Note by Apollia on Nov. 8, 2023: Please join my Patreon if you'd like to support me and my work!

My main personal website is now I'm still not sure what to do with Astroblahhh.Com, so it's mostly staying as-is for now.

Blog Main Archive - Jun 2018

Posts Below
6/4/2018 - Heard that GitHub will be acquired by Microsoft, so I deleted all my GitHub repos (Software - News)
6/28/2018 - My modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment (Software)


   ▲ Top  ▼ Bottom  △ TOC   ↓ Down
Heard that GitHub will be acquired by Microsoft, so I deleted all my GitHub repos
Monday, June 4th, 2018
06:41:59 GMT


Last modified July 9, 2018, 10:00 PM EDT.

(June 23, 2018, 7:30 AM EDT: Finally released this: GitList and Gitolite Setup on DreamHost Shared Web Hosting)

I recently heard that Microsoft is going to acquire GitHub, one of my favorite websites:

Microsoft Will Acquire Coding Site GitHub
June 3, 2018, from

This worries me, partly because Microsoft is such a titan of closed source software.

And also because I can think of at least 3 websites I also loved which unfortunately were acquired then shut down by a big company - the streaming music service MOG, the language-learning website Livemocha, and the Gaia social networking site (formerly known as Zaadz).

Even before I heard about this, keeping my stuff on GitHub had already been somewhat bothering me for a while.

Especially after mid-April 2018, when very important features of GitHub's website suddenly temporarily stopped working in my favorite web browser, Pale Moon.

I almost gave up on GitHub then. But GitHub went back to normal in Pale Moon so soon that I (probably unwisely) relaxed and just kept using GitHub, even though I really knew better. I just wasn't in the mood to try to figure out how to set up my own hosting for my Git repos.

And I actually still am not really in the mood to do that. But, at least the various things I've been working on, such as the renovated APSK (Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit) - which I made huge progress with in April and May - and my very convenient VirtualBox Guest Setup Scripts - will probably make it much easier for me to figure out how to host my Git repos on my own websites.

I also would like to start publishing things on (where I might try to present myself and my work in a way that seems more appealing to potential employers or clients than Astroblahhh.Com probably does - not that I really want to work on anything except my own projects at the moment) or at least - which might end up being the hopefully improved successor to Astroblahhh.Com.

All that might take a while, though, so, for now, here's a big zip file of nearly all the repos I had on GitHub, downloaded soon before I deleted them from GitHub:

Apollia-GitHub-Repos - 2018_6_4 01,32,47
About 32 MiB, hosted on Dropbox

The file's SHA-512 checksum:

And here's the Git repo of my modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment - in a separate zip file, since it's so big:

Apollia-Modified-Version-of-VUE-Visual-Understanding-Environment-2018_6_4 02,01,35
About 410 MiB, hosted on Dropbox

The file's SHA-512 checksum:

Addition, June 27, 2018, 9:00 PM EDT. Here's my modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment converted to a bare Git repo to make it smaller:

Apollia-Modified-Version-of-VUE-Visual-Understanding-Environment--Bare-Git-Repo - 2018_6_27 20,15,17
About 344 MiB, hosted on Dropbox

It's exactly the same repo as the previous zip download, but making it into a bare repo shrinks it to around 344 MiB instead of around 410 MiB. However, you'll have to convert it back to a normal Git repo to use it.

I only have 2 GiB of space available in my free Dropbox account, so, I will probably have to delete the 410 MiB zip file at some point to make room for other files.

The file's SHA-512 checksum:

End of addition.

Until is designed and working, Astroblahhh.Com is still my primary personal website.

So far, I have some vague ideas of what to do with and I definitely don't want to have to use my web browser or FTP software to update my websites anymore.

One of my favorite things about GitHub (even though it has a really excellent web interface) was the fact that all I had to do to upload updates to my repos was type commands into my GNU/Linux system's own console window. And I probably could have automated that if I really wanted to.

