Laconica 0.6, 0.5 or lower, or if you've been tracking the "git" version of the software, you will probably want to upgrade and keep your existing data. There is no automated upgrade procedure in Laconica 0.7.1. Try these step-by-step instructions; read to the end first before trying them.
0. Download Laconica and set up all the prerequisites as if you were doing a new install. 1. Make backups of both your database and your Web directory. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you try to do an upgrade without a known-good backup. You have been warned. 2. Shut down Web access to your site, either by turning off your Web server or by redirecting all pages to a "sorry, under maintenance" page. 3. Shut down XMPP access to your site, typically by shutting down the xmppdaemon.php process and all other daemons that you're running. If you've got "monit" or "cron" automatically restarting your daemons, make sure to turn that off, too. 4. Shut down SMS and email access to your site. The easy way to do this is to comment out the line piping incoming email to your maildaemon.php file, and running something like "newaliases". 5. Once all writing processes to your site are turned off, make a final backup of the Web directory and database. 6. Move your Laconica directory to a backup spot, like "mublog.bak". 7. Unpack your Laconica 0.6 tarball and move it to "mublog" or wherever your code used to be. 8. Copy the config.php file and avatar directory from your old directory to your new directory. 9. Copy htaccess.sample to .htaccess in the new directory. Change the RewriteBase to use the correct path. 10. Rebuild the database. Go to your Laconica directory and run the rebuilddb.sh script like this:
./scripts/rebuilddb.sh rootuser rootpassword database db/laconica.sql
Here, rootuser and rootpassword are the username and password for a user who can drop and create databases as well as tables; typically that's _not_ the user Laconica runs as. 11. Use mysql client to log into your database and make sure that the notice, user, profile, subscription etc. tables are non-empty. 12. Turn back on the Web server, and check that things still work. 13. Turn back on XMPP bots and email maildaemon. Note that the XMPP bots have changed since version 0.5; see above for details.
If you're upgrading from very old versions, you may want to look at the fixup_* scripts in the scripts directories. These will store some precooked data in the DB. All upgraders should check out the inboxes options below.
NOTE: the database definition file, stoica.ini, has been renamed to laconica.ini (since this is the recommended database name). If you have a line in your config.php pointing to the old name, you'll need to update it.
Before version 0.6.2, the page showing all notices from people the user is subscribed to ("so-and-so with friends") was calculated at run time. Starting with 0.6.2, we have a new data structure for holding a user's "notice inbox". (Note: distinct from the "message inbox", which is the "inbox" tab in the UI. The notice inbox appears under the "Personal" tab.)
Notices are added to the inbox when they're created. This speeds up the query considerably, and also allows us the opportunity, in the future, to add different kind of notices to an inbox -- like @-replies or subscriptions to search terms or hashtags.
Notice inboxes are enabled by default for new installations. If you are upgrading an existing site, this means that your users will see empty "Personal" pages. The following steps will help you fix the problem.
0. $config['inboxes']['enabled'] can be set to one of three values. If you set it to 'false', the site will work as before. Support for this will probably be dropped in future versions. 1. Setting the flag to 'transitional' means that you're in transition. In this mode, the code will run the "new query" or the "old query" based on whether the user's inbox has been updated. 2. After setting the flag to "transitional", you can run the fixup_inboxes.php script to create the inboxes. You may want to set the memory limit high. You can re-run it without ill effect. 3. When fixup_inboxes is finished, you can set the enabled flag to 'true'.
The sole configuration file for Laconica (excepting configurations for dependency software) is config.php in your Laconica directory. If you edit any other file in the directory, like lib/common.php (where most of the defaults are defined), you will lose your configuration options in any upgrade, and you will wish that you had been more careful.
Starting with version 0.7.1, you can put config files in the /etc/laconica/ directory on your server, if it exists. Config files will be included in this order:
- /etc/laconica/laconica.php - server-wide config
- /etc/laconica/<servername>.php - for a virtual host
- /etc/laconica/<servername>_<pathname>.php - for a path
- INSTALLDIR/config.php - for a particular implementation
Almost all configuration options are made through a two-dimensional associative array, cleverly named $config. A typical configuration line will be:
$config['section']['option'] = value;
For brevity, the following documentation describes each section and option.
