Getting Started with WordPress, an IndieWebCamp Pop-up Session

I’ll be hosting an introduction to IndieWeb using WordPress and invite everyone to join me via Zoom (link to come).

Saturday, August 1, 2020 9:30 – 11:30am (America/Los_Angeles)

This will be a broad-based introduction to the IndieWeb session specifically focused on using WordPress. Our aim is to help people get set up and running a self-hosted IndieWeb-based website with WordPress though some of our discussion will work for WordPress.com versions as well.

  • Grab a cup of coffee and get an IndieWeb site up and running in just a few hours.
  • Have questions or problems with your current WordPress IndieWeb site? Stop by and get some help.
  • Just figuring out what IndieWeb is about? Much of what we’ll discuss is applicable to other platforms and may be useful to other beginners as well.
  • All levels of experience welcome
  • (Note: for those without a domain registered or web hosting, we may have a brief pre-session to help you out so we can be more productive during the main session.)

  • Notes for the session will take place at: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/WordPressQuickStart
  • Create week: Following the session, we’ll give people a chance to create something for their site to do remote demos.
  • Demos: When we’re done, we’ll have a short online demo session so people can show off the new sites and maybe demo their favorite functionality.

Would you like to volunteer to help manage the session? Add yourself to the list on the IndieWeb wiki or contact the organizers in chat.

Code of Conduct: indieweb.org/code-of-conduct

Syndicating my IndieWeb Wiki edits to my personal website

I don’t have a specific “Edit” post kind on my website (yet!), but I’ve set things up–using a prior recipe–so that edits I make to the IndieWeb wiki are syndicated (via PESOS) to the Micropub endpoint on my website to create draft posts on my personal website!

Presently they were easiest to map to my website as bookmarks until I can create the UI to indicate edits, but changing the UI piece, and retroactively modifying some data for posts, should be fairly simple and straightforward for me.

I’m not sure I’ll keep the entire diff content in the future, but may just keep the direct text added depending on the edit and the potential context. We’ll play around and see what comes of it. It’s reasonably sure that I may not post everything publicly either, but keep it as either a draft or private post on my website. In some cases, I may just add the edit syndication link on an original bookmark, read, watch, or other post type, a pattern which I’ve done in the past for articles I’ve read/bookmarked in the past and simply syndicated manually to the wiki.

I’ll also need to tinker with how to save edits I make directly in the chat channels via Loqi, though I think that is straightforward as well, now that the “easy” part has been done.

I only wish I had thought to do this before I made the thousands of edits to the wiki earlier this week. Both IndieWebCamp West 2020 and the edits for part of organizing that were the inspiration for finally getting around to doing this.

This isn’t as slick as the process Angelo Gladding recently did a demo of and is doing to syndicate his edits to the wiki from his website using a POSSE syndication workflow, but I’ll guarantee my method was way less work!

Also, since my edits to the wiki are made as CC0 contributions, the POSSE/PESOS flow doesn’t make as much difference to me as it might on other social silos.

I don’t edit Wikipedia incredibly often, but perhaps I set that functionality up shortly too.

Here’s the first example (public) post: https://boffosocko.com/2020/06/30/55772818/

I’ll get around to fixing the remainder of the presentation and UI shortly, but it’s not a horrific first pass. It’s at least allowing me to own copies of the data I’m putting out on the Internet.

IndieWebCamp 2020 West: June 27-28, 2020

Some of us have been wishing there were a , but it’s a LOT to organize and execute on an annual basis. To bridge a bit of the gap, I’m collaborating with some in the IndieWeb movement to do a free online-only (due to physical distancing) two day BarCamp-style conference on the weekend of June 27-28, 2020.

The broad ideas behind DoOO dovetail quite well and the IndieWeb community has a welcoming, inclusive, and helpful atmosphere with a solid code of conduct.