So, I think I might end up somehow using Git (which is not the same thing as GitHub) to maintain and

Additions, June 4, 2018, 7:15(?) AM/7:32 AM EDT. Here's a somewhat comforting article:

Microsoft buying GitHub doesn't scare me
June 4, 2018 from

So, maybe GitHub will be OK? I hope so.

But, I still want to figure out how to host my own Git repos on my own websites. I always thought that's something I ought to learn how to do.

Additions, June 6, 2018, 2:20 AM/11:08 AM EDT. Here's an article that increases my doubts about Microsoft's intentions:

Microsoft are leaving the Minecraft you know behind
June 12, 2017, from

Anyway, I'm definitely not going back to hosting my repos on GitHub. I still haven't really tried very hard yet to move to a GitHub replacement, nor even looked very hard yet.

But, I plan to try GitList, which is written in PHP, so I'm hoping it will be easy to set up not only on my own computer, but also on my web host, so I can continue to easily share my programming projects with the world.

I also might try GitPrep, which is written in Perl, a language I still like, even though PHP is still my favorite.

Several years ago, I thought I liked Mercurial more than Git, since the commands in Mercurial overall seemed easier to understand and remember.

But now, I like using both, often in the same repo - Mercurial for private stuff that's too messy and unpolished to consider releasing, and Git for updates I'm OK with publishing (even though many of those updates were rather messy and unpolished too).

I'm so accustomed to this arrangement now, that's the top reason I'm probably not going to switch to using Mercurial for public updates.

Additions, June 9, 2018, 2:15 PM/5:01 PM EDT. Here's a GitHub repo for GitHub evacuees:


For a while, it was #1 on GitHub's trending repos list, and it appeared in the GitHub Explore email newsletters I received on June 4, 5, and 6.

Oddly, the repo suddenly vanished from the trending repo list and newsletter, despite the fact that the repo's number of stars still seemed to be growing fast. So, I wonder if GitHub censored it?

The repo used to have an Issues section, but quite understandably, the owner didn't want to have to keep moderating lots of arguments which distracted from the main purpose of the repo.

Another problem was that GitHub doesn't make it easy to export all the posts from a repo's Issues section, so continuing to use the Issues section would have only made it more difficult to quit using GitHub for discussions.

Thanks for all the replies to my issue post, formerly at GitHub alternatives for shared web hosts!

Here's a summary of people's suggestions:

And here are the software links and info I posted:

Posted June 6, 2018, 10:18 AM EDT:

What free (as in freedom), libre, open source GitHub alternatives might work best on shared web hosts, or could most easily be modified to work well on a shared web host?

I haven't tried any yet, so I'm not sure how well these will work, but these 3 seem like possibilities:

* GitList, written in PHP:

* GitPrep, written in Perl:

* Phabricator, written in PHP -

However, the Phabricator Installation Guide says:

"A Shared Host: This may work, but is not recommended. Many shared hosting environments have restrictions which prevent some of Phabricator's features from working. Consider using a normal computer instead. We do not support shared hosts."

Still, I'm mentioning it because perhaps it might be possible to make a version of Phabricator that would definitely work well on a shared web host.

I'm also interested in anything that could possibly be useful in building a GitHub alternative for shared web hosts. Like this:

* Gitter, written in PHP -


"Gitter allows you to interact in an object oriented manner with Git repositories via PHP."

Thanks for any ideas!

Posted June 7, 2018, 3:05 PM EDT:

Might be a useful component of a GitHub alternative for a shared web host:

* Gitolite, written in Perl -

Quotes from the Gitolite Overview page:

"Gitolite is an access control layer on top of git."

"Can be installed without root access, assuming git and perl are already installed."

"Gitolite is useful in any server that is going to host multiple git repositories, each with many developers, where "anyone can do anything to any repo" is not a good idea."

End of quotes.

I never used the Go language (or "Golang") before. But, I read that Go can be used on DreamHost, my shared web host which I've been happily using since 2006.

Here's a very detailed forum post about that:

How to run Go language programs on DreamHost servers using FastCGI
From Sept. 11, 2017 at

So, maybe there's a chance Gitea or Gogs might work on DreamHost shared hosting?

