Read A fictitious, somewhat farcical conversation between me and the JavaScript programming language (littleyellowdifferent.substack.com)
Ernie: Hey, JavaScript. JavaScript: Oh. It’s you. E: Yeah. So it’s been a while. JS: Oh. It has. E: I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. You know how it goes; it’s just been super busy the past couple of years. Being a manager at all of that. JS: Mm-hmm.

This is pretty hilarious and oh so true.

From Following Posts and Blogrolls (Following Pages) with OPML to Microsub Servers and Readers

I’m still tinkering away at pathways for following people (and websites) on the open web (in my case within WordPress). I’m doing it with an eye toward making some of the UI and infrastructure easier in light of the current fleet of Microsub servers and readers that will enable easier social reading without the centralized reliance on services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Medium, LinkedIn, et al.

If you haven’t been following along, here are some relevant pieces for background:

Generally I’ve been adding data into my Following Page (aka blogroll on steroids) using the old WordPress Links Manager pseudo-manually. (There’s also a way to bulk import to it via OPML, using the WordPress Tools Menu or via /wp-admin/import.php?import=opml). The old Links Manager functionality in WordPress had a bookmarklet to add links to it quickly, though it currently only seems to add a minimal set–typically just the URL and the page title. Perhaps someone with stronger JavaScript skills than I possess could improve on it or integrate/leverage some of David Shanske’s Parse This work into such a bookmark to pull more data out of pages (via Microformats, Schema.org, Open Graph Protocol, or Dublin Core meta) to pre-fill the Links Manager with more metadata including page feeds, which I now understand Parse This does in the past month or so. (If more than one feed is found, they could be added in comma separated form to the “Notes” section and the user could cut/paste the appropriate one into the feed section.) Since I spent some significant time trying to find/dig up that old bookmarklet, I’ll mention that it can be found in the Restore Lost Functionality plugin (along with many other goodies) and a related version also exists in the Link Library plugin, though on a small test I found it only pulled in the URL.

Since it wasn’t completely intuitive to find, I’ll include the JavaScript snippet for the Links Manager bookmarklet below, though note that the URL hard coded into it is for example.com, so change that part if you’re modifying for your own use. (I haven’t tested it, but it may require the Press This plugin which replaces some of the functionality that was taken out of WordPress core in version 4.9. It will certainly require one to enable using the Links Manager either via code or via plugin.)

javascript:void(linkmanpopup=window.open('https://exanple.com/wp-admin/link-add.php?action=popup&linkurl='+escape(location.href)+'&name='+escape(document.title),'LinkManager','scrollbars=yes,width=750,height=550,left=15,top=15,status=yes,resizable=yes'));linkmanpopup.focus();window.focus();linkmanpopup.focus();

Since I’ve been digging around a bit, I’ll note that Yannick Lefebvre’s Link Library plugin seems to have a similar sort of functionality to Links Manager and adds in the ability to add a variety of additional data fields including tags, which Ton Zijlstra mentions he would like (and I wouldn’t mind either). Unfortunately I’m not seeing any OPML functionality in the plugin, so it wins at doing display (with a huge variety of settings) for a stand-alone blogroll, but it may fail at the data portability for doing the additional OPML portion we’ve been looking at. Of course I’m happy to be corrected, but I don’t see anything in the documentation or a cursory glance at the code.

In the most ideal world, I’d love to be able to use the Post Kinds Plugin to create follow posts (see my examples). This plugin is already able to generally use bookmarklet functionality to pull in a variety of meta data using the Parse This code which is also built into Post Kinds.

It would be nice if these follow posts would also copy their data into the Links Manager (to keep things DRY), so that the blogroll and the OPML files are automatically updated all at once. (Barring Post Kinds transferring the data, it would be nice to have an improved bookmarklet for pulling data into the Links Manager piece directly.)

Naturally having the ability for these OPML files be readable/usable by Jack Jamieson’s forthcoming Yarns Microsub Server for WordPress (for use with social readers) would be phenomenal. (I believe there are already one or two OPML to h-feed converters for Microsub in the wild.) All of this would be a nice end -to-end solution for quickly and easily following people (or sites) with a variety of feeds and feed types (RSS, Atom, JSONfeed, h-feed).

