👓 GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button | Bloomberg

Read GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button by Paul Ford (Bloomberg.com)
Steve Ballmer spent years hating on open source software. Satya Nadella recognized that the service has become indispensable to programmers.

A nice analysis piece about the GitHub purchase for the non-technical. It highlights the fact that a nice and simple UI can be worth its weight in gold.

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👓 What are people using GitHub for besides coding? | InfoWorld

Read GitHub for the rest of us by Jon Udell (InfoWorld)
Git made it possible for programmers to coordinate distributed work across teams -- now GitHub makes it possible for everyone else

GitHub’s acquisition by Microsoft this week has many people writing about what GitHub is and how it could be used and leveraged by a larger institutional company. Jon Udell, who thinks a lot about annotation and and highlighting, has an excellent piece here (from 2015) that touches on some excellent forward-thinking pieces. Some of it is reminiscent to an article I wrote back in 2014: Git and Version Control for Novelists, Screenwriters, Academics, and the General Public. I’m hoping that in the coming years that the user interfaces for projects like these improve to make version control a more ubiquitous tool.

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👓 Microsoft + GitHub = Empowering Developers | The Official Microsoft Blog

Read Microsoft + GitHub = Empowering Developers (The Official Microsoft Blog)
Today, we announced an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform. I want to share what this acquisition will mean for our industry and for developers. The era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge is upon us. Computing is becoming embedded in the world,...

Not quite the pablum of the GitHub version of this announcement, but still in the same general ballpark. This one at least had some additional detail on things moving forward.

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👓 Microsoft has reportedly acquired GitHub | The Verge

Read Microsoft has reportedly acquired GitHub by Tom Warren (The Verge)
Deal could be announced on Monday

I suspect many are going to be surprised at how much Microsoft has been into open source while they’re still thinking this is the monopolist of the past.

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Read doesn’t have an option to facepile in discussion settings

Filed an Issue pfefferle/wordpress-semantic-linkbacks (GitHub)
More meaningful linkbacks

It looks like the new “read” functionality for mentions automatically facepiles them anyway, but I’ve noticed that the settings at /wp-admin/options-discussion.php#semantic_linkbacks doesn’t include a checkbox for reads.

This really isn’t an issue (at least for me), but you may want to be aware of it or tweak it for parity’s sake.

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📺 Git Tutorial 5: Branches (Create, Merge, Delete a branch) | YouTube

Watched Git Tutorial 5: Branches (Create, Merge, Delete a branch) by codebasics from YouTube
In this tutorial, I'll cover a very powerful feature of git called branch. I will show you how you can manage alternate versions of your code by creating separate branches, how to merge branches and delete them.

📺 Git Tutorial 4: Undoing/Reverting/Resetting code changes | YouTube

Watched Git Tutorial 4: Undoing/Reverting/Resetting code changes by codebasics from YouTube
In this tutorial, we will cover how to undo or revert a code change. Also I will show you how to reset your git branch to any previous commit id.

📺 Github Tutorial For Beginners – Github Basics for Mac or Windows & Source Control Basics | YouTube

Watched Github Tutorial For Beginners - Github Basics for Mac or Windows & Source Control Basics by Learncode.academy from YouTube
If you've been wanting to learn Github, now's the perfect time! Github is seen as a big requirement by most employers these days and is very critical to business workflow. This Github tutorial will cover the basics of how to use Github and the command line.

Reply to Second try at language

Replied to Second try at language · dshanske/wordpress-webmention@c97ff2b (GitHub)

Another alternative:

To respond on your own website, enter the URL of your response which should contain a link to this post’s permalink URL. Your response will then appear (possibly after moderation) on this page. Want to update or remove your response? Update or delete your post and re-enter your post’s URL again.

If there’s the ability to hook into whether or not comments are moderated, one could simplify it slightly with an if/then statement based on the site’s moderation policy to either include, or not, the part about moderation.

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Fatal Error with WP_Error as array in Webmention Form

Filed an Issue pfefferle/wordpress-webmention (GitHub)
A Webmention plugin for WordPress https://wordpress.org/plugins/webmention/

As mentioned in IW chat:

When placing the URL https://abraham.uno/909/listening-an-indieweb-podcast-episode-0/ into the Webmention Form at http://boffosocko.com/2018/03/19/an-indieweb-podcast-episode-0-considering-the-user/#Respond+on+your+own the following Fatal Error appears at http://boffosocko.com/wp-json/webmention/1.0/endpoint:

