The world in prose

Oct 23, 2023

It might seem like more of the same, but I assure you it’s not. Writing with only one terminal open is a joy, it has something romantic and melancholic about it. No one has asked for my email or knows my name. You access the Prose community using your SSH keys and it deploys a simple, no-frills frontend but, oh friend, it is enormously beautiful for someone who doesn't need to impress or sell you anything at all in this weird era.

I've spent more than a decade building modern and so intuitive interfaces that, on many occasions, I've reached a level of detail that would have been insulting had I put myself in the shoes of the possibly indifferent end user.

Today, I see the beauty of the basic but intelligently developed. Hey, let’s not forget we are talking about a blog. Nothing to do with beer.

We Internet lovers go through disparate moments: on one hand, immersed in information automation with Machine Learning and in the (lack of) control of money with blockchain. On the other hand, Web 1.0 ceased to exist a long time ago. Impure social networks flood our digital experience in a complete dystopia where the absurd reigns: guided by ideological slogans, muddy entertainment for empty minds that promote neo and pseudo ideologies without any depth to fragment and silence those who have something decent to say.

Prose is just a banal example but it can be a useful weapon for those who enjoy the smell of the trenches. Something akin to decentralization with a community of thinking people, like my friend Dani whom you can find at El Bestiario de Robledo. Also, hey, we have a cool Discover system where you can be easily found, although I warn you, it’s the only social tavern thing you’ll get to taste.

I hope these lines have whet your appetite. If so, and you opt for the red pill, let's see how far the rabbit hole goes.

Let's go with prose

Some very light computer concepts are taken for granted if you want to embark on this tuna boat. If some technicalities sounded like Chinese to you, here we go:

  • As we discussed, Prose uses your SSH (Secure Shell) keys to generate your user, hence you can start sharing what you have to tell the world. Or your cousin. The SSH key is made up of two "subkeys", one private and one public. The first resides on your machine and the second is collected by the server where you want to operate, Prose in this case. More about SSH here: SSH Academy
  • To communicate with the server, we use SCP (Secure Copy): a widely used tool in the Linux ecosystem that allows data transfer within the same network (which we have accessed thanks to our glorious SSH).
  • The text format of each page or post is done through markdown: An incredibly elegant markup language that essentially "translates" different special characters to HTML on the fly, so you don’t have to deal with cumbersome tags or annoying interfaces. This very writing format is a statement of what Prose is: a bet on intelligent and rounded simplicity. Find more about this in this small tutorial.

Quick tutorial

Getting started is really easy once you have clear the concepts above. If not, I recommend reviewing them before creating your account, as you could end up drowning with that tequila shot.

  1. Verify that you already have an SSH key available on your machine. Open a terminal and type this on your Linux or MacOS (I trust your Sherlock Holmes instinct to find the right commands if you are a Windows user): $ cat ~/.ssh/

  2. If it doesn’t return any key, you'll have to create one with: $ ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -C ""

  3. Follow the terminal instructions to finish the process and, if you are a MacOS user, make sure to link your private key with the ssh agent like this: $ ssh-add --apple-use-keychain ~/.ssh/id_ed25519

  4. To create your account, you just have to connect via SSH to the Prose CMS: $ ssh

  5. Choose a unique username. This is not Twitter, jamonserrano is probably available. You can boast of originality for the rest of your days.

  6. Create a post with a .md format and copypaste this (or not): Hello, world! My first steps in Prose thanks to hayder Publish with: $ scp ~/blog-directory/*.md

  7. The public URL is available under the subdomain of your glorious user jamonserrano:

Wishing to have made you reflect on the possible use you are making of the Internet and having presented a beautiful alternative to the social circus, I say see you soon. And, if you want to share some idea with me or need a hand with Prose, I'll be delighted to help.

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