“All the News That’s Omg Lol”

Online Edition
As if we’d actually use ink for this?

Vol. 35 of 35
February 6, 2024 4:00 PM UTC

2024 omg.lol improvements

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s always nice to see things turn green again. While omg.lol won’t be turning green, there are a few transformations that will take place before too long. Let’s dig right in!

Login and account management

First up, the way you’ll sign into omg.lol is going to change. (Again, yeah.) Last year, riding the cutting edge wave of passkey tech implementation, I crumpled up the old omg.lol account management code and replaced it with the sparkly awesomeness that is Passage by 1Password. Passage is astoundingly simple authentication, powered by passkeys (with a nice email fallback). It’s a wonderful service, but my decision to just run with it was a little hasty. While it’s true that passkeys are inherently more secure than passwords, I’ve heard from many of you—loudly and clearly—that passwords still have their place in many people’s authentication processes (and hearts). It’s wonderful to see passkey adoption increasing, but for those who aren’t yet using them (either because they can’t or just don’t want to), I don’t want to offer a less-than-stellar login experience.

At the same time, I’m working on some other projects that will need authentication systems as well. So I thought, hey, why not feed two birds with one scone and build a standalone authentication thing that can service omg.lol and other stuff too! So that’s exactly what I’m working on, and before long, you’ll be using Neatnik Accounts to access omg.lol

Neatnik Accounts will be really nice. It’ll have everything you could possibly want: passkeys, passwords, time-based 2FA, magic links, and maybe a few other fun things that nobody’s tried yet (probably for good reason, but we’ll see!). Your existing omg.lol passkeys sadly won’t work with it (since they’re tied to Passage), but for those of you using passkeys already, you already know that it’s trivial to generate new ones.

Look for Neatnik Accounts to launch this month!

Content management

In a way, omg.lol is a collection of small content management systems. There’s the one for your profile page, one for your statuslog, another one for your weblog, /now page, ... you get the idea. The content management processes for these features were all developed separately, and they all operate individually. It’s a bit of a mess! A fun mess, maybe, but it’s definitely not as tidy as it could be. (Especially for something made by a company known as “Neatnik”).

From this pile of textareas and database tables, something new and powerful will emerge: a single, coherent content management system that will offer even greater flexibility in how you author and publish your content on the web. Keep an eye out on this site for more details about this in the coming weeks.

Hosting infrastructure

After a nice chunk of growth in 2022, omg.lol put on its big boy pants and got a proper back-end infrastructure—complete with a load balancer and multiple service nodes. But as anyone with a website downtime monitoring service aimed at omg.lol knows, there continue to be occasional blips with reliability. Nobody likes blips, and I don’t like feeling guilty for running a service that has blips. So, this year, we’re going to say goodbye to the blips and refactor our hosting infrastructure with an emphasis on speed and reliability. This magic will be accomplished with the amazing Bunny content delivery platform, and we’ll all be better off for it.

Stay tuned for more updates on these items (and more!) over the coming weeks. As always, if you have any questions about anything here, you can fire away on Mastodon, IRC/Matrix/Discord, or via email.

— Adam