A C fort by the sea
/dev/fort is as much about learning, from each other and together, as it is about building things. So when /dev/fort regular Anna Shipman suggested a fort where we'd write something in C, it seemed like a great opportunity.
Years previously, while missing twitter terribly, Simon Willison had built bugle, our “group collaboration tool for hackers in forts”. So when we decided that we should build something that under no circumstances would anyone take seriously and use — and so ensure that any security problems we introduced in the process wouldn't be a danger to anyone — it just made sense to write a new client for bugle, in C, to run in the console.
This is a terrible idea from a security point of view.
conch has a number of nifty features, including support for bugle's gist-like extended blasts, and animated GIFs. It's also got decent test coverage, and is much faster than bugle's web client. We even hooked it into the TV in the living room where we all worked, so we didn't have to keep checking our browsers for when people blasted stuff, or pushed new code commits.
It also has a configuration file format implementing in Lua, meaning you can customise some of its options using dynamic functions. This led to a craze of personalised clocks that we cannot strictly endorse.
We're weirdly proud of it.