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Mark
Metamorphic Early Access sign ups screenshot. © 2021 Core Theory, Inc. All rights reserved.

(Previously published on the Metamorphic blog.)

Hello and welcome everyone to Metamorphic! This week marks the launch of our public-facing domain and sign ups for our upcoming Early Access period.

I felt I should kick things off with a brief explanation about what Metamorphic is (and isn’t), why I felt the need to make it, and what you can expect.

What is (and isn’t) Metamorphic?

Metamorphic is a better way to connect and share online with the people in your life. It is an online web service built by a little company called Core Theory and is designed in response to the current surveillance economy.


Approaching log in limit message on Metamorphic. © Core Theory, Inc.

Background

If you’ve been following along with the last few posts from me, then you’re aware that I’m currently developing a privacy-focused alternative to Big Tech social networks (or social media), called Metamorphic.

As I go along, I share a few things that I learn that I think are pretty cool or might be useful to other people.

In this case, I decided that I wanted to implement a limit to the amount of times someone can attempt to log in to their account, as a way to add some friction to potentially nefarious actors.

At the same time, I was…


Metamorphic Memories UI screenshot. © 2021 Core Theory, Inc. All rights reserved.

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This is the first piece from a new, little series called Metamorphic Reflections. Each piece will focus on one aspect of one feature, and one of the reasons that compelled me (our current collective “us”) to make it.

Metamorphic is an upcoming web app for social connection that our company, Core Theory, has been developing to give people another alternative for connecting and sharing with people online.

Our Photos are Tracking Us

Perhaps unknown to most people, the major social networking (media) companies use the location data…


Sneak peek at Metamorphic’s phone number registration courtesy Phoenix Live View. © 2021 Core Theory, Inc.

Background

I’m currently developing a social connection web application, called Metamorphic and have been sharing brief guides on how to implement certain features, with the hope that it helps others trying to do similarly.

For this part, I wanted to include a phone number in the registration flow (with support for international numbers). I also wanted to avoid overly complicated solutions while still delivering a smooth experience (albeit you can get, perhaps, the type of experience you are looking for with much more sophisticated options).

Prerequisites

To make following along easier, we will assume you have read Part 1 and Part 2


Sneak peek at Metamorphic’s multi-step form courtesy Phoenix Live View. © 2021 Core Theory, Inc.

Background

I’m currently developing a social connection web application, called Metamorphic, and I decided that I didn’t want a “never-ending” form on the registration page — or at least, that’s how it was beginning to feel as I would decide to add more fields to the signup.

This meant that I needed to implement what is commonly known as a multi-step (or multi-part) form. Typically, this would be implemented using JavaScript, but I had a feeling that Phoenix Live View could do the trick.

As always, reading the Phoenix Live View docs proved critical to navigating a few unexpected behaviors after…


Undraw’s “The world is mine”

We are all currently witness to a world shaped and delivered by capitalists. When left unconstrained, as they largely have been, (except in the U.S. during the period of economic prosperity brought on largely by New Deal interventions and eviscerated by the neoliberal response) capitalists follow, as John Bellamy Foster uncovers, an inherent tendency to “degrade the environment that sustains life”.¹

Surveillance capitalists are cut from the same cloth as their late 18th — 19th century brethren but with a frightening and, as Shoshana Zuboff has established, unprecedented new pattern.² Much as coal-powered steam usurped water-powered technologies due to steam’s…


Metamorphic logo © 2020 Core Theory, Inc. All rights reserved.

Background

I’ve been working on a new web app for connecting with people socially using Elixir and Phoenix, and adding a live view flow to the registration experience for people was something high on my to do list.

**UPDATE — 1/14/2021 **

Nicole and Mike over at Pragmatic Bookshelf have released their early access Phoenix Live View course, the paid Pro course covers authentication (also with phx_gen_auth). I highly recommend you check it out for a more in-depth understanding and tutorial.

** END UPDATE — 1/14/2021 **

So, I spent some time looking at Chris McCord’s phoenix_live_view_example repo and managed to…


Elixir and Phoenix logos.

Why Argon2?

Argon2 is a key derivation function that won the 2015 Password Hashing Competition (Wikipedia). “argon2_elixir” is an Elixir wrapper for the Argon2 function — kind of like a Ruby gem only for your Elixir/Phoenix application (if you’re coming from the world of Ruby and Ruby on Rails).

The Elixir argon2_elixir wrapper defaults to Argon2id which is a hybrid of Argon2’s other variants (Argon2d and Argon2i). For the sake of simplicity, it is typically a “more secure” method for hashing passwords with Argon2.

So, the fact that the Argon2id variant is the default with argon2_elixir is a big thumbs up because…


Fathom Analytics.

Why Fathom Analytics?

Fathom Analytics is a privacy focused, non-surveillance capitalism, analytics solution that enables your business to have actionable insights without sponsoring the obliteration of humanity (curious to learn more then check out Shoshana Zuboff’s latest book).

  • Simple, privacy focused analytics
  • Simple uptime monitoring included
  • No cookie notices on your website
  • Unlimited websites and monitoring included
  • Surge-proof (they are ready to handle viral-level surges in your website traffic)
  • They pledge 2% of gross revenues to the planet

That should be all you need to know to make the switch from that other one.

How to add Fathom Analytics to your website

  1. Sign up for an account -> use our referral…

Storyboard scene of Prin from Paper Space® (catching the meteoroid by the grains)

Backstory

Our startup has been undergoing a lot of change over the past few months (as I mention briefly in my Everything I wish I Knew post). Part of that change has been switching from Python + Django to Ruby + Ruby on Rails to build out our vision for a re-imagined social media experience, as well as a new version of Sara’s website to support her design + architecture work.

It’s felt a bit like Prin up there catching hold of a meteoroid and trying to hang on for dear life.

Like a ride through the galaxy, our pivots have…

Mark

Co-founder @ Core Theory

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