The trashcan of the internet
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Readme by Dylan:

So what is this? Frankly it was an experiment and the brainchild of Mat. The idea was, you could dump anything you wanted to- throw it away- and let the internet take away your problems. It worked fairly alright, and then reddit broke the site. Mat wrote to me, and I rebuilt the site as quickly as I could- hoping to smooth out some of the bumps and hang ups that were causing the site to crash and be slow. As such, some of this code isn't pretty, and a lot of it is recycled from a different project. But it's a fairly small project- it worked and help up to traffic.

What Dropcanco looks like

Dropcanco lost a lot of traction after Reddit. However there were still occasionally posts. In order to promote more engagement with the product, we scripted out a twitter bot that favourited and retweeted random tweets with key hashtags. The bot would also post to dropcanco from twitter, and post to twitter from dropcanco. Unfortunately, the nature of anonymous posts on the internet tends to expose the meaner, bigoted and plain hateful side of the internet. Although we did impose certain censor, without human intervention (Or a level of NLP we were not willing to dedicate the time to), it was virtually impossible to clean even relatively clean. In the dump from the original site (seed.sql), there may be remnants of this, and if you choose to reboot the project- be warned.

Happy hacking!

Getting started?

Managing this Code (basic git control skip if you know this)

  • Download Git
  • Create a directory where you can store all of your UGT stuff (I have mine in ~/projects/github/dropcanco)
  • cd into this directory and git init . (If you are using windows make sure you use git bash)
  • Add your git remote for this repository. To do this make sure you have ssh deploy enabled
  • Almost there! git pull origin master Notes: You'll want to learn git very well if you haven't already. It plays a big part of this set up, but is also applicable to any computer science class/ project you work on in the future. It's also industry standard.

Getting your environment running (If you're running some form of Debian, chances are you can skip this if you want)

  • Download Vagrant. Go grab some tea while you wait.
  • Make sure you're in the devbox directory and vagrant up. The first time you do this it'll take a while; pour yourself some more tea.
  • Done? vagrant ssh password is vagrant

Getting the site running

  • Change your host file so that points to if vagrant and just localhost if otherwise. Read how to here
  • Run setup -v if you installed vagrant. Yup that stands for 'setup vagrant'.
  • Run setup -d otherwise. Yup that stands for 'setup dev'.
  • Good to go? run ./toolbelt -ad. This should take awhile. Don't worry. Still have some more tea?

Awesome. Now you're cranking.


  • If for some reason it hasn't worked, run ./toolbelt -d. There's a chance the database didn't finish initializing.
  • Another weird reason for it not working is the conversion of unix to windows line endings. This problem sounds pretty weird but it is legit. Thankfully there's a tool called dos2unix which you can install on your vagrant box using sudo apt-get install dos2unix run dos2unix filename to fix your worries. Note, I think it does something funky to file permissions. Just make sure no weird file permissions git track into git.
  • Is it really bad? See the notes on the forgetitall function and reseting your database down below. Send me (DM) an email if it gets to crazy levels of bad
  • Uploads for wordpress don't work? All ajax reponses and any response request for that matter get crunked up by existing php errors. Comment out the debug conditional in wp-config if you don't want these errors to pop up OR fix the php errors.

Are you golden? Alright, now what?

  • Get hacking


If you play with the dev box, I would highly recommend learning how to docker. Failing that, if docker takes up too much disk space or you feel like you messed something up, run ./toolbelt -x. This is the forgetitall method. It should kill everything docker related.

Crunked up your local database?

Even though we do weekly backups, don't do whatever you did live. Stop your containers (./toolbelt -s) delete the folder mysql in database/ and try running toolbelt -d again.