An additional refinement of the blogroll display portion would be to have that page display as an h-feed of h-entries each including properly marked up h-cards with appropriate microformats and discoverable RSS feeds to make it easier for other sites to find and use that data. (This may be a more IndieWeb-based method of displaying such a page compared with the OPML spec.) I’ll also note that the Links Manager uses v1 of the OPML spec and it would potentially be nice to have an update on that as well for newer discovery tools/methods like Dave Winer’s Share Your OPML Subscription list, which I’m noting seems to be down/not functioning at the moment.

👓 Basic Things You Need to Know to Become a WordPress Developer | Caldera Forms

Read Basic Things You Need to Know to Become a WordPress Developer by Josh Pollock (WordPress Form Builder | Caldera Forms)
There are a lot of reasons to love WordPress, but one of the reasons I keep WordPressing is the supportive community. While I have no formal training as a web developer, I don’t like describing myself as “self-taught.” I didn’t figure this out on my own, I was taught by a supportive communit...

👓 Gutenberg FAQ | Matt Mullenweg

Read WordPress 5.0: A Gutenberg FAQ by Matt Mullenweg (Matt Mullenweg)
We are nearing the release date for WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, one of the most important and exciting projects I’ve worked on in my 15 years with this community. I knew we would be taking a big leap. But it’s a leap we need to take, and I think the end result is going to open up many new oppo...

👓 Introduction – The new Gutenberg editing experience | WordPress

Read Introduction: The new Gutenberg editing experience (WordPress)
“Gutenberg” is the codename for the new WordPress editor focus. The goal of this focus is to create a new post and page editing experience that makes it easy for anyone to create rich post layouts. This was the kickoff goal: The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experi...

👓 Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript? | Medium

Read Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript? by Mandy Michael (Medium)
I recently had the opportunity to speak at Web Directions Code 2017 over in Melbourne. While there, I was part of a panel with Mark Dalgleish and Glen Maddern (who gave spectacular talks I might add). We’d just finished a set of talks about CSS, and during the panel we got a question along the lines of (paraphrasing): “Is there a place in the industry for people who just write css and html” To me, this could easily be interpreted as, “Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript?”, based on some comments from the audience after, this seemed to be how many understood question. So, we asked the audience if they hire people who just write CSS and HTML. No-one put their hand up. And I, for one, was disappointed.

📖 Read pages 55 – 86 of 776 of Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript with JQUERY, CSS & HTML5 by Robin Nixon

📖 Read pages 55 – 86 of 776 of Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript with JQUERY, CSS & HTML5 by Robin Nixon

I’ve been promising myself that I would do some brushing up on programming skills this year and this seems like a fairly reasonable text with some simple examples.

Break the logjam with a simple API

Read Break the logjam with a simple API by Dave Winer (Scripting News)

It just takes one storage service to decide to bridge the gap and a wonderful era of innovation can begin.

Background

Some people assume that for a user to be independent of silos, they would need to run a server. This is not true. With a tiny connection between JavaScript running in the browser and a cloud-based storage service, we can do anything a server can do without the server, entirely in the browser.

This isn't a question. In 2016, the technology is mature, we know how it works.

How to

Here's a sketch of how the service would work.

  1. Start with a user-facing service like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive.
  2. Add an API that allows a JavaScript app running in the browser to write into a folder in a user's space. The user grants access via oAuth, as they do with Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  3. Connect to a registrar to allow a user to associate a domain name with a folder. Or map a domain they register elsewhere. A revenue opportunity.

That's it. Now I can hook my JS-in-the-browser app to your service. The user manages it through the UI you already support. And we've opened up a new area for developers to be creative. And most important, it says the exploration of great writing tools can advance outside of Medium. (That's how important Medium has been for the last few years.)

BTW, for Amazon, they would use the S3 API, which is supported everywhere. The apps would pop up very quickly for their service.

It's a total logjam and could be broken by one storage service deciding to help the users break free of silos.