This section is a catch-all for site-wide variables.
name: the name of your site, like 'YourCompany Microblog'. server: the server part of your site's URLs, like 'example.net'. path: The path part of your site's URLs, like 'mublog' or '/' (installed in root). fancy: whether or not your site uses fancy URLs (see Fancy URLs section above). Default is false. logfile: full path to a file for Laconica to save logging information to. You may want to use this if you don't have access to syslog. locale_path: full path to the directory for locale data. Unless you store all your locale data in one place, you probably don't need to use this. language: default language for your site. Defaults to US English. languages: A list of languages supported on your site. Typically you'd only change this if you wanted to disable support for one or another language: "unset($config['site']['languages']['de'])" will disable support for German. theme: Theme for your site (see Theme section). Two themes are provided by default: 'default' and 'stoica' (the one used by Identi.ca). It's appreciated if you don't use the 'stoica' theme except as the basis for your own. email: contact email address for your site. By default, it's extracted from your Web server environment; you may want to customize it. broughtbyurl: name of an organization or individual who provides the service. Each page will include a link to this name in the footer. A good way to link to the blog, forum, wiki, corporate portal, or whoever is making the service available. broughtby: text used for the "brought by" link. timezone: default timezone for message display. Users can set their own time zone. Defaults to 'UTC', which is a pretty good default. closed: If set to 'true', will disallow registration on your site. This is a cheap way to restrict accounts to only one individual or group; just register the accounts you want on the service, *then* set this variable to 'true'. inviteonly: If set to 'true', will only allow registration if the user was invited by an existing user. private: If set to 'true', anonymous users will be redirected to the 'login' page. Also, API methods that normally require no authentication will require it. Note that this does not turn off registration; use 'closed' or 'inviteonly' for the behaviour you want. notice: A plain string that will appear on every page. A good place to put introductory information about your service, or info about upgrades and outages, or other community info. Any HTML will be escaped.
This section is a reference to the configuration options for DB_DataObject (see <ur1.ca/7xp>). The ones that you may want to set are listed below for clarity.
database: a DSN (Data Source Name) for your Laconica database. This is in the format 'protocol://username:password@hostname/databasename', where 'protocol' is 'mysql' or 'mysqli' (or possibly 'postgresql', if you really know what you're doing), 'username' is the username, 'password' is the password, and etc. ini_yourdbname: if your database is not named 'laconica', you'll need to set this to point to the location of the laconica.ini file. Note that the real name of your database should go in there, not literally 'yourdbname'. db_driver: You can try changing this to 'MDB2' to use the other driver type for DB_DataObject, but note that it breaks the OpenID libraries, which only support PEAR::DB. debug: On a database error, you may get a message saying to set this value to 5 to see debug messages in the browser. This breaks just about all pages, and will also expose the username and password quote_identifiers: Set this to true if you're using postgresql. type: either 'mysql' or 'postgresql' (used for some bits of database-type-specific SQL in the code). Defaults to mysql. mirror: you can set this to an array of DSNs, like the above 'database' value. If it's set, certain read-only actions will use a random value out of this array for the database, rather than the one in 'database' (actually, 'database' is overwritten). You can offload a busy DB server by setting up MySQL replication and adding the slaves to this array. Note that if you want some requests to go to the 'database' (master) server, you'll need to include it in this array, too.
By default, Laconica sites log error messages to the syslog facility. (You can override this using the 'logfile' parameter described above).
appname: The name that Laconica uses to log messages. By default it's "laconica", but if you have more than one installation on the server, you may want to change the name for each instance so you can track log messages more easily.
You can configure the software to queue time-consuming tasks, like sending out SMS email or XMPP messages, for off-line processing. See 'Queues and daemons' above for how to set this up.
enabled: Whether to uses queues. Defaults to false.
