IndieWebCamp NYC on 09/28-29

Want to see what the bleeding edge of the web and the future of social media looks like? Join an inclusive and welcoming group of creators at IndieWebCamp NYC on 9/28-29 either in person or live streaming.
https://indieweb.org/2018/NYC

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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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👓 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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👓 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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👓 Use the_title() and the_title_attribute() Correctly | Pippins Plugins

Read Use the_title() and the_title_attribute() Correctly (Pippins Plugins)
WordPress provides a nice little function for displaying the title of the current post: the_title(). This function gets used all over the place: in the site header, at the top of single posts and pages, in the loop, in the footer, etc. It is probably one of the most commonly used functions by theme developers,…
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👓 Lessons of running a (semi) static, Indieweb-friendly site for 2 years | petermolnar.net

Read Lessons of running a (semi) static, Indieweb-friendly site for 2 years by Peter MolnarPeter Molnar (petermolnar.net)
It’s not possible to run fully static sites with dynamic features, such as webmention handling - you can get close to it, but you do need to embrace external services.
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👓 Creating Subdomains in Cpanel | Extend Activity Bank

Read Creating Subdomains in Cpanel by Alan Levine (Extend Activity Bank)
After putting up their front gate, the mad scientists at Extend Labs anticipated future separate parts of their site for: A blog to reflect on their Domain Camp work (you will want that too). A place to perhaps install or build a photo gallery of their experiments (perhaps just uploaded via the File Manager?). Read more
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👓 Tech Notes: Why not add an option for that? | Neugierig.org

Read Tech Notes: Why not add an option for that? (neugierig.org)
If you've ever developed software you've surely had users ask you to add an option. "Rather than forcing everyone into behavior A," they'll reason, "why not add an option so users can choose between behaviors A and B?" This post is an attempt at producing a canonical consolidated answer to why the answer to this is often "no".
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👓 About | Itty bitty

Read Itty bitty sites (itty.bitty.site)

Itty bitty sites are contained entirely within their own link. (Including this one!) This means they’re…
💼 Portable – you don’t need a server to host them
👁 Private – nothing is sent to–or stored on–this server
🎁 Easy to share as a link or QR code

Itty bitty sites can hold about as much as a printed page, and there is a lot you can do with that:
✒️ Compose poetry
🛠 Create an app
🐦 Bypass a 140 280 char limit
🎨 Express yourself in ascii

Advanced HTML editing & sharing

Learn more about how it works

This is an curious and interesting way to build a website… but talk about a URL problem…

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👓 The Sass jerk | The Sass Way

Read The Sass jerk (thesassway.com)
What is it about Sass that turns me into a fanatic? How is Sass like your favorite TV show? And why am I often alone at parties?

hat tip

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Reply to Design of My Website by Cathie LeBlanc

Replied to Design of My Website by Cathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)
I discovered the IndieWeb about six weeks ago and wrote then about why I think it’s an important movement and community. Since that time, I’ve made a concerted effort to update my web site so that it looks like I want it to look. Although I’m not yet done, I’ve made good progress. I recently...

I love how you’re trying to take control of all of the parts of your website. In particular, I think it’s a great idea to improve the usability of particular pages (both for yourself as well as for others) based on how you’re using the pages. I think more people should be considering this as an option.

Certainly having multiple WordPress installs can be a headache, though it will obviously work. I know some IndieWeb tech related to syndicating to various silos and using services like Brid.gy for backfeed will be hard to do when using more than two domains and targeting a single silo presence, so it’s not only a maintenance tax, but you might not have the flexibility you’d like if you syndicate content in multiple locations.

Another option is to use the same WordPress install to run multiple websites, which is also a possibility. Or you could also run a multi-site installation and go that route. This at least would cut down on needing to maintain and update multiple sites one at a time.

Possibly the best option, however, is to know that you can custom theme any and every page generated within your website. This isn’t done quite as often as it may take a bit more upfront development work and knowledge of how WordPress works internally as well as how to tweak your theme. The easiest thing to do is to create custom templates for each of the particular pages you want to change. When WordPress tries to build a page it relies on a nested hierarchy of templates potentially available within your theme. It starts at the top and stops when it finds one available and then uses that template. By targeting the particular page you’re making (by a variety of means) you can have direct control over what your page will look like. The nice part is if you’ve got templates from other themes, you can use those as a guide and include their CSS files to get the exact look and feel you want.

Now that you know it exists as an option, there are a huge variety of resources on the web that you can consult to begin tinkering. Below are a few potentially useful ones:

I suspect even for those without a development background, one could do a bit of reading followed by some judicious cutting and pasting to get some reasonable results. I’m far from an expert in this area myself, but I was recently able to create a sort of landing page template for my podcast recently by creating a custom page that displays when the archive page for my ‘podcast’ category is rendered. Essentially I copied the archive template from my theme, added a bit of detail about the podcast just above the part where it renders the reverse chronological order of the category posts (I did this in simple raw HTML, without any ‘real’ coding), gave the file a new name category-podcast.php so it would trigger when /category/podcast/ is the URL, put it into my child theme (so it wouldn’t be overwritten if I update my theme), and voila–a landing page for the podcast!

If you’re not much of a developer/tinkerer, you could likely ask your departmental, divisional, or institutional web developer, someone at a local WordPress meetup or maybe a Homebrew Website Club to help you out a bit. I think once you’ve done it once with even some simple changes like I did on one page, you’ll have the gist of it and the sky is the limit for every other page on your site.

