Following Ryan Boren

Followed Ryan Boren (Ryan Boren)
Ryan Boren

non-compliant neurodivergent

I am a retired software developer, former lead developer of WordPress, and co-conspirator emeritus at Automattic. I live in Dripping Springs Texas at the Irie Smial Preserve amidst a familial motley of non-compliant, neurodivergent garage hobbits.

Check Twitter and Micro.blog for my heartbeat. That’s where I hang out the most.

WordPress, Education, moral edtech, even the words commonplace book in the tagline of one of his websites! I suspect that Ryan is my online doppleganger.

It also looks like he’s thinking about and doing some of the same things that Aaron Davis, Ian O’Byrne, John Johnston, Greg McVerry and others are doing.

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Reply to Ryan Boren et al on the WordPress Link Manager, Calypso, and Indie Blogging

Replied to a tweet by Ryan BorenRyan Boren (Twitter)

Oh there’s just so much to say about the start of this thread, and it gives me so much hope for the open web as well as potential growth for WordPress.

Link Manager Update

The Link Manager still seems relatively solid and much of the infrastructure still works well, despite the warnings and lack of updates over the past several years. It would be nice to see it make a comeback and I can personally see many ways it could come back as a means of allowing people to better own their personal social graph as well as dovetail with readers. (This could also be the cornerstone of helping to make WordPress it’s own decentralized social network so that those who want to leave Facebook, Twitter, et al. could more easily do so and maintain their own data and infrastructure.)

If it were being updated, here are a few things that I might suggest as being imminently useful:

  • Update to the latest version of OPML; While the old version still works, there are some new toys that folks like Dave Winer have been iterating on including OPML subscription1,2 as well as some discovery tools.
  • Add in additional microformats support, particularly for display. Things like h-card, u-url, u-photo, etc. could make displaying these more useful for the growing number of microformats parsers. I also suspect that having OPML subscription support could be a major boon to the feed reader resurgence that is happening with the split of the server side/display side split occurring with the improving Microsub spec which now has one server implementation with several more coming and at least three front end implementations. I know of one person building a Microsub server for WordPress already.
  • It’s non-obvious where one’s OPML file lives within the plugin or that one can have or target OPML files by category. Making this more apparent from a UI perspective would be both useful and help adoption.
  • Provide a bookmarklet or browser extension to make it easier to scrape data off of someone’s homepage (or any page for that matter) and put it into the Links Manager data fields. This would allow people to do a one (or two click) solution for quickly and immediately following someone, saving their data into their site, and then via OPML subscription, they’ll automatically be following that feed in their reader of choice.
    • For doing the parsing portion of this, I might recommend the parsing algorithm being used by the Post Kinds Plugin, which parses a web page and searches for microformats, open graph protocol, and one or two other standards to return all or most all of the data that would be needed to fill out the data Links Manager can take. As I recall, this parser was being discussed by Kraft for potential inclusion into the Press This bookmarklet functionality to expand on what it had already provided.
    • From a UI perspective this would allow people to follow friends or others via a WordPress workflow almost as easily as any of the social media silos.
    • Another UI approach for comparison can be found by looking at the SubToMe universal follow button which was developed by Julien Genestoux (also of PubSub/WebSub fame). This version also uses some of the standard feed discovery mechanisms which a bookmarklet would want to be able to do as well.
  • As I’d written, following/subscribing has become more central to the social space, so upgrading the humble blogroll from a widget to a full page would certainly be in order. Having the infrastructure (short link perhaps?) to easily create a WordPress page out of the data would be quite helpful.

As Ryan indicates, the planet-like features that OPML subscriptions provide are immensely valuable in general, but also solves a tough problem that some of the best minds in the educational tech space have found perennially problematic.3

As for the title-less post types that are proliferating by the independent microblogging community (including the recent micro.blog as well as post types in the vein of likes, favorites, reads, replies, etc. which mimic functionality within the broader social space), the so-called (no title) problem can be  somewhat difficult since so many things are built to expect a title. Many feed readers don’t know how to react to them as a result. The Post Kinds Plugin faced a similar issue and recently pushed an update so that within the admin UI at /wp-admin/edit.php the title field would still indicate (no title) but it would also include a 28 character synopsis from the_body or the_excerpt to provide at least some indication of what the post was about. This also seems to be a potential issue in other areas of WordPress including widgets like “Recent Posts” which want to display a title where none exists. As the aside post format can attest, not all themes deal with this well, though there are other alternate methods for displaying some useful data.

 

References

1.
OPML subscriptions. Inoreader blog. https://blog.inoreader.com/2014/05/opml-subscriptions.html. Published May 26, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2018.
2.
RSS Reader InoReader to Support Dynamic OPML Subscriptions. CleverClogs. http://cleverclogs.org/category/opml-subscriptions. Published May 26, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2018.
3.
Groom J. Will Work for Feed Syndication Framework. bavatuesdays. https://bavatuesdays.com/ds106-will-work-for-feed-syndication-framework/. Published August 5, 2013. Accessed July 18, 2018.
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Reply to Tony Zijlstra on Mapping the IndieWeb

Replied to Mapping the IndieWeb a Webmention at a Time by Ton ZijlstraTon Zijlstra (Interdependent Thoughts)

When I link to another blog or site that has enabled webmention, my server log should record that it received a 20* response when trying to reach a webmention end point.

Assuming this is indeed in my server log, then it should be possible to have a script that pulls the successful webmentions from the server log. From that a growing list of IndieWeb sites can grow. Especially if you’d share that list, and others do too, so you can compare and detect new additions to the list. An incremental way of mapping the IndieWeb. Might even become a new, indie Technorati of sorts. At the very least it’s a discovery vehicle to find others interested in the distributed web and outside the silos and media sites.

