👓 Trying Mastodon | Gary Pendergast

Replied to Trying Mastodon by Gary PendergastGary Pendergast (Gary Pendergast)
It’s no secret that Twitter is red hot garbage fire, so I’ve signed up for a Mastodon account to give them a try. Because I’m super vain, I decided to create my own Mastodon instance, with a custom domain.

I know of a few folks in the IndieWeb and WordPress communities like Ryan Barrett (with FedBridgy) and Mathias Pfefferle (with OStatus plugin) who are actively working on helping bridge the technology between websites and the Fediverse so that one could use their WordPress install as a stand-alone “instance” of Mastodon.

It already seems somewhat obvious that moving from Twitter to Mastodon is bringing along some of the problems and issues that Twitter users are facing, so being able to use your current WordPress (or other) website to interact with other instances, sounds like a very solid idea. In practice, it’s the way I’ve been using my website with Twitter 1 2 (as well as Google+, Instagram, Facebook and other social silos) for some time, so I can certainly indicate it’s been a better experience for me. Naturally, both of their efforts fall underneath the broader umbrella of the web standards solutions generally pushed by the IndieWeb community, so I’m also already using my WordPress-based site to communicate back and forth in a social media-like way with others on the web already using Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and (soon) Microsub.

These federation efforts have got a way to go to offer a clean user experience without a tremendous amount of set up, but for those technically inclined, they are efforts certainly worth looking at so one needn’t manage multiple sites/social media and they can still own all the data for themselves.

 

References

1.
Aldrich C. @Mentions from Twitter to My Website. BoffoSocko. https://boffosocko.com/2017/04/15/mentions-from-twitter-to-my-website/. Published April 15, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2018.
2.
Aldrich C. Threaded conversations between WordPress and Twitter. BoffoSocko. https://boffosocko.com/2018/07/02/threaded-conversations-between-wordpress-and-twitter/. Published July 2, 2018. Accessed September 11, 2018.
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👓 Forking is a Feature | Gary Pendergast

Read Forking is a Feature by Gary Pendergast (Gary Pendergast)
There’s a new WordPress fork called ClassicPress that’s been making some waves recently, with various members of the Twitterati swinging between decrying it as an attempt to fracture the WordPress community, to it being an unnecessary over-reaction, to it being a death knell for WordPress. Pers...

Again, here, I’m reminded of some of the benefits that the BackDrop fork of Drupal is providing not only to itself, but to the larger Drupal community. Naturally there’s a better way of doing these things, but it takes foresight and work–a lot of work.

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👓 Foxland products for free | Foxland

Read Foxland products for free by Sami Keijonen (Foxland)
All my themes and plugins are now free. At the moment I feel that’s a permanent decision but you’ll never know. I want to thank all who have supported my journey. Either by purchasing, helping, or sharing ideas. I’ll do my best to answer some of the questions you might have. Why free? I don’...
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👓 ClassicPress: Gutenberg Not Included | WordPress Tavern

Read ClassicPress: Gutenberg Not Included (WordPress Tavern)
Depending on how far and deep you look, there is not a lot of positive sentiment surrounding Gutenberg. For Scott Bowler, the notion of merging Gutenberg into WordPress 5.0 represents a shift so de…
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👓 WordPress to Support Classic Editor for “Many Years to Come,” Plugin and Theme Markets Expected to Drive Gutenberg Adoption | WordPress Tavern

Read WordPress to Support Classic Editor for “Many Years to Come,” Plugin and Theme Markets Expected to Drive Gutenberg Adoption (WordPress Tavern)
During the 2017 State of the Word address, Matt Mullenweg announced the availability of the Classic Editor plugin for site owners who are not ready to adopt Gutenberg when it makes its debut in Wor…
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👓 Our Mission Statement | ClassicPress

Read Our Mission Statement (ClassicPress)
1. If it isn’t broken, we won’t fix it
2. Major decisions will be made by the community
3. We will facilitate democratic discussion and decision making
4. We will make people’s lives better
5. We will invest in the future of ClassicPress
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👓 New WP Glossary Site Translates WordPress Techspeak into Plain English | WordPress Tavern

Read New WP Glossary Site Translates WordPress Techspeak into Plain English (WordPress Tavern)
Anders Norén has launched a new website called WP Glossary that contains definitions for terms that people encounter when using WordPress. The resource was born out of a need to provide documentati…
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👓 Gary Pendergast Praises ClassicPress, Extends Invitation for Collaboration | WordPress Tavern

Read Gary Pendergast Praises ClassicPress, Extends Invitation for Collaboration (WordPress Tavern)
Gutenberg and WordPress core contributor Gary Pendergast has weighed in with this thoughts on ClassicPress, a fork of WordPress created by Scott Bowler. Pendergast praises the fork and extended an …

The potential forking of WordPress like this actually could present an interesting opportunity for the broader community and the platform. It reminds me a bit of the BackDrop fork of Drupal and how it has benefited both platforms going forward. BackDrop has about 100 solid contributors that are building and iterating much more rapidly on their platform than the bigger behemoth of Drupal. As a result, new plugins and cleaner UI have entered their core and improved more rapidly with active dogfooding while their security teams collaborate closely and pushes go back and forth between the two. In the end both platforms end up benefiting tremendously. Naturally the two need to have some collegiality and collaboration to help make sure this happens.