The upcoming event is called IndieWebCamp 2020 West (based roughly on the Pacific time Zone). I’ve already started proposing a few DoOO-related sessions on their organizing Etherpad. I’d encourage others in the community who are interested to register for the free two day camp to talk about what we can do with our websites and how we can improve them. Students, faculty, staff, and even hobbyists of all levels of ability are welcome. If you’ve got ideas for things you’re interested in doing on or with your website, feel free to propose your own topics (either now or the morning of day one).

We’d love to see everyone there.

Day one is a brief introduction followed by various discussion-based sessions on topics of interest to those who attend. (First time attendees are given the first opportunity to schedule topics.) Day two is a creator day on which people write, create, build, code, or otherwise improve something on their website. If you don’t yet have a website, people will be on hand to help you set one up, or get around obstacles you may have for being able to use and manage your website.

Details and RSVP information can be found here: https://indieweb.org/2020/West

If anyone has questions or needs further details or help proposing potential sessions, don’t hesitate to ask.

A Short Essay on the Relationship of STEM and Racist Ideas

I’ve seen many tweets today with the hashtag #shutdownSTEM. Some of them included some people asking why such a thing would be necessary. What does STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) have to do with racism they ask? 

I find myself seeing some immediate and excellent historical examples in Dr. Ibram X. Kendi‘s book Stamped from the Beginning. In chapter nine of the book he discusses the variety and flavors of racism espoused by Thomas Jefferson in his book Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), which would become the most  consumed American nonfiction book until well into the mid-nineteenth century.

Shortly afterward Samuel Stanhope Smith countered portions of Jefferson’s racist ideas in the 1787 annual oration to the august American Philosophical Society. This annual lecture was already one of the most heralded scholarly lectures in America and was attended by the wealthy and elite leaders and thinkers in the country. The lecture would be published as the influential Essay on the Causes of Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species

While Smith used the lecture to attack the abhorrent racist idea of polygenesis, he did espouse a wide array of other racist tropes including assimilationist climate theory. Dr. Kendi specifically notes that he may have picked up this idea from James Bowdoin’s opening oration of the newly established American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston on May 4, 1780.
 
To quote Dr. Kendi:
 

Samuel Stanhope Smith joined those preeminent intellectuals in Boston’s American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society in attacking polygenesists, in reviving climate theory in America. His scholarly defense of scripture was quickly printed in Philadelphia, in London, and in Lord Kames’s back-yard, Edinburgh. By the time he sat down in Princeton’s presidential chair in 1795, he had amassed an international scholarly reputation.

So in just a few pages Kendi lays out some serious evidence of the direct spread of a wide variety of racist ideas by not only by the academic elite, but the leaders of multiple influential universities and scientific and philosophical institutions in America. The reverberating echos of these wrongs are still haunting us today. They still need to be addressed and righted. We need to use our moral alembic and distill these racist ideas out of science in America.

Lest one wonder about the influence of Samuel Stanhope Smith’s essay, I’ll note that Noah Webster cited Smith directly in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary in the definition of philosophy. The citation was from  Smith’s second edition of his Essay on the Causes of Variety of Complexion and Figure in the Human Species (1810). The quote as given: “True religion, and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.”

We’re obviously still seeking both true religion and true philosophy.

While you’re thinking about #shutdownSTEM on June 10th and long thereafter, I recommend you spend some time sitting with the ideas that have been handed down to us and question them closely, for this is what science and philosophy are all about. If you find you can’t do that hard work–and it is hard, then perhaps read a bit of Dr. Kendi’s excellent and ardent text Stamped from the Beginning.

Thread Reader and Micropub for PressEdConf

In March I wrote about Participating in PressEdConf20 directly from WordPress.

While using that method for publishing is still my preference for owning the content first and syndicating it to Twitter, there’s another method that many educators might find simpler. ThreadReaderApp now has beta support for the Micropub Spec so you can publish Twitter threads directly to your blog.

This means that participants can write their threads directly on Twitter and reverse syndicate them to their websites if they support the Micropub spec.

For PressEdConf participants who have WordPress.org based sites (or .com sites with a subscription that supports plugins), this should be relatively easy since there’s a Micropub plugin for WordPress.

