Developer Toby Jaffey has launched a library that brings microcontrollers to the “Fediverse”, giving Espressif ESP32 users the ability to build devices capable of posting to the Mastodon social network: Lyuba.
“Liouba [is a] tooting library for ESP32”, the project’s official Mastodon account announcement this week. “Doing stuff like it’s 2014! By Toby Jaffey.”
Mastodon, and the Fediverse at large, have been garnering interest lately thanks to a controversial takeover of the microblogging service Twitter. Mastodon, one of the best-known examples of ActivityPub-based social networking services, which can federate to form the “Fediverse”, has exploded with new users – and now, thanks to Jaffey’s work, the Internet of objects (IoT) can have fun.
Toby Jaffey’s Lyuba enables ESP32 devices to post to Mastodon, the ActivityPub-based microblogging platform. (📷: Toby Jaffey)
Posting physical devices to Twitter is a common way to provide alerts or ongoing monitoring, and the Lyuba Library works the same way – but posts to Mastodon, where posts are jokingly called “toots”, via ActivityPub. As a federated service, anyone can run a Mastodon server – and, as you’d expect, Lyuba allows the user to post to any server the user has created an account on.
At the time of writing, Lyuba allows posting to Mastodon and compatible ActivityPub servers, but does not support receiving messages. A device running Lyuba is authenticated to the server and then a token stored in the ESP32’s flash memory for future use – with Jaffey warning that “Lyuba should be considered insecure [as] no certificate verification is performed and your Mastodon password is embedded in your firmware.”
Those who want to try the library can find the source code on the Ringtail Software GitHub repositoryunder the MIT Permissive License.