Or does something like that already exist?

I like this idea…

Somewhat in the same vein, Colin Walker has built a Webmention Directory on his site that lists all the people (selectively) who have mentioned him in the past. It’s not too different from the purpose of a blogroll.

Similarly Ryan Barrett has built the IndieMap which has a much larger data sample behind it. He unveiled it almost a year ago at IndieWeb Summit 2017.

Maybe we could get the old Technorati alumni in IndieWeb to build something out of this?

Reply to UnixSysAdmin about integrating with Twitter

Replied to a tweet by Unix Sys AdminUnix Sys Admin (Twitter)

Articles 1, 5, and 6 in this highlighted series for Twitter will get you most of the functionality (and then some). However once you’ve enabled some of these related plugins, you can also do so much more than just use your site to interact with Twitter.

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❤️ gozala tweet

Liked a tweet by gozalagozala (Twitter)
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❤️ benwerd tweet

Liked a tweet by Ben WerdmullerBen Werdmuller (Twitter)
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Following David Shanske

Followed David Shanske (David Shanske | The Definitive Location)
WordPress and IndieWeb developer, genius, good friend

I’ve actually been following David for ages, but since he’s slipped some following code into Syndication Links, I thought I’d send him the first follow post to attempt to take advantage of the functionality. Can’t wait to see what it looks like on his site.

🔖 Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Domurat Dreger

Bookmarked Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Domurat Dreger (Penguin)
book cover of Galileo's Middle Finger by Alice Domurat Dreger

An impassioned defense of intellectual freedom and a clarion call to intellectual responsibility, Galileo’s Middle Finger is one American’s eye-opening story of life in the trenches of scientific controversy. For two decades, historian Alice Dreger has led a life of extraordinary engagement, combining activist service to victims of unethical medical research with defense of scientists whose work has outraged identity politics activists. With spirit and wit, Dreger offers in Galileo’s Middle Finger an unforgettable vision of the importance of rigorous truth seeking in today’s America, where both the free press and free scholarly inquiry struggle under dire economic and political threats.

This illuminating chronicle begins with Dreger’s own research into the treatment of people born intersex (once called hermaphrodites). Realization of the shocking surgical and ethical abuses conducted in the name of “normalizing” intersex children’s gender identities moved Dreger to become an internationally recognized patient rights’ activist. But even as the intersex rights movement succeeded, Dreger began to realize how some fellow progressive activists were employing lies and personal attacks to silence scientists whose data revealed uncomfortable truths about humans. In researching one such case, Dreger suddenly became the target of just these kinds of attacks.

Troubled, she decided to try to understand more—to travel the country to ferret out the truth behind various controversies, to obtain a global view of the nature and costs of these battles. Galileo’s Middle Finger describes Dreger’s long and harrowing journeys between the two camps for which she felt equal empathy: social justice activists determined to win and researchers determined to put hard truths before comfort. Ultimately what emerges is a lesson about the intertwining of justice and of truth—and a lesson of the importance of responsible scholars and journalists to our fragile democracy.

hat tip: Last Week at Wellesley

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👓 Quarterly Updates | Q2 2018 — WordPress

Read Quarterly Updates | Q2 2018 by Josepha (WordPress News)
To keep everyone aware of big projects and efforts across WordPress contributor teams, I’ve reached out to each team’s listed representatives. I asked each of them to share their Top Priority (and when they hope for it to be completed), as well as their biggest Wins and Worries. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.

Always interesting to read high level quarterly updates of organizations like this to see where they’re at and what they’re having trouble with.

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Creating a tag cloud directory for the Post Kinds Plugin on WordPress

Yesterday after discovering it on Xavier Roy’s site I was reminded that the Post Kinds Plugin is built on a custom taxonomy and, as a result, has the ability to output its taxonomy in typical WordPress Tag Cloud widget. I had previously been maintaining/displaying a separate category structure for Kinds, which I always thought was a bit much in my category area. While it’s personally nice to have the metadata, I didn’t like how it made the categories so overwhelming and somehow disjointed.

For others who haven’t realized the functionality is hiding in the Post Kinds Plugin, here are some quick instructions for enabling the tag cloud widget:

  1. In the administrative UI, go to Appearance » Widgets in the menu structure.
  2. Drag the “Tag Cloud” widget to one of your available sidebars, footers, headers or available widget areas.
  3. Give the widget a title. I chose “Post Kinds”.
  4. Under the “Taxonomy” heading choose Kinds.
  5. If you want to show tag counts for your kinds, then select the checkbox.
  6. If necessary, select visibility if you want to create conditions for which pages, posts, etc. where the widget will appear.
  7. Finally click save.

You’ll end up with something in your widget area that looks something like this (depending on which Kinds you have enabled and which options you chose):

The tag cloud for the Post Kinds plugin data

If you’re interested in changing or modifying the output or display of your tag cloud, you can do so with the documentation for the Function Reference wp tag cloud in the WordPress Codex.

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Replied to a tweet by ds106 Daily Createds106 Daily Create (Twitter)

I’ve built my own digital (non-)Facebook Wall so that people can write on it. #tdc2380
https://boffosocko.com/mentions/#If%20you%20like,%20you%20can%20also%20think%20of%20this%20as%20my%20personal%20(non-)Facebook%20Wall.

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📺 "The Americans" New Car | FX via Amazon

Watched "The Americans" New Car from FX via Amazon
Directed by John Dahl. With Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner. Philip and Elizabeth both find themselves faced with painful turns in their various missions. Stan fights to gain access to an American military program that could give him the upper hand in his battle of wills with Oleg.
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