Download the plugin, activate it, write your Twitter thread, and have Thread Reader unroll it. Then authentic Thread Reader to your website at https://threadreaderapp.com/account/micropub and click the publish button on the thread you want to copy to your site.

This functionality in Thread Reader will also work for any other blogging platform or CMS that has either native or plugin support for Micropub. This includes platforms like Drupal, Grav, WithKnown, and many others including several static site generators.

Once things are set up, it’s pretty straightforward. You can read about my first experience (linked above) for more details.

If you have prior unrolled Twitter threads in your Thread Reader account you can use them as test cases before the next PressEdConf.

 

 

IndieWebCamp 2020 West is Officially On

IndieWebCamp West Coast is an online IndieWebCamp being held on
 

Tickets / RSVP

What is it?

Two days meeting up online to share ideas, create & improve personal websites, and build upon each other’s creations. Whether you’re a blogger, coder, designer, or just someone who wants to improve their presence on the web, there is something for you here. All skill and experience levels welcome.
If you’ve never attended an IndieWebCamp, we’ve got an article to describe what to expect.

I’m definitely attending, and I hope you’ll join us!

Forget about blackout poetry, Google enables highlight poetry in your browser!

Kevin Marks literally and figuratively highlighted a bit of interesting found poetry on Google’s Ten things we know to be true article. (Click the link to see the highlight poetry on Google’s page for yourself.)

A screenshot appears below:

Screenshot of a Google Page with the words "Doing evil is a business. take advantage of all our users" disaggregated, but highlighted so as to reveal a message.
Found poetry:
“Doing evil
is a business
take advantage of
all our users”

Here’s a shortened URL for it that you can share with others: bit.ly/D-ntB-Evil

It’s a creative inverse of blackout poetry where instead of blacking out extraneous words, one can just highlight them instead. This comes courtesy of some new browser based functionality that Google announced earlier this week relating to some of their search and page snippets functionality.

You can find some code and descriptions for how to accomplish this in the WISC Scroll to Text Github repository.

What kind of poetry will you find online this week?

Vox headlines a post on reparations with “Whitelist”

Dear Vox, It’s bad enough that you’re actually using the word “whitelist” but to have it headlining this particular article seems especially egregious. Maybe you could use better framing like “allowlist” or “denylist” instead?

Screencapture of a Vox article about reparations with a pop up ad warning that reads “HERE’S HOW TO WHITELIST VOX”.

Hypothes.is annotations to WordPress via RSS

I created a video overview/walkthrough of how I take highlights and annotations on Hypothes.isHypothes.is and feed them through to my WordPress Website using RSS and IFTTT.com.

I suspect that a reasonable WordPress user could probably set up a free Hypothes.is account and use the RSS feed from it (something like https://hypothes.is/stream.atom?user=username) to create an IFTTT.com recipe to post it as a public/draft to their WordPress website.

My version presented here has also been augmented by also using the Post Kinds Plugin to which I’ve manually added a custom annotation post type along with some CSS for the yellow highlight effect. These additional coding flourishes aren’t absolutely necessary for those who just want to own the data on their website.

If you want to get even fancier you could also do RSS to IFTTT to do a webhook post to an Micropub endpoint or custom code your own solution using their API. Lots of options are available, the most difficult part may be knowing that something like this could even be done.

Music box repair

I was a bit stressed out earlier and needed a mini-project, so I picked up an old music box from grandma that hadn’t worked in over a decade.

I ultimately ended up taking the entire thing apart to get it working again properly. Nice to have a bit of a distraction.

Here’s a few photos of the Swiss Thorens No 26 1/2 Emmentalerlied Kuhreigen Vo Luzern uf Weggis zue along with a very up close audio that picks up the depth of the inner mechanics. The tune plays through twice before I let the mechanism stop itself.

Perhaps I’ll revisit the positioning of the pins to improve the sound, but at least it’s working again.