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An IndieWeb Podcast: Episode 6 WordPress and Types of Posts

Episode 6: WordPress and Types of Posts


Running time: 1h 53m 58s | Download (35.3 MB) | Subscribe by RSS

In this episode, David Shanske and Chris Aldrich discuss how the Post Kinds plugin mapped IndieWeb types of posts to WordPress and why, the defined as opposed to implied types set up, and avatars.

While the conversation is WordPress-centric, there are a lot of discussions here relevant to a broader IndieWeb audience about adding new types of posts to your site, trying to design things flexibly (although a developer’s guide is probably needed), etc.

 

Huffduff this Episode

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Reads, Listens, Watches, and Editable Webmention Types and Avatars in the IndieWeb WordPress Suite

I’ve been meaning to write regular updates to highlight some of the useful changes in the functionality of the IndieWeb suite of WordPress plugins, but never gotten around to it. There’s been a few really interesting ones lately, so I thought I’d start. Observant watchers who read through either the code or even the scant change logs before they update their code may catch some of these features, but sometimes interesting tidbits can slip by the most vigilant. Here are some interesting recent ones:

Display of Reads, Listens, and Watches in comments sections

David Shanske’s excellent Post Kinds Plugin allows one to post what they’re reading, listening to, or watching in simple IndieWeb fashion. (Examples of these on my site: read posts, listen posts, watch posts.) These posts types automatically include the appropriate microformats classes so the user doesn’t need to bother doing them manually. For a long time when replying to another’s site, bookmarking it, or even mentioning it when also using the Webmentions plugin would send the site a Webmention that would generally cause it to show up as a native comment, bookmark or mention. With an update late last year, from within the Discussion settings in WordPress, one could set toggles so that many of these webmentions could be displayed as facepiles. Other broadly unsupported post types would typically default to a simple mention.

Recently David Shanske and I started a podcast, and he thought it would be useful if his site could accept listen posts and show them visually within his comments section just like these replies, bookmarks, and mentions. Thus over the past month he’s added code to the Semantic Linkbacks Plugin to add the functionality for these types of posts to properly render showing facepiles for listens, reads, and watches.

This is what webmentions of listen posts  look like on his site in his comments section:

User Interface example of how listen posts on David Shanske’s podcast appear on his site

What’s happening

Listen (or scrobble) posts can send webmentions (or notifications) to the original content potentially with the experimental listen-of microformat. In the case of scrobbles of podcasts, these webmentions could be displayed as “Listens” which would provide the canonical copy of the podcast some indicator of its popularity and actual audience. It is tremendously difficult to obtain data on the actual number of listens within most of the podcast community and typically a fraction of the number of downloads must be used as an indicator of the actual reach. Being able to display listens could potentially be a boon to the podcasting market, particularly with respect to advertising as this type of open social web functionality spreads.

Similarly read posts with the read-of microformat and watches with watch-of will be accepted and show up within the comments section. Like the previous types, they can be set to display as facepiles within the user interface.

From the Discussion options settings page (typically at: /wp-admin/options-discussion.php#semantic_linkbacks) one can choose the mention types one wants to have appear as facepiles within their comments section.

Knowing that this read functionality would be available, this week I helped ColoradoBoulevard.net set up their site to be able to accept and display reads of their articles. Here’s an example from their site:

The display of a read post on ColoradoBoulevard.net

I haven’t yet seen one for watches in the wild yet, but maybe you’ll be either the first  to send or receive one?

The microformats on these posts is generally considered to be experimental, but with the ~500+ users of this suite of tools as well as others who are already using them on other sites, they’ve now taken a dramatic step into the open internet and more widespread use and potential official adoption.

Editable Webmention Types and Avatars

Webmention Types

Just yesterday, I spent a few minutes in the IndieWeb chat helping someone to laboriously delve into their mySQL databaset and find a particular snippet of data so they could manually change a received webmention from being a simple mention to being a reply so that it would display as a native comment on their website. I’ve often done this to take what sometimes seem like simple mentions and change them to replies to reveal the richer content they often contain for the broader conversation. Sadly the process is boring, laborious, and fraught with potential ways to mess things up.

As of this weekend, this process is no longer necessary. One can now go to the admin interface for their comments and webmentions (found at the path /wp-admin/edit-comments.php), click on edit for the particular comment they’re changing and then scroll down to reveal a droplist interface to be able to manually change the webmention type.

Samantic Linkbacks Data metabox within the comment editing interface on WordPress. One can use the dropbox to change the webmention type as well as manually update the commenter’s avatar.

As another example of a use for this functionality, perhaps you’ve received a listen mention on one of your podcast episodes that has a lot of useful notes or commentary germane to your episode? Instead of hiding it as a simple listen, why not change the type to reply to allow a richer conversation around your content? After all, with a reasonable reply it will be implicit that the commenter actually listened to the episode, right?

Avatars

Because there is currently no functionality in WordPress for saving or caching the avatars of commenters via webmention, when users change their profile images on siloed services like Facebook, Twitter, et al. the link to their old avatars quits working and they were displaying blank spaces. This is an unfortunate form of linkrot, but one that can become more visually apparent over time.

Likes and Reposts concatenated on my site now after converting them into facepiles. They still give the social “proof” and indicate the interaction, but don’t interfere in the conversation now–especially when there are hundreds of them.

As one can see in the image for the commenting edit box above, the field for the Avatar is now editable. This means one can update out-of-date or blank avatars. One now also has the ability to moderate/edit or easily remove/switch avatars if users are sending inappropriate photos for one’s site’s audience.​​​​​​​​​

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