The default license to use for your users notices. The default is the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which is probably the right choice for any public site. Note that some other servers will not accept notices if you apply a stricter license than this.
url: URL of the license, used for links. title: Title for the license, like 'Creative Commons Attribution 3.0'. image: A button shown on each page for the license.
This is for configuring out-going email. We use PEAR's Mail module, see: http://pear.php.net/manual/en/package.mail.mail.factory.php
backend: the backend to use for mail, one of 'mail', 'sendmail', 'smtp' and 'none'. Defaults to PEAR's default, 'mail'. params: if the mail backend requires any parameters, you can provide them in an associative array.
This is for configuring nicknames in the service.
blacklist: an array of strings for usernames that may not be registered. A default array exists for strings that are used by Laconica (e.g. 'doc', 'main', 'avatar', 'theme') but you may want to add others if you have other software installed in a subdirectory of Laconica or if you just don't want certain words used as usernames. featured: an array of nicknames of 'featured' users of the site. Can be useful to draw attention to well-known users, or interesting people, or whatever.
For configuring avatar access.
server: If set, defines another server where avatars are stored in the root directory. Note that the 'avatar' subdir still has to be writeable. You'd typically use this to split HTTP requests on the client to speed up page loading, either with another virtual server or with an NFS or SAMBA share. Clients typically only make 2 connections to a single server at a time <ur1.ca/6ih>, so this can parallelize the job. Defaults to null.
For configuring the public stream.
localonly: If set to true, only messages posted by users of this service (rather than other services, filtered through OMB) are shown in the public stream. Default true. blacklist: An array of IDs of users to hide from the public stream. Useful if you have someone making excessive Twitterfeed posts to the site, other kinds of automated posts, testing bots, etc.
server: Like avatars, you can speed up page loading by pointing the theme file lookup to another server (virtual or real). The theme server's root path should map to the Laconica "theme" subdirectory. Defaults to NULL.
For configuring the XMPP sub-system.
enabled: Whether to accept and send messages by XMPP. Default false. server: server part of XMPP ID for update user. port: connection port for clients. Default 5222, which you probably shouldn't need to change. user: username for the client connection. Users will receive messages from 'user'@'server'. resource: a unique identifier for the connection to the server. This is actually used as a prefix for each XMPP component in the system. password: password for the user account. host: some XMPP domains are served by machines with a different hostname. (For example, @gmail.com GTalk users connect to talk.google.com). Set this to the correct hostname if that's the case with your server. encryption: Whether to encrypt the connection between Laconica and the XMPP server. Defaults to true, but you can get considerably better performance turning it off if you're connecting to a server on the same machine or on a protected network. debug: if turned on, this will make the XMPP library blurt out all of the incoming and outgoing messages as XML stanzas. Use as a last resort, and never turn it on if you don't have queues enabled, since it will spit out sensitive data to the browser. public: an array of JIDs to send _all_ notices to. This is useful for participating in third-party search and archiving services.
Miscellaneous tagging stuff.
dropoff: Decay factor for tag listing, in seconds. Defaults to exponential decay over ten days; you can twiddle with it to try and get better results for your site.
For daemon processes.
piddir: directory that daemon processes should write their PID file (process ID) to. Defaults to /var/run/, which is where this stuff should usually go on Unix-ish systems. user: If set, the daemons will try to change their effective user ID to this user before running. Probably a good idea, especially if you start the daemons as root. Note: user name, like 'daemon', not 1001. group: If set, the daemons will try to change their effective group ID to this named group. Again, a name, not a numerical ID.
You can get a significant boost in performance by caching some database data in memcached <http://www.danga.com/memcached/>.
enabled: Set to true to enable. Default false. server: a string with the hostname of the memcached server. Can also be an array of hostnames, if you've got more than one server.
You can get a significant boost in performance using Sphinx Search instead of your database server to search for users and notices. <http://sphinxsearch.com/>.
enabled: Set to true to enable. Default false. server: a string with the hostname of the sphinx server. port: an integer with the port number of the sphinx server.