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👓 Dark Mode is Possibly Coming to a WordPress Dashboard Near You | WordPress Tavern

Read Dark Mode is Possibly Coming to a WordPress Dashboard Near You (WordPress Tavern)
For the past year, Daniel James has been developing the Dark Mode plugin for WordPress. The plugin is actively installed on more than 1K sites. Dark Mode replaces the white and grey colors in the b…
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👓 Sami Keijonen’s Foxland Themes and Plugins are Now Available for Free | WP Tavern

Read Sami Keijonen’s Foxland Themes and Plugins are Now Available for Free (WordPress Tavern)
WordPress theme designer and developer Sami Keijonen has made all of his theme and plugin products at Foxland available for free. Keijonen’s WordPress.org-hosted themes are active on more tha…
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🔖 WordCamp for Publishers 2018 Videos Now Available on WordPress.tv

Bookmarked WordCamp For Publishers: Chicago 2018 | Event | WordPress.tv (wordpress.tv)
WordCamp for Publishers 2018 Videos Now Available on WordPress.tv
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Reply to Facepile for webmention does not link to source

Replied to Facepile for webmention does not link to source · Issue #208 · pfefferle/wordpress-semantic-linkbacks (GitHub)
For testing purposes I created a new post that links to another of my own posts. This creates a new comment, through webmention I guess. When I approve it, it only shows the / my icon in a facepile...

Here’s a good example: http://v.hierofalco.net/2018/08/23/weird-indieweb-idea-of-the-day-guestbooks/
There’s a mention from https://ramblinggit.com/ in the comments, but it’s incredibly difficult to find that mention or what it contains, because there isn’t a linked URL on the avatar that goes to ramblinggit.com’s (Brad Enslen’s) content. In this particular case, it’s probably the most important piece of content on the page because the post itself is about a theoretical idea or “blue sky”, while the mention itself actually puts the theoretical idea into actual use and provides a great example. Sadly as it stands this value is completely hidden because of the UI. In some sense hiding the mention is also potentially contributing to unnecessary context collapse within hierofalco’s post’s comments and lessens the value of the mention itself.

While I appreciate the UX/UI desire to limit the amount of data displayed in one’s comment section since it is rarely, if ever, used, there’s a lot of value in the bi-directionality of webmentions and how they’re displayed. I’ve suggested before that newspapers, magazines and journalism sites (not to mention academics, researchers, and government sites) might benefit from the verifiable/audit-able links from their material to the reads, likes, favorites, and even listens (in the case of podcasts). If the comments sections simply have an avatar and a homepage link to the original, some of this (admittedly) marginal value is then lost. What about when Webmention is more common? Sites could simply display avatars and homepage links without actually linking to the original location of the webmention. They might do this to imply an endorsement(s) when none exists and the viewer is left with the difficult task of attempting manual verification.

I do love the fact that one can facepile these reactions, but why not simply have the facepile of avatars with URLs that direct to the original reaction? To me these should ideally have a title attribute that is the sending account’s name wrapped with the URL of the original webmention URL itself. While these are seemingly “throwaways” for likes/favorites, I often personally post “reads” and “listens” that also have notes or commentary that I use for my own purpose and thus don’t send them as explicit replies. If the facepiles for reads & listens are avatars that link back to the original then the site’s admin as well as others can choose (or not) to click through to the original. Perhaps the site administrator prefers to display those as replies, then they have the option in the interface to change the semantic linkback type from the simple response to a more “featured” response. (I’ve documented an example of this before.)

The issue becomes even more apparent in the case of “mentions” which are currently simply avatars with a homepage. There’s a much higher likelihood that there’s some valuable content (compared to a like certainly) behind this mention (though it still isn’t a specific reply). Readers of comment sections are much more likely to be interested in them and the potential conversation hiding behind them. As things stand currently, it’s a difficult and very manual thing to attempt to track down. In these cases, one should ideally be able to individually toggle facepile/not facepile for each mention depending on the content. If shown as a comment, then, yes, having the ability to show the whole thing, or an excerpted version, could be useful/desirable. If the mention is facepiled, it should be done as the others with an avatar and a wrapped URL to the mentioning content and an appropriate title (either the Identity/name of the sending site, the article title, or both if available).

For facepiled posts (and especially mentions) I’d much rather see something along the lines of:
<a title="Brad Enslen" href="https://ramblinggit.com/2018/08/new-guestbook/"><img src="https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0ce8b2c406e423f114e39fd4d128c31d?s=100&amp;r=pg&amp;d=mm" width="100" height="100"/></a>
(with the appropriate microformats markup, of course.)

