What's cooking on Sourcehut? April 2020

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Greetings! Another month passes and we progress closer still to the
beta. We are joined by 464 new users, bringing our new total to 13,659.
Please provide them with a warm welcome!

## General News

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the Q1 Financial Report[0],
published earlier this week. In other general news, I recently
overhauled our installation instructions[1], bringing them up to date
with changes since their original time of writing, and completing the
documentation overhaul I had planned. I hope you find these useful! We
were getting tired of correcting the docs all the time in IRC as people
were setting up their sr.ht instances.

[0]: https://sourcehut.org/blog/2020-04-13-sourcehut-q1-2020-financial-report/
[1]: https://man.sr.ht/installation.md

Additionally, throughout the site small improvements have been made:
tables in Markdown have been improved, as well as relative links and
embedded images from git repositories. The OAuth implementation has been
brought more into compliance with RFC 6750, and there have been minor
improvements for logged-out users.  Small responsiveness improvements
have also shipped throughout, improving the UI for mobile users.

## hub.sr.ht

hub.sr.ht is going quite well, and I hope to have an initial version
online for you to start using by the time I write the next edition of
"What's cooking". I've summarized the current state of the project in
this video:


There still remains a significant amount of work to do, but for the most
part it's clearly defined and just needs to be executed.

## git.sr.ht

After 6 months of work, five patches across 3 different projects, and
several thousand lines of code, I have finished adding custom backend
support[2] to pygit2[3], which unblocks a number of workstreams.
Accordingly, I've completed the first of these new workstreams by
introducing a new plumbing API to git.sr.ht, which offers low-level
access to git resources.  The rub is that you can create a custom pygit2
backend implementation which allows you to read and manipulate git
repositories like normal, but rather than storing the repository on your
local filesystem, it reaches out to the git.sr.ht API to complete I/O
operations remotely. This plumbing API remains undocumented for the time
being, but I hope to eventually stabilize it and make it available to
you for your own needs. I'm also happy to share that SourceHut has
become the first sponsor of the pygit2 project :)

[2]: https://github.com/libgit2/pygit2/pull/982
[3]: https://www.pygit2.org/

I have also begun work on a second API-related project, with git.sr.ht
as the testbed. The current set of APIs offered on SourceHut have long
since left their proof-of-concept stage and are now implemented broadly
enough to pull their drawbacks into relief. There's no time which will
be more perfect to revisit the API design than during the alpha, when
breaking changes are more tolerable. To this end, I've been writing an
experimental GraphQL-based API for git.sr.ht in Go. My initial
impressions are very optimistic - I'll write up my thoughts on GraphQL
in more detail later - and I think this would be a marked improvement
over our REST-based approach today, and maps very well onto our
distributed system design. If you're curious about this work, you can
see the current status on the graphql branch[4] of git.sr.ht. The schema
itself can be found here[5].

[4]: https://git.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/git.sr.ht/log/graphql
[5]: https://git.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/git.sr.ht/tree/graphql/api/graph/schema.graphqls

The approach isn't fully defined yet - there's a lot of experimental
code throughout, and it's changing rapidly. Writing this backend in Go
also gives me the opportunity to revisit a lot of drawbacks in the
Python codebase, and the result is a lot leaner and meaner than the
earlier implementation. If this ends up working out, we would be wise to
invest more in this architecture.

## builds.sr.ht

Image updates:

- freebsd/current has been removed. If you had used this image in the
  30 days preceding its deprecation, you should have received an email
  letting you know. If you run into any additional issues, be sure to
  reach out on sr.ht-discuss[6]

[6]: ~sircmpwn/sr.ht-discuss@lists.sr.ht

Some minor performance improvements to the web UI have also shipped this
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