ThreadReaderApp now has beta support for the Micropub Spec so you can publish Twitter threads directly to your blog

So… a while back I tweeted about a bit of functionality I’ve long thought would be a cool one to have for Twitter:

I would often see people post tweetstorms, long threads of related tweets, to tell an extended story.

Invariably people see these threads and say “Why don’t/didn’t you just post that on your website as a blog post instead?”

(In fact, why don’t you try it on this very tweet?)

I’ve personally been using the #IndieWeb concept of P.O.S.S.E. (Post on your Own Site and Syndicate Elsewhere) for a while now. I’ll post my content on my personal website first and only then syndicate a copy to Twitter.
indieweb.org/POSSE

But today, for the first time in a very LONG time, I’m posting this particular thread to Twitter first…

Then when I’m done, I’ll roll it all up conveniently using the awesome @ThreadReaderApp which will put a nice readable version on their site.

Presto!

Blogpost, right??

Sadly, I don’t own that copy…

It really needs to be on my blog for that to work, right?!

“But wait. There’s more.” as they say in advertising.

Now with the help of @ThreadReaderApp, and the Micropub plugin for #WordPress, I’ll be able to view my thread on ThreadReader in a brand new bonus feature that’s currently in beta. Screencapture of ThreadReaderApp site featuring a button labeled

Yes, you guessed it! It’s that wondrous “Publish to Blog” button!!

With a quick click, @ThreadReaderApp will authenticate and I can authorize it to publish to my WordPress site on my behalf.

I can now publish the entire thread to my own website!!

Now this thread that I’ve published to Twitter will live forever archived on my own website as its own stand-alone blogpost.

Huzzah!!

I’m not sure how often I’m prone to do this in the future, but I hope we won’t hear that “Why didn’t you just post that on your own website as a blogpost?” as frequently.

With just a button push, I’ll be able to quickly and simply cross-post my Twitter threads on Twitter directly to my website!
#OwnYourData

In #IndieWeb terminology this publishing workflow is known as P.E.S.O.S. or Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate to Your Own Site.
indieweb.org/PESOS

I’ll mention for the masses that this publishing functionality is only possible courtesy of a W3C recommendation (aka web standard) known as Micropub.
indieweb.org/Micropub

Because it’s a web standard, @ThreadReaderApp can build the functionality once & it should work on dozens of platforms including @WordPress @Drupal @WithKnown @CraftCMS @Jekyllrb @GetKirby @GoHugoIO @MicroDotBlog among a growing set of others.
indieweb.org/Micropub/Serve…

Some of these may have built-in or core support for the standard while others may require a simple plugin or module to support this functionality.

Don’t see your platform supported yet? Ask your CMS or platform provider to provide direct support.

It shouldn’t take much work for @Ghost @grabaperch @squarespace @Wix @getgrav @magento @typo3 @Blogger @medium @Tumblr @mediawiki @omeka and others to support this too.

There’s lots of open source implementations already out there in various languages and there’s a fantastic test suite available for developers.

I’ll also give a quick shout out to @iAWriter which also just added Micropub support to let people use their editor to post to their websites.

And of course once you’ve realized that your platform supports Micropub to publish to your website, why not try out one of the dozens of other Micropub clients out there?
indieweb.org/Micropub/Clien…

They support a variety of post or content types from full articles to photos and geolocation to bookmarks. The sky’s the limit.

Some of my favorites are Quill, OwnYourSwarm, Omnibear, and Teacup. And let’s not forget social feed readers like Monocle and Indigenous that let you read and respond to content directly in your feed reader! (I no longer miss Google Reader, now I just feel sorry for them.)

Congratulations again to @ThreadReaderApp for helping to lead the way in the corporate social space for support of the awesomeness that Micropub allows.

Thread away!

Pantheon: A great resource of people and bibliographical data for PAO systems

When creating a Person-Action-Object (PAO) system, sometimes a major issue is having the creativity and perseverance of coming up with a strong repository of names, pictures, and other related data to use.