A catch-all for integration with other systems.
source: The name to use for the source of posts to Twitter. Defaults to 'laconica', but if you request your own source name from Twitter <http://twitter.com/help/request_source>, you can use that here instead. Status updates on Twitter will then have links to your site.
For notice inboxes.
enabled: A three-valued flag for whether to use notice inboxes (see upgrading info above for notes about this change). Can be 'false', 'true', or '"transitional"'.
For notice-posting throttles.
enabled: Whether to throttle posting. Defaults to false. count: Each user can make this many posts in 'timespan' seconds. So, if count is 100 and timespan is 3600, then there can be only 100 posts from a user every hour. timespan: see 'count'.
banned: an array of usernames and/or profile IDs of 'banned' profiles. The site will reject any notices by these users -- they will not be accepted at all. (Compare with blacklisted users above, whose posts just won't show up in the public stream.)
The primary output for Laconica is syslog, unless you configured a separate logfile. This is probably the first place to look if you're getting weird behaviour from Laconica.
If you're tracking the unstable version of Laconica in the git repository (see below), and you get a compilation error ("unexpected T_STRING") in the browser, check to see that you don't have any conflicts in your code.
If you upgraded to Laconica 0.7.1 without reading the "Notice inboxes" section above, and all your users' 'Personal' tabs are empty, read the "Notice inboxes" section above.
These are some myths you may see on the Web about Laconica. Documentation from the core team about Laconica has been pretty sparse, so some backtracking and guesswork resulted in some incorrect assumptions.
- "Set $config['db']['debug'] = 5 to debug the database." This is an extremely bad idea. It's a tool built into DB_DataObject that will emit oodles of print lines directly to the browser of your users. Among these lines will be your database username and password. Do not enable this option on a production Web site for any reason.
- "Edit dataobject.ini with the following settings..." dataobject.ini is a development file for the DB_DataObject framework and is not used by the running software. It was removed from the Laconica distribution because its presence was confusing. Do not bother configuring dataobject.ini, and do not put your database username and password into the file on a production Web server; unscrupulous persons may try to read it to get your passwords.
If you're adventurous or impatient, you may want to install the development version of Laconica. To get it, use the git version control tool <http://git-scm.com/> like so:
git clone http://laconi.ca/software/laconica.git
To keep it up-to-date, use 'git pull'. Watch for conflicts!
There are several ways to get more information about Laconica.
- There is a mailing list for Laconica developers and admins at http://mail.laconi.ca/mailman/listinfo/laconica-dev
- The #laconica IRC channel on freenode.net <http://www.freenode.net/>.
- The Laconica wiki, http://laconi.ca/trac/
- Microblogging messages to http://identi.ca/evan are very welcome.
- Laconica's Trac server has a bug tracker for any defects you may find, or ideas for making things better. http://laconi.ca/trac/
- e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org will usually be read and responded to very quickly, unless the question is really hard.
The following is an incomplete list of developers who've worked on Laconi.ca. Apologies for any oversight; please let email@example.com know if anyone's been overlooked in error.
- Evan Prodromou, founder and lead developer, Control Yourself, Inc.
- Zach Copley, Control Yourself, Inc.
- Earle Martin, Control Yourself, Inc.
- Marie-Claude Doyon, designer, Control Yourself, Inc.
- Sarven Capadisli, Control Yourself, Inc.
- Robin Millette, Control Yourself, Inc.
- Ciaran Gultnieks
- Michael Landers
- Ori Avtalion
- Garret Buell
- Mike Cochrane
- Matthew Gregg
- Florian Biree
- Erik Stambaugh
- Gina Haeussge
- Tryggvi Björgvinsson
- Adrian Lang
- Ori Avtalion
- Meitar Moscovitz
- Ken Sheppardson (Trac server, man-about-town)
- Tiago 'gouki' Faria (i18n managerx)
- Sean Murphy
Thanks also to the developers of our upstream library code and to the thousands of people who have tried out Identi.ca, installed Laconi.ca, told their friends, and built the Open Microblogging network to what it is today.