The Gitea and Gogs home pages each say they have "low minimal requirements and can run on an inexpensive Raspberry Pi."

So, that sounds promising, since on shared hosting, it's important not to use too many resources.

I'm not sure if DreamHost's shared hosting has enough Java features enabled for Gitblit to work.

So far, I've had some good luck getting GitList (written in PHP) working on a test website on DreamHost shared web hosting.

I like the nice, easy interface, and the fact that it's written in my favorite language, PHP, which will probably make it easier for me to modify.

I think Gitea and Gogs have more features, but GitList might be all I need, at least for now. And if I stick with GitList, I won't have to try to make Go work on DreamHost.

Next, I want to see if I can get Gitolite (written in Perl) working, since for extra security, I'd like to limit edit access to my repos to exclusively my own IP address.

Additions, June 10, 2018, 1:00 PM/1:03 PM EDT. Happily, I was able to get Gitolite working on my test website on DreamHost shared web hosting.

I still have much more to learn about how to use and configure Gitolite. But, I'm hoping I'll soon figure things out well enough to publish some new Git repos containing documentation of how I got GitList and Gitolite to work on my websites.

Thanks to the creators of GitList and Gitolite, and all the authors of web pages which helped me figure out how to install and use them!

Additions, June 11, 2018, 10:04/10:06 PM EDT. This is taking longer than I hoped, I guess largely because I'm very stressed out, have once again been getting increasingly fatigued, and I haven't been eating very well lately.

Donations and microdonations are welcome.

Additions, June 11, 2018, 10:58 PM/10:59 PM EDT. Anyway, I think I need to just give up on trying to set everything up perfectly. I can't even figure out how to make my Apache web server .htaccess files work the way I want them to.

I guess I'm also going to give up (for now) on the idea of publishing documentation of how I set this stuff up, since everything just seems too hard at the moment.

Additions, June 12, 2018, 7:55 AM/9:54 AM EDT. Before sleep, I finally got one of the .htaccess files I was struggling with working. Was too tired to announce how much better that suddenly made me feel.

Got some sleep, and am definitely not feeling as fatigued as I used to get. So, hopefully I'll soon get much better as long as I strive to eat well enough, replenish my recently-lost iron, and avoid stress and putting too much pressure on myself to get things done fast and perfectly.

And maybe take more breaks, even though making progress with my projects often relaxes me a lot more than escapism does. Though quite probably my projects are themselves a form of escapism (probably avoidance of taking a more direct, obvious, and relatively more conventional approach to attempting to solve my eternal money problems), since I think I definitely qualify as a structured procrastinator, a concept described in one of the best self-help books I ever read, The Art of Procrastination. I don't know if I ever read another self-help book which described me so well.

So, I should probably just stop ever publicly declaring what my current priorities are, because quite often when I do that, I start to feel burdened by the top priorities and want to escape them and do something else instead.

A TV show I recently watched had some great quotes about how strength is nothing without faith. Basically about how even if you actually have everything you need to overcome whatever problems you're facing, you might still mistakenly think all is lost if you have too little faith. And "You've got strength, all you need is some faith" (paraphrased from memory).

I thought that was really comforting, so, I just thought I'd write it down here, in case it helps anyone else, and also to remind me of it if/when I forget it again.

Additions, June 12, 2018, 12:05 PM/1:24 PM EDT. I just got a promotional email from the Simple Programmer mailing list regarding this $29 course.

Quoted from that email (with bold not added by me):

"Am I hurting my career if I don't have a carefully crafted LinkedIn profile that properly presents my skills, passions and experience?

Then the answer is an unequivocal YES.

LinkedIn is one of the "Big Three" (along with Github and your blog) that every developer must have in their promotional platform."

Even if Microsoft wasn't the owner (or soon becoming the owner) of two of those three things (and besides that, Microsoft could easily afford to tempt possibly most developers to sell their own blogs) - I would still find the above very dismaying.

I think no one's career should be dependent on digital sharecropping on a website controlled by anyone other than yourself - even if that controller isn't Microsoft.

But, fortunately, we software engineers (especially the ones who are much better at programming than I am) are far from helpless to do something about this. We actually can build our own platforms and set ourselves and everyone else free!

Dilberts of the world, it's time to rebel! :-D

Just imagine what Dilbert could achieve if he quit his job and started a free (as in freedom), libre, open source software company along with Alice and maybe even Wally, who I suspect might secretly be very competent, if Wally would use his intelligence for more noble goals than just duping his corporate overlords into paying him for doing hardly anything. :-)

Addition, June 22, 2018, 5:43 PM EDT. I'm finally done setting up GitList and Gitolite on


Addition, June 23, 2018, 7:23 AM/7:30 AM EDT. And here are my setup scripts and documentation:

GitList and Gitolite Setup on DreamHost Shared Web Hosting

Making that was a lot of work, but, it made it possible for me to set up all these other GitList/Gitolite installations pretty fast: Where I someday might put only my favorite or most impressive-seeming work, to try to entice people to hire me, buy products from me, or send donations or microdonations to me. Perhaps this is where I should put software which actually has Astroblahhh in its name, like Astroblahhh Desktop. The future home of the Eryss astrology software. A fitting place for things related to sleep issues, like my Primitive Relative Scheduler script.

   ▲ Top  ▼ Bottom  △ TOC   ↓ Down

   ▲ Top  ▼ Bottom  △ TOC   Up ↑
My modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
05:05:25 GMT


Last modified June 28, 2018 at 6:27 AM EDT.

Finally, here's an already-compiled copy of my modified version of the wonderful concept mapping software VUE: Visual Understanding Environment, along with some other useful things.

However, it's still nowhere near as easy to install and run as I would like - sorry about that!

Also, I still consider myself mostly a newbie to Java programming. I tried my best, but it's quite possible there might be glitches in it that are my fault.

But, I've been happily using this modified version of VUE almost daily, with no changes to the code since Feb. 22, 2017, and I haven't yet noticed any serious problems:

VUE---Modified-by-Apollia---Feb-23-2017 - 2018_6_27 23,36,57
Around 34 MiB, hosted on Dropbox

The file's SHA-512 checksum:

And here's the source code of my modified version of VUE:

Since VUE is Java software, it should run in just about any operating system you can use Java in - though probably not with all of VUE's features working right.

And I'm not sure how to use the Pro-Grade security manager library in other operating systems besides the two Puppy Linuxes I most often use.

My version of VUE can work without the Pro-Grade security manager library, but I don't trust Java's excessive-seeming permissiveness, so I much prefer using VUE with Pro-Grade.

(I also like using Pro-Grade for debugging, since it can generate log files that provide clues about what VUE is doing, or trying to do.)

I was easily able to run my modified version of VUE in non-virtual Windows XP without the Pro-Grade security manager library. (And I'm guessing it probably works in Windows XP inside a VirtualBox also, since the unmodified VUE definitely did.)

And it definitely works nicely in Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 and Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004, with the Pro-Grade security manager library.

However, even with those (the two Puppy Linuxes I most often use), it's still nowhere near as effortlessly easy to install and try out as I would like it to be.

But, hopefully it will be once I'm done renovating APSK - Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit.

Ideally, I'd like to make it possible to easily compile all this stuff yourself from source code, with APSK walking you through the process, and optionally automating some of the boring parts that it's possible to automate. (But that might take quite a while for me to build.)

Now that I deleted all of my Git repos from GitHub and moved most of them to my own website instead, you can observe a lot of my progress with various projects here:

You can even download things and try them out, even though a lot of that stuff isn't done yet.

But many (like my modified version of VUE) are quite done enough to be useful, and for me to use them very frequently.

Someday, I'll get around to labeling them all better. (One thing I forgot to save from GitHub was the short descriptions of my repos, so I'm going to have to rewrite a lot of them.)

   ▲ Top  ▼ Bottom  △ TOC   Up ↑


Note by Apollia on Nov. 8, 2023: Please join my Patreon if you'd like to support me and my work!

My main personal website is now I'm still not sure what to do with Astroblahhh.Com, so it's mostly staying as-is for now.