While doing some research today on collective learning I came across a really well-curated and research-grade system called Pantheon with a wealth of all the sorts of data one could possibly want when creating a PAO.

Naturally if you’re memorizing dates and places for other reasons, there’s a great wealth of data and some useful visualizations hiding in here as well. I suspect that some may find it useful for work with names and faces too.

A hack for using Hypothes.is to annotate on mobile

I do a fair amount of reading on my mobile phone and my addiction to Hypothes.is for annotating and highlighting what I read has finally driven me to the brink. I have typically added via.hypothes.is to the URLs of articles manually so I can use Hypothes.is on my phone. I’ve finally had enough of the manual timesuck that I’ve gone in search of an answer since there is not yet a mobile app solution.

I’ve long been an Android user, so I broke out the URL Forwarder app which uses the ubiquitous share functionality of most phone platforms and adds a thin layer of program-ability.

In short I created a new filter and cleverly named it “Hypothesize”. Then I added the filter url “http://via.hypothes.is/@url” and left the replaceable text alone. 

screenshot of URL Forwarder and settings for Hypothes.is

Now I can take an article from almost anywhere on my phone (reading services like Pocket, my feed readers, or even articles within the browser themselves), click share, choose “URL Forwarder” from the top of the list, select “Hypothesize” and the piece I want to annotate magically opens up with Hypothes.is ready to go in my default browser. Huzzah!

The three taps are ever so much easier than trying to tap a URL to edit it it and then typing. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?

Have you had this problem? Do you have a better solution or work around?

Thoughts on hosting an IndieWebCamp Pop-up Session

A few weeks back, I hosted a stand alone IndieWebCamp pop-up session. I had promised to scribble down some thoughts about the process and how it might be improved based on my experience. If anyone else has thoughts on how it went or how future events like this could be improved, I’d love to read them.

With traditional in-person two day camps on hold for the foreseeable future as the result of the coronavirus, doing some smaller one day or even one session topics seemed like a good idea at the time. After having done it once, I now think they’re an even better idea. A variety of things came out of the experience that I wouldn’t have anticipated.

Process

I posted the notice for the event to my website and to events.indieweb.org about two weeks in advance. This helped give me enough time to invite about 15 people I expected to be interested in the particular topic. A few tweets as reminders helped in addition to the announcement being early enough to make it into two of the IndieWeb newsletters.

I held the session at 10am Pacific so that we might be able to draw people from the late evening time zones in Europe, mid-afternoon people on the East coast of the U.S. but still late enough in the morning so that people on the West coast of America wouldn’t have to be up too early. This seems to have worked out well though I feel bad that we did likely shortchange several people in India, Asia, and Australia who might have attended.

I expected that I would be starting out small and simple and honestly only expected about 3-6 people to show up. I was initially thinking a tiny, one-topic Homebrew Website Club, but on a weekend.

On the day of the event my guess was that we had about 25 attendees, but statistics after the fact showed that 35 people logged into the session. There were still people arriving into the room at the two hour mark! According to the numbers, there have already been 210+ views of the archived video since it was posted later on the day of the event.

I suppose that future sessions will give additional data to bear the hypothesis out, but one of the side-benefits of having a specific topic announced a few weeks in advance seemed to have brought in a large number of people interested in the particular topic and who were generally unaware of the IndieWeb as a group or a movement. I’ve seen several of these people at subsequent Homebrew Website Club meetups, so using these sessions to help spread the principles of IndieWeb does seem to have been generally useful. About half of the attendees hadn’t been to an IndieWeb event previously. I did try to start with a brief introduction to IndieWeb at the start of the session and offered some follow up at the end, but I probably could have planned for this better.

I wish I had collected people’s emails, but I’ll have to do this manually somehow if we do so now. The traditional signup and organization structure for full camps would have done this, but it would be nice to have a simple workflow for doing this on a lower key basis for pop-ups. Emails would also have helped to put together a post-event questionnaire to potentially create a follow up session.

Thanks certainly goes to all the people who have built pre-existing infrastructure and patterns for pulling off such an event so easily.

