Taproot is Barnaby Walters’ publishing software, written in PHP 5.4 and driving most of waterpigs.co.uk. It is not currently released to the public. However, various parts of it have been extracted into libraries:
I got sick of all the complicated frameworkey nonsense which was accumulating in taproot. Symptoms:
not immediately knowing where to look to change any one particular bit of functionality
having to change things in different packages+deploy+update to do simple functionality changes
too many layers of abstraction+indirection — specifically, mixing abstraction layers
no longer fun to work on, simple additions take too much time
And as such I am rewriting taproot to be smaller and flatter and saner.
Documentation of the aforementioned frameworkey nonsense is retained for posterity at the bottom of the page.
Mentions are stored separately from the content they refer to, for ease of editing and moderation. They’re stored with a flattened h-entry-like representation of them which can be easily used in various contexts.
The HTML and HTTP headers from cachable (i.e. public) URLs which are fetched (e.g. webmentioned or webmentioners) are stored in an archive, which also acts as a cache.
Incoming webmentions are processed by a mentions module, which does the following things:
parses microformats on the page, looks for the first h-entry. if found, it’s flattened, normalised and purified to avoid XSS attacks
from rel values/u-* values in the h-entry, determine the primary mention relationship type, which is one of reply, rsvp, like, repost or mention — mention is used as a fallback if no more specific one is given
gives the mention an ID based on the source URI, target URI and current datetime
stores the mention in a file containing the source, target, resolved target path and normalised h-entry
Query the index for rows where the resolved path matches the path of the URL we’re looking for
use the rows given to either determine mention type counts for the URL, or fetch the associated files and parse to get the h-entry data for displaying
Modules all store their data in flat files (usually YAML) which I index in CSV file indexes, read/written using PHP’s fgetcsv and fputcsvfunctions, which are surprisingly speedy.
For content which has an intrinsic name (like pieces of music, contacts or blog posts) I tend to use an ASCII-fied slug of the name for the ID, generated using Helpers::toAscii. Otherwise (for notes) I create a <= six-character ID from the newbase60 representation of epoch days + number of seconds into that day.
The data is all stored in a microformats-2 JSON variant structure which is substantially flatter than mf2 JSON — all properties are properties of the parent object, not a properties key, there is no “children” key and only plural properties map to arrays. I keep most of the semantics the same except on the occasions where I prefer a different term (tag over category) or want to aggregate the properties from what would be multiple different mf properties into one (e.g. combining geo, adr and venue into “location”).
Originally I intended on using the activitystreams schema to store and represent all my content, the idea being that it would allow me to make listeners which could work seamlessly on all sorts of content types. In actuality, I have nowhere near as many content types as I anticipated, and want to treat each one very differently. In addition to this, I found some of the semantics within activitystreams irritating (e.g. displayName vs title, both horrible names) and the activity ~= object ambiguity confusing. Coupled with the fact that there is no activitystreams client, I decided to drop activitystreams as the basis for representing my data. --Waterpigs.co.uk 12:33, 14 June 2013 (PDT)
Previous, abandoned structure
Taproot has a highly modular structure. It is made up of an Application class, which handles event dispatching, simple dependency injection, routing and module loading. There are two types of modules — full modules, which expose URLs, and listeners, which listen to events dispatched within taproot.
Currently there are modules for Index, Notes, Articles, Contacts, Tunes, Tags and Mentions.
There are a large number of listeners which handle everything from authentication to POSSE and content transformation. Typically if I want to add a new piece of functionality I’ll do it in a listener, if I want to add a new content type I’ll create a new module.
(out of date as of 2013-12)
The Notes module is the mainstay of my Taproot usage. It handles the creation and display of short notes — kinda like tweets, but with a potentially much larger scope through the excessive use of tagging.
As in most of Taproot, the notes module handles basic CRUDL of data, and various listeners do everything else, including converting markdown, interpreting hashtags, autolinking @names, syndication of content.
Posting a note looks like this:
A still of the posting UI just after the note has saved: