Vincent Ritter

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Gluon for Micro.blog

An app for both iOS and Android, built on React Native, for Micro.blog.

Gluon is a highly opinionated, but customisable, cross platform app for iOS and Android for Micro.blog.

If you’d like to find out more, please visit the Gluon website. Or keep scrolling to read the development blog.

With Gluon, you can do the following:

* Posting is available for Micro.blog hosted sites only. Posting to third-party blogs is coming soon.

Project posts

I just pushed out Gluon 2020.3 Build 3 on TestFlight. It includes an experimental image proxy. Read about it here. Just testing this as a proof of concept at the moment and see myself adding extra options on the settings page for this also.

After a bit of experimenting… here are some preliminary results on one image using the Gluon Image Proxy:

This post on Micro.blog, has an image at a size of ~ 689.5KB. That’s not bad. However, most of the time we don’t need the full size image in the timeline. Here is original image of that post.

The image is 1800px wide and 1350px high. However, on a phone screen, which is only around 375 wide (for what I display with padding etc)… we don’t need to load the full sized image.

So, before the image loads on the phone, I pass the URL to the Gluon API including the width that I need, including a small multiplier (in our case *2 = 750px because of the 2x screen density on most phones). This will be device specific.

The API then passes back a URL for me that I can load with the resized image via the Gluon image CDN. This is the image resized for the above post. Note that URL’s are signed so this is the only image you can guess 😋

The image size is… 98.8KB. That’s a saving of nearly 600KB!

I’ll be rolling this out to TestFlight today, so I can experiment with it and get your feedback.

Note that opening images will load the full size image.

Currently working on an image proxy for Gluon that would allow me to resize images, that show on the timeline, instantly and be served via CDN. Going to experiment with it in the next TestFlight build. Useful if you don’t want to server a full size image.

And so it begins… the first version of Gluon 2020.3 TestFlight is coming soon.

Gluon version 2020.2 is rolling out to Android, here are the release notes. Now I can slowly start work on the next version…

Discover More Feed, used in Gluon, now available publicly.

I worked on a very basic feed, that will be used in Gluon in the next release, for the “discover more” section found in the app. Those are the emoji tagged topics that you can find on Micro.blog, including any word based topics too.

If anyone finds it useful and wants to use the same feed in their own app or service, you’re more than welcome to use it. If you do, let me know because I like to keep an eye on it - and I may change a few things around without notice… if I don’t know about you.

It’s super simple, and apologies in advance for the lack of code blocks on my site - will work on that!

To get the feed, head here:

https://gluon.app/feeds/discovery.json

It’s super simple, giving you the following data points in JSON:

And that’s it really. Of note, the order of items depends how I set them - which is the way they show up in Gluon. So I’ll be tweaking that manually.

There is an option to query “emoji only” and “words only”, like so:

Good if you want to keep it separate.

I am planning to add categories to it also at some stage… but I’m getting ahead of myself once again!

As with everything in life I suggest you don’t rely on this feed being available all the time, even though this very rarely happens, because I do the occasional maintenance or other things out of my control. So I suggest you try and grab the data and save it on device and use the local data/model from that point onwards. Then try updating the feed and updating your local data/model accordingly. I also suggest you have a basic hardcoded list available to you if initial sync doesn’t work (just copy and paste my response) - and you can just use that until the server is back.

Anyway, I hope some of you may find it useful. I do! ✌️

Worked on the Gluon website yesterday morning. Added some highlighted features on the homepage (just scroll down) and also added Release Notes. I’m not 100% on the content yet… and will tweak as I go and come up with better wording. Feedback is very much welcome 😄

Been looking at the Android build for Gluon. All changes, except two, work nicely. Super thankful for that. The iOS tweaks I made for the timelines also gives it a great speed improvement. Will try and ship an Android update later this week.

Put in Gluon version 2020.2 for review last night on iOS. Was super quick to go through!

Worked on a few tweaks for Gluon on iOS today. Waiting for the TestFlight build to be approved for testing. Not too many changes as I want to bring the store version up to date in the next week (because the current TestFlight version has many more changes).

Namely focused on the mute list/filter. It’s way faster now and you don’t have to wait so much anymore! I would love to say a 1000% increase in speed 😋 I rewrote the way the posts are filtered because I rushed it a bit when Apple flagged it up and they wanted it within the app. Anyway, happy with the result.

Also added a review link at the bottom of the settings page, which takes you to the App Store.

Hopefully will land in your laps soon.

Also want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to every single one of you that rated the app and wrote a review so far! ❤️

Thank you so very much to everyone getting back to me and commenting on the launch of Gluon. You are the best people I could wish for, for using the app! ❤️

Gluon for Micro.blog now available

It’s time friends! Apple has finally approved Gluon after much hiatus. So here I am, pleased to announced that Gluon for Micro.blog is now available on the App Store!

To be honest, I was disheartened by the struggles to get it past app review. So I want to give a special thank you to everyone that has commented and given me hope. I especially want to thank Manton for helping here. Thank you so very much!

Whilst I feel I have been driving app development, I also strongly, and truly, feel that we all worked on this together to make an awesome app for Micro.blog. Thank you to all my early beta testers, and all new folks that have come aboard on TestFlight and Android!

The app is free for anyone to download and use. Whilst I wanted to charge up-front for the app, I feel that free is the way. I want more people to join Micro.blog whilst using a great app! I am planning, if you’re interested, some sort of “tip jar” at a later stage. If you want to support me - spread the word and perhaps leave a review in the App Store of your choosing. I would greatly appreciate it.

If you’re using the TestFlight version, please note that the App Store version is a few builds behind. Feel free to stay on the TestFlight for now until I push out another version to the store. Just a general note that I will be changing the TestFlight release cycle soon and I’ll announce more in the coming weeks.

Anyway, super excited and happy that Gluon is now available for both Android and iOS. 🥳

I have so many things planned for the app, now that it’s “official” - so watch this space.

So… get downloading and recommending (if you’d like… no pressure):

From the bottom of my heart, once again, THANK YOU ❤️

- Vincent

Took a bit of time to reply to Apple App Review regarding Gluon today.

I’m not going to pretend that I’m in a “happy” mood about it to them, so they got the honest answer and I was to the point. I don’t want to play pretend “all is fine, thank you”.

Let’s see.

And just to follow up that rejection, the previous build of Gluon was only flagged for using the “Micro.blog” name - so they were clearly happy with my blocking integration.

Gluon was… Rejected. Reasons… for the exact same ones than the initial rejection… even though the app now includes all the blocking features they asked for. I am lost for words 😶