As an example, what happens in the future when a New York Times article has webmentions that get hundreds or thousands of webmentions? Having everything be facepiled would be incredibly useful for quick display, but being able to individually go follow the conversations in situ would be wildly valuable as well. The newspaper could also then choose to show/hide specific replies or mentions in a much more moderated fashion to better encourage civil discourse. In the case where a bad actor/publisher attempts to “game” the system by simply showing thousands of likes/favorites/reads, what is to prevent them from cheating by showing as many as they like as “social proof” of their popularity when the only backtrack record is an avatar and a homepage without the actual verification of a thing on a site if someone chooses to audit the trail?

Perhaps even a step further in interesting UI for these semi-hidden mentions would be to do a full page preview (or hovercards) in a similar method for how WordPress handles hovercards for Gravatars or they way the hover functionality works for links at /wp-admin/edit-comments.php?

Going even farther from a reader’s perspective, I could also see a case that while the site admin wants to slim down on the UI of all the different types of interactions for easy readability, perhaps the reader of a comments section might want to see all the raw mentions and details for each one and scroll through them? Perhaps it would be nice to add that option in the future? As things stand if a site facepiles even dozens of mentions, it’s incredibly painful and undesirable to track their associated commentary down. What if there was UI for the reader to unpack all these (especially per reaction category as it’s more likely one would want to do it for mentions, but not likes)?

Reply to Robin DeRosa about citation management

Replied to a tweet by Robin DeRosaRobin DeRosa (Twitter)

I’ve been (slowly) pecking away at trying to own all of this type of data on my own website. It sounds like what you’re hoping for is a cross between Derek Sifford’s Academic Blogger’s Toolkit which has a pretty slick WordPress interface for looking up and importing references and David Shanske’s Post Kinds Plugin which allows one to create specific post types like bookmarks, reads, notes, highlights, annotations, etc.

I think if Academic Blogger’s Toolkit could create an internal database within WordPress and an interface to allow you to easily import/export it as well as use it within your own instance, that might be the simplest solution to have ownership over all of one’s reference data. The Post Kinds plugin would give you the rest including the ability to hide your posts as private just to you or others granted access on your site.

Like Greg McVerry, Ian O’Byrne, Aaron Davis, and others I use my own site like a commonplace book and store bookmarks of things I’d like to read as well as things that I have read, usually along with notes, highlights, annotations, and other marginalia that I think would be of use.

Perhaps by adding one or two extensions, WordPress could be the perfect platform for doing this type of work without reliance on external sites?

Academic Blogger's Toolkit

Post Kinds

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Reply to Now even more IndieWebified | Paul Jacobson

Replied to Now even more IndieWebified by Paul JacobsonPaul Jacobson (Paul Jacobson)
I just watched Chris Aldrich’s tutorial on how to configure a WordPress site for IndieWeb use. In other words, how to setup your WordPress site as pretty dynamic hub on the Web using a variet…

I’m glad the video helped out.

I’ve been a big fan of the Post Kinds Plugin as well. Honestly I wished that WordPress had gone the extra mile and adopted something more like it when it was working on the Post Formats concept a few years back. I’ve written a bit about the Post Kinds Plugin in the past and perhaps you’ll appreciate some of those pieces, particularly the bookmarklet portions for desktop and details about mobile posting.

Because Post Kinds and Post Formats are not one-to-one or onto functions, doing the mapping  in both directions is difficult, but when posting using a Post Kinds first method, you should be able to set the Post Formats you prefer. There are some useful defaults within the plugin, but they can be manually changed in the code available in the class-kind-taxonomy file in a relatively obvious way. In my case, while the mapping of “notes” to “asides” is a useful one, I prefer them to map to “status” for my current theme, so I just manually change that one word in the code to reflect my particular preference.

There’s a lot hiding under the hood if you want to tinker in the code. If you have issues or feature requests, I know that the developer David Shanske is very receptive to feedback towards improving the set up. (And similarly for almost all of the IndieWeb-related plugins which can be found on GitHub.)

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Following John Eckman

Followed John Eckman (Open Parenthesis)

John Eckman blogs here about Open Source, the Next Generation Internet, the Assembled Web, and Web Application Strategy, Design, and Development. He also works at Optaros.

I’m the CEO of 10up, a digital agency focused on designing and building compelling, content-centric experiences on open source platforms, especially WordPress.

Why is this blog called Open Parenthesis?

It’s meant to bring together two key concepts that have dominated my professional career – writing and coding:

1. Parentheses in writing are often used to insert explanatory text not directly related to the main point (see the wikipedia entry). (I did a PhD in literature & culture, and spent years teaching in a university English environment).

2. Parentheses in software development are used for a variety of reasons in different languages, but often they’re used to pass parameters to functions (or to indicate the parameters a function receives). (I’ve spent the last decade working in software development, specifically on the web).

The site’s called “Open Parenthesis” (the singular of parentheses) because the idea is that the conversation is open ended.

It starts an explanatory insertion (like this one), but it can’t yet be closed.

It resembles a function taking parameters, but we can’t yet close the parentheses because we don’t know yet what the possibilities are.

Finally, there’s also the notion of “Open” because I’m focused on open source software, as well as open-ness and transparency of conversation in general.

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