pywws.service.mastodon

Post messages to Mastodon.

Mastodon is a micro-blogging system that at first sight looks a bit like Twitter. In many ways it’s quite different though. This module sends “toots”, with optional image files, typically to report on weather conditions every hour.

  • Create account: https://joinmastodon.org/

  • Additional dependency: https://mastodonpy.readthedocs.io/

  • Example weather.ini configuration:

    [mastodon]
    handle = [email protected]
    client_id = xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    client_secret = xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    access_token = xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    
    [hourly]
    text = ['toot.txt', 'tweet_media.txt', '24hrs.txt']
    plot = ['tweet.png.xml', '24hrs.png.xml', 'rose_12hrs.png.xml']
    services = [('mastodon', 'toot.txt'), ('twitter', 'tweet_media.txt'),
                ('ftp', '24hrs.png', 'rose_12hrs.png', '24hrs.txt')]
    

Create an account

Before creating a Mastodon account for your weather reports you need to choose an “instance”. Mastodon is a federated system, running on many interconnected servers, each of which is called an instance. Choose one whose rules allow “bots” (i.e. automated posts) such as botsin.space. After creating an account, edit its profile and make sure the “this is a bot account” box is selected.

The pywws.service.mastodon module requires you to install an additional dependency:

sudo pip install mastodon.py

Authorise pywws

Before you can send “toots” you need to authorise pywws to post to your account. If you run pywws on a low power device such as a Raspberry Pi, you may find it easier to run this authorisation step on another computer, as long as it has the required dependencies installed. You can use an empty ‘data’ directory – a weather.ini file will be created whose contents can be copied into your real weather.ini file using any text editor.

Make sure no other pywws software is running, then run the module with the -r option. (Remember to replace data_dir with your data directory.)

python -m pywws.service.mastodon -r data_dir

The first time you do this it will probably crash because you haven’t set your Mastodon “handle” in weather.ini. Edit weather.ini and add your handle as shown above, then run the module with the -r option again.

This will open a web browser window (or give you a URL to copy to your web browser) where you can log in to your Mastodon account and authorise pywws to post. If the login is successful the browser will display a long code string which you then copy to pywws:

[email protected]:~$ python3 -m pywws.service.mastodon -r weather_data
07:45:34:pywws.logger:pywws version 18.8.0, build 1564 (5bfc528)
Please enter the auth code shown in your web browser: 12573ba24341b5de2a1f2930fc93889c3576af7b50ecd9d713fa502d773805b4
[email protected]:~$ 

The access_token value stored in weather.ini gives access to your Mastodon account and should be kept confidential.

Create a template

A “toot” is a short text of up to 500 characters. It’s up to you what to put in your “toots” but an example is included to get your started. Copy the example template toot.txt to your template directory, then edit it to suit your preferences. (At least change the hashtags to suit your location.) You should also check it uses the same text encoding as your other templates. The example template includes a media line to send a graph. Either remove this or copy the example graph template tweet.png.xml to your graph templates directory, if you don’t already have one there.

Now generate a toot file from your template, for example:

python -m pywws.template ~/weather/data ~/weather/templates/toot.txt toot.txt
cat toot.txt

Post your first toot

Now you are ready to run pywws.service.mastodon:

python -m pywws.service.mastodon ~/weather/data toot.txt

If this works, your new Mastodon account will have posted its first weather report. (You can delete the toot.txt file now.)

Add Mastodon posts to your hourly tasks

Edit the [hourly] section in weather.ini. If your toots include one or more graphs you need to add the graph templates to the plot list. Note that if you reuse your Twitter graph you only need to generate it once. Add your toot template to the text list. Finally, add mastodon to the services list, with an option specifying the template processing result. For example:

[hourly]
text = ['toot.txt']
plot = ['tweet.png.xml']
services = [('mastodon', 'toot.txt')]

You could use the [logged], [12 hourly] or [daily] sections instead, but I think [hourly] is most appropriate for Mastodon updates.

Add more images

Mastodon allows up to four images per “toot”, so you could add more graphs, or a webcam image, or a weather forecast icon. Use one media line per image at the start of your toot template. You need to give the full path of any files that are not in your “output” directory (a subdirectory of your work directory called output).

Classes

ToService(context[, check_params])
class pywws.service.mastodon.ToService(context, check_params=True)[source]

Bases: pywws.service.FileService

config = {'access_token': (None, True, None), 'handle': ('', True, None)}
logger = <Logger pywws.service.mastodon (WARNING)>
service_name = 'mastodon'
session()[source]

Context manager factory function for a batch of one or more uploads.

This makes it easy to ensure any resources such as an internet connection are properly closed after a batch of uploads. Use the contextlib.contextmanager() decorator when you implement this method.

For a typical example, see the source code of the pywws.service.openweathermap module. If your upload can’t benefit from a session object yield None, as in pywws.service.copy.

upload_file(session, filename)[source]
register()[source]

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