Wiki Infrastructure

Since the session, I’ve gone into the IndieWeb wiki and created a stub pseudo-IndieWebCamp listing to help make organizing future stand-alone pop-up sessions a bit easier (particularly for documenting the results after-the-fact.)

The key is to make doing these as easy as possible from an organization standpoint. Having pre-existing pages on the wiki seems to help a lot (or at least feels like it from a mental baggage perspective).

Here are the relevant pages:

Execution

One of the things that was generally missing from the program was some of the hallway chatter and getting-to-know-you preliminary conversation. I think if I were doing another session I’d schedule 15 minutes of preliminary chat and dedicate about 30 minutes of introduction time into the process and encourage people to have a cup of coffee or drink to help make the atmosphere a bit more casual and conversational.

On thing that surprised me was that despite scheduling about an hours’ worth of time to the session we still had a sizeable crowd talking about the topic nearly two hours later. I think having more than just the traditional hour of conversation at a camp was awesome. It helped us not only dig in a bit deeper into the topic, but also helped in managing things given the larger number of attendees over the usual camp setting where 5-15 session attendees has been the norm. Doing it again, I might outline a three hour mini-event to allow covering a bit more material but still keeping things small and relatively casual.

I certainly benefited by the presence of a few old hands in the IndieWeb community showing up and helping out on the day of, particularly in terms of helping to manage Zoom infrastructure and format. A single person could certainly plan and execute a pop-up session, but I would highly recommend that at least two people show up to co-host on the day of the event, especially if the attendance goes over 10 people. 

The IndieWeb Zoom set up prevents organizers from allowing users to share their screens during a session. (This issue has popped up in a few HWCs lately too.)  This was potentially helpful in the earlier days when it was easier for zoombombers to pop into rooms and disrupt a conversation. There have been enough changes to Zoom with precautions built in that this part of the lock down probably isn’t needed any longer, particularly given how useful screen sharing can be.

Despite having many places to indicate RSVP’s I had very little indication of how many would show up. Something to improve this would be nice in the future, though isn’t necessarily mission critical.

I’ve definitely experienced the organizer decompression time required after putting together something big. I feel like there was less of the traditional post-event stress for this one session which allowed me to focus more of my time and attention after-the-fact on the content of the session and getting some work relating to it done. For me at least, I consider this a big personal win.

Create day/time

Traditional camps set aside day two for people to create something related to the session(s) they attended on day one. We didn’t do that for this session ahead of time, but I desperately wish we had created a better space for doing that somehow. Later on the afternoon of the session, I posted a note encouraging people to write, create, or do something tangible. I wish I had created a specific time for either the following day (or even a week later) for everyone to reconvene and do a short demo session as a follow up.

Simply having a blog section and demo page on the wiki did help encourage people to write, blog, and continue thinking and working on the session topic afterwards.

Concentration

One of the things I’ve appreciated since the session is the level of conversation in the general IndieWeb chat rooms, on people’s blogs, and peppered around Twitter and Mastodon. Often when couched into a larger IndieWebCamp there are so many sessions and conversations, the individual topics can seem to be lost in all the hubbub. Fifteen sessions concentrated on one weekend is incredibly invigorating, but because all of the concentration was on just a single topic, there was a lot more focus and energy spent on just that one thing. I sort of feel like this concentration has helped to carry over in the intervening time because I haven’t been as distracted by the thirty other competing things I’d like to work on with respect to my website since.

There has been a lot of specific article writing about this one session as some camps get in entirety.

Perhaps pop-up sessions on broader topics and problems that haven’t had as much work or which have only one or two small examples may benefit from this sort of concentrated work by several people.

I do wonder what may have happened if we had had a broad conversation about the top level topic for an hour and a half and then broken into smaller groups for 45 minutes to talk about sub-topics?

Conclusions

In the end, the session went far better than I ever expected for the amount of time I invested into it. I definitely encourage others to try to put together similar sessions. They’re simple and easy enough to be organized by one person and they can be carried out by one person, though I’d recommend two.