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Cannot use object of type WP_Error as array in /htdocs/wp-content/plugins/webmention/templates/webmention-api-message.php:119 Stack trace: #0 /htdocs/wp-content/plugins/webmention/includes/class-webmention-receiver.php(161): require_once() #1 /htdocs/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(298): Webmention_Receiver::serve_request(false, Object(WP_REST_Response), Object(WP_REST_Request), Object(WP_REST_Server)) #2 htdocs/wp-includes/plugin.php(203): WP_Hook->apply_filters(false, Array) #3 /htdocs/wp-includes/rest-api/class-wp-rest-server.php(380): apply_filters('rest_pre_serve_...', false, Object(WP_REST_Response), Object(WP_REST_Request), Object(WP_REST_Server)) #4 /htdocs/wp-includes/rest-api.php(271): WP_REST_Server->serve_request('/webmention/1.0...') #5 /htdocs/wp- in /htdocs/wp-content/plugins/webmention/templates/webmention-api-message.php on line 119

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Better UI for status update cross-posting option

Filed an Issue Mastodon WordPress Autopost by L1am0 (GitHub)
A Wordpress Plugin that automatically posts your new articles to Mastodon https://wordpress.org/plugins/autopost-to-mastodon/

Given that I suspect most use Mastodon for short status updates (under their 500 character limit), it would be nice if there were an option for posting the_content from WordPress’ main body editor along with the URL and/or any hashtags. This way people could post short updates from their blog as status updates/asides and have the full post (or an automatically shortened version if too long) sent over with a link back to the original.

Currently the posting of Title/Link/Hashtags or Title/Content/Link/Hashtags is better for cross-posting longer blog articles which tend to have titles whereas status updates often don’t have titles.

From a UI perspective, it would also optionally be nice to have some type of character counter for the primary text box to fit into Mastodon’s guidelines. I recall there having been a plugin that did just this which might be repurposed: https://wordpress.org/plugins/character-count-for-post-content-excerpt/

To be able to switch between the various modes Title/Link/Hashtags; Title/Content/Link/Hashtags; and potentially this new Body/Link/Hashtags it would be nice if the Mastodon Autopost meta box had the option to also select between them in addition to the “Post to Mastodon” checkbox.

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Replied to Support for importing syndication links for Mastodon Autopost · Issue #75 · dshanske/syndication-links by Chris Aldrich (GitHub)
Now that SL has the Mastodon icon (#66), I'll also note that the latest version of Mastodon Autopost plugin should now also support importing the URL for the last successful toot to allow the closure of automating the POSSE loop.

I’m verifying, for the tape since I know you don’t use Mastodon Autopost, that this works as expected now.

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Enabling two way communication with WordPress and GitHub for Issues

This week, using the magic of open web standards, I was able to write an issue post on my own website, automatically syndicate a copy of it to GitHub, and later automatically receive a reply to the copy on GitHub back to my original post as a comment there. This gives my personal website a means of doing two way communication with GitHub.

This functionality is another in a long line of content types my website is able to support so that I’m able to own my own content, yet still be able to interact with people on other websites and social media services. Given the number of social sites I’ve seen disappear over the years (often taking my content with them), this functionality gives me a tremendously larger amount of control and ownership over my web presence and identity while still allowing me to easily communicate with others.

In this post I wanted to briefly sketch what I’ve done to enable this functionality, so others who are so inclined can follow along to do the same thing.

Setting up WordPress to syndicate to GitHub

I’ll presume as a first step that one has both a GitHub account and a self-hosted WordPress website, though the details will also broadly apply to just about any content management system out there that supports the web standards mentioned.

Register your GitHub account and your website with Bridgy

Ryan Barrett runs a fantastic free open sourced service called Bridgy. To use it you’ll need the microformat rel=​​​“me” links on both your GitHub account and your website’s homepage that point at each other.  GitHub will do most of the work on its side for you simply by adding the URL of your website to the URL field for your GitHub account at https://github.com/settings/profile. Next on your website’s homepage, you’ll want to add a corresponding rel=​​​​​“me” link from your website to your GitHub account.

In my case, I have a simple widget on my homepage with roughly the following link:
<a href="https://github.com/username">GitHub</a>
in which I’ve replaced ‘username’ with my own GitHub username. There are a variety of other ways to add a rel=​​​​​“me” link to your webpage, some of which are documented on the IndieWeb wiki.

Now you can go to Brid.gy and under “Connect your accounts” click on the GitHub button. This will prompt you to sign into GitHub via oAuth if you’re not already logged into the site. If you are already signed in, Brid.gy will check that the rel=​​​​​“me” links on both your site and your GitHub account reciprocally point at each other and allow you to begin using the service to pull replies to your posts on GitHub back to your website.

To allow Brid.gy to publish to GitHub on your behalf (via webmention, which we’ll set up shortly), click on the “Publish” button.

Install the Webmention Plugin

The underlying technology that allows the Bridgy service to both publish on one’s behalf as well as for the replies from GitHub to come back to one’s site is an open web standard known as Webmention. WordPress can quickly and easily support this standard with the simple Webmention plugin that can be downloaded and activated on one’s site without any additional configuration.

For replies coming back from GitHub to one’s site it’s also recommended that one also install and activate the Semantic Linkbacks Plugin which also doesn’t require any configuration. This plugin provides better integration and UI features in the comments section of one’s website.