I encourage others to suggest topics and set up other sessions.

Even if you’re not interested in the organization portion, why not propose a topic? Perhaps someone else with a more organizational bent will come along and help you make it happen?

I’m happy, as always, to help people plan them out and deal with some of the logistics (Zoom, Etherpad, wiki, etc.) should anyone need it.

What session topic(s) will you propose for the next one?

Thoughts on Wikity for WordPress

I spun up a new instance of Wikity today at http://wikity.chrisaldrich.net/ to test it out for potential use as a personal online wiki. My goal was also to test out how it may or may not work with IndieWeb-based WordPress pieces too.

Below are my initial thoughts and problems.

The /home/ page has a lot of errors and warnings. (Never a good sign.)

It took me a few minutes to figure out where the Wik-it! bookmarklet button was hiding. Ideally it would have been in the start card that described how the bookmarklet would work (in addition to its original spot).

The Wikity theme seems to have some issues when using for http vs. https.

  • Less seems to work out of the box with https
  • The main card for entering “Name of Concept or Data” didn’t work at all under https. It only showed the title and wouldn’t save. Switching to http seemed to fix it and show the editor bar.

I’ve tried copying over from Aaron DavisWikity instance, but the cardbox seems to fail on my end.

  • Nothing seemed to work at all when I had my site as https. In fact, it redirected to a URL that seemed like it wanted to run update.php for some bizarre reason.
  • On http I at least get a card saying that the process failed.
    • Not sure what may be causing this.
    • Doesn’t seem to matter how many cards it is.
    • Perhaps it’s the fact that Aaron’s site is https? I notice that his checkbox export functionality duplicates his entire URL including the https:// within the export box which seems to automatically prepend http://
    • Copying to my own wiki seems to vaguely work using http, but failed on https.

Multiple * in the markdown editor functionality within WordPress doesn’t seem to format the way I’d expect.

Sadly, the original Wikity.cc site is down, but the theme still includes a link to it front and center on my website.

The home screen quick new card has some wonky CSS that off centers it.

Toggling full screen editing mode in new cards from the home screen makes them too big and obscures the UI making things unusable.

The primary multi-card home display doesn’t work well with markup the way the individual posts do.

The custom theme seems to be hiding some of the IndieWeb pieces. It may also be hampering the issuance of webmention as I tried sending one to myself and it only showed up as a pingback. It didn’t feel worth the effort to give the system a full IndieWeb test drive beyond this.

Doing this set up as a theme and leveraging posts seems like a very odd choice. From my reading, Mike Caulfield was relatively new to WordPress development when he made this. Even if he was an intermediate developer, he should be proud of his effort, including his attention to some minute bits of UI that others wouldn’t have considered. To make this a more ubiquitous solution, it may have been a better choice to create it as a plugin, do a custom post type for wiki cards and create a separate section of the database for them instead of trying to leverage posts. This way it could have been installed on any pre-existing WordPress install and the user could choose their own favorite theme and still have a wiki built into it. In this incarnation it’s really only meant to be installed on a fresh stand-alone site.

I only used the Classic Editor and didn’t even open up the Gutenberg box of worms in any of my tests.

Summary

The Wikity theme hasn’t been maintained in four years and it looks like it’s going to take quite a bit of work (or a complete refactoring) to make it operate the way I’d want it to. Given the general conceptualization it may make much more sense to try to find a better maintained solution for a wiki.

The overarching idea of what he was trying to accomplish, particularly within the education space and the OER space, was awesome. I would love nothing more than to have wiki-like functionality built into my personal WordPress website, particularly if I could have different presentations for the two sides but still maintain public/private versions of pieces and still have site-wide tagging and search. Having the ability to port data from site to site is a particularly awesome idea.

Is anyone actively still using it? I’d love to hear others’ thoughts about problems/issues they’ve seen. Is it still working for you as expected? Is it worth upgrading the broken bits? Is it worth refactoring into a standalone plugin?