Install Post Kinds Plugin

The Post Kinds Plugin is somewhat similar to WordPress’s Post Formats core functionality, it just goes the extra mile to support a broader array of post types with the appropriate meta data and semantic markup for interacting with Bridgy, other web parsers, and readers.

Download the plugin, activate it, and in the plugin’s settings page enable the “Issue” kind. For more details on using it, I’ve written about this plugin in relative detail in the past.

Install Bridgy Publish Plugin

One can just as easily install the Bridgy Publish Plugin for WordPress and activate it. This will add a meta box to one’s publishing dashboard that, after a quick configuration of which social media silos one wishes to support, will allow one to click a quick checkbox to automatically syndicate their posts.

Install the Syndication Links Plugin

The Syndication Links plugin is also a quick install and activate process. You can modify the settings to allow a variety of ways to display your syndication links (or not) on your website if you wish.

This plugin will provide the Bridgy Publish Plugin a place to indicate the permalink of where your syndicated content lives on GitHub. The Bridgy service will use this permalink to match up the original content on your website and the copy on GitHub so that when there are replies, it will know which post to send those replies to as comments which will then live on your own website.

Post away

You should now be ready to write your first issue on your website, cross post it to GitHub (a process known in IndieWeb parlance as POSSE), and receive any replies to your GitHub issue as comments back to your own website.

Create a new post.

In the “Kinds” meta box, choose the “Issue” option.

Screen capture of the Kinds meta box with "Issue" option chosen.
Kinds meta box with “Issue” option chosen.

Type in a title for the issue in the “Title” field.

In the “Response Properties” meta box, put the permalink URL of the Github repopository for which you’re creating an issue. The plugin should automatically process the URL and import the repository name and details.

The “Response Properties” meta box.

In the primary editor, type up any details for the issue as you would on GitHub in their comment box. You can include a relatively wide variety of custom symbols and raw html including

and  with code samples which will cross-post and render properly.

In the GitHub meta box, select the GitHub option. You can optionally select other boxes if you’re also syndicating your content to other services as well. See the documentation for Bridgy and the plugin for how to do this.

Screen capture of the Bridgy Publish meta box with GitHub chosen
Bridgy Publish meta box with GitHub chosen.

Optionally set any additional metadata for your post (tags, categories, etc.) as necessary.

Publish your post.

On publication, your issue should be automatically filed to the issue queue of the appropriate GitHub repo and include a link back to your original (if selected). Your post should receive the syndicated permalink of the issue on GitHub and be displayed (depending on your settings) at the bottom of your post.

Syndication Links Plugin will display the location of your syndicated copies at the bottom of your post.

When Bridgy detects future interactions with the copy of your post on GitHub, it will copy them and send them to your original post as a webmention so that they can be displayed as comments there.

An example of a comment sent via webmention from GitHub via Brid.gy. It includes a permalink to the comment as well as a link to the GitHub user’s profile and their avatar.

If you frequently create issues on GitHub like this you might want a slightly faster way of posting. Toward that end, I’ve previously sketched out how to create browser bookmarklets that will allow you one click post creation from a particular GitHub repo to speed things along. Be sure to change the base URL of your website and include the correct bookmarklet type of “issue” in the code.

The Post Kinds plugin will also conveniently provide you with an archive of all your past Issue posts at the URL http://example.com/kind/issue/, where you can replace example.com with your own website. Adding feed/ to the end of that URL provides an RSS feed link as well. Post Kinds will also let you choose the “Reply” option instead of “Issue” to create and own your own replies to GitHub issues while still syndicating them in a similar manner and receive replies back.

Other options

Given the general set up of the variety of IndieWeb-based tools, there are a multitude of other ways one can also accomplish this workflow (both on WordPress as well as with an infinity of other CMSes). The outline I’ve provided here is one of the quickest methods for beginners that will allow a relatively high level of automation and almost no manual work.

One doesn’t necessarily need to use the Post Kinds Plugin, but could manually insert all the requisite HTML into their post editor to accomplish the post side of things via webmention. (One also has the option to manually syndicate the content to GitHub by cutting and pasting it as well.) If doing things manually this way is desired, then one will need to also manually provide a link to the syndicated post on GitHub into their original so that Bridgy can match up the copy and the original to send the replies via webmention.

More details on how to use Bridgy with Github manually in conjunction with WordPress or other CMSes can be found here: https://brid.gy/about#github-issue-comment

Further steps

If you’ve followed many of these broad steps, you’ve given already given yourself an incredibly strong IndieWeb-based WordPress installation. With a minimal amount of small modifications you can also use it to dovetail your website with other social services like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and many others. Why not take a quick look around on the IndieWeb wiki to see what other magic you can perform with your website!

I’ve documented many of my experiments, including this one, in a collection of posts for reference.

Help

If you have questions or problems, feel free to comment below or via webmention using your own website. You can also find a broad array of help with these plugins, services, and many other pieces of IndieWeb technology in their online chat rooms.​​​​​​​​

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