#indieweb 2019-10-08

2019-10-08 UTC
kensp, IPFSFanDiscord[m, wolftune, t-mo, imsky, KempfCreative1, distopico, [dmitshur] and [tantek] joined the channel
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[tantek]
gregorlove++ well done 😄
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Loqi
gregorlove has 10 karma in this channel over the last year (49 in all channels)
gRegorLove, patterson, kensp, KempfCreative, wolftune, [Lewis_Cowles], mblaney, gxt, gareppa, cweiske, krychu, jihaisse, [tonz], AkyRhO_ and jeremych_ joined the channel
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jeremycherfas
Good morning IndieWeb
jeremych_, quite, [jgmac1106], deathrow1, jihaisse, gareppa, UsamaIrfanDiscor, imsky, krychu, golevka6489, [tantek], [aaronpk], [Lewis_Cowles], Tyson_911, akierig, dougbeal|iOS, dougbeal|, wolftune, gRegorLove and [snarfed] joined the channel; Tyson_911 left the channel
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[snarfed]
morning all! ok, soul searching time. how should we encourage indieweb people to interact with mastodon and the fediverse?
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[snarfed]
the main options seem to be either federation, ie make your site part of the fediverse, or syndication, like just another silo.
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[snarfed]
federation seems philosophically "better," for both idealistic and concrete functionality reasons, and wordpress and known (the two biggest indieweb CMSes, by far) both have plugins, but it's still definitely harder to do and not as well understood or supported.
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[snarfed]
syndicating eg (POSSE + backfeed) is better understood, but not widely implemented, and seems inelegant.
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[snarfed]
thoughts?
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[snarfed]
i ask because we somewhat regularly hear requests for mastodon support in bridgy, and i'm not sure whether to keep pointing people to bridgy fed, or to just give in and add it to bridgy proper, syndication style.
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Amgine_[m]
Standards are good. Activity pub/WebSub or whatever it is W3C is calling it today.
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[snarfed]
of course. that's not really the question though.
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Amgine_[m]
It is, since that is the fediverse.
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[bdesham]
I agree that the "right" approach is to actually make your site part of the fediverse. I do get the impression that the relevant standards are changing pretty quickly these days, though, so adding support (in addition to being complex already) is kind of like hitting a moving target
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[bdesham]
I could be wrong about that though
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[snarfed]
Amgine: i'm very familiar with AP. i built https://fed.brid.gy/ 😁. i'm asking about how we want to encourage the indieweb to interact with the fediverse from a _UX_ perspective, not plumbing
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[snarfed]
bdesham: eh AP isn't changing that fast, and it has decent backward compatibility. i'm not too worried about interop as a factor specifically here
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[bdesham]
ah, ok, that's good to hear!
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[snarfed]
the usual indieweb answer is c'est la vie, ie let a thousand flowers bloom, so we could support both approaches and not take a specific stance. 🤷
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[schmarty]
snarfed: i think each approach will appeal to some people but not others. "my site is my site" doesn't (easily) allow any AP-only interactions, for example.
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aaronpk
I don't think "we" have enough data to make an "official" recommendation
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aaronpk
I agree with [schmarty] that both approaches will appeal to different people for different reasons
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[snarfed]
aaronpk what data would you want?
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[snarfed]
[schmarty] what are AP-only interactions?
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aaronpk
lots of experience seeing how difficult each way is to set up on a variety of different platforms
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[snarfed]
ah right
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[snarfed]
early answer seems to be, federating is relatively difficult, syndicating is easy manually but automation mostly isn't implemented
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cambridgeport90[
I'm going to have to look at all the stuff later. I haven't been is on par with you guys today as I should.
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aaronpk
The Wordpress plugin hopefully makes federating directly just a matter of installing it
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[schmarty]
by "AP-only interactions" i meant in the case where i may want to do things that e.g. mastodon people following me see but that doesn't appear on my site.
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[snarfed]
huh, ok. seems like that just needs to be implemented in CMSes, and often already is
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[snarfed]
eg unlisted posts, posts that aren't in feeds, etc
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[snarfed]
which we've been talking about and working on even independent of AP
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[schmarty]
basically i mean the POSSE-to-a-masto-account case allows for "compartmentalizing" interactions more easily than a federate-my-site
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[snarfed]
eh i'm not sure. i think it's just that AP federation is still earlier and less mature/implemented than traditional POSSE models
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[jgmac1106]
until there is webmention support federating just comes out weird, deleted anyone I follow on mastadon from micro.blog because replying to the post does noting to keep the thread together
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[snarfed]
[jgmac1106] understood! "weird" is a good summary of the UX mental model of federating. kinda surprises users in many ways
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aaronpk
I think that's mostly the fault of the UX of mastodon really. It really makes it look like you're in a separate little world when you're using it
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aaronpk
and yes i mean mastodon specifically, not the other AP projects necessarily
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[snarfed]
eh maybe. i think it's more that we just have very little experience as a community with federating, but people are pretty used to syndication + backfeed
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[snarfed]
so mental models are very much skewed that way
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dougbeal
Goodmorning Indieweb
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[jgmac1106]
separate little worlds all with their separate little laws. I just want to see a reply in my feed, reply to that post, have the reply on my site and then in whatever AP silo...kinda just not using Mastodon anymore cuz it won't work with my site
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aaronpk
I very much view syndicating as a "band-aid" which is why I don't want to treat mastodon that way personally
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aaronpk
Anyway I think this discussion is doing a great job of demonstrating that there isn't a single path we should recommend
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[snarfed]
yeah. i wonder though, if we make syndication + backfeed easier, does that reduce pressure on us to really nail down federation (both UX and plumbing) and make it work well
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[snarfed]
basically this whole converation is a big yak shave to help me answer "should i add it to bridgy" 😆
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[jgmac1106]
the blogging platforms like write.as that are built AP first will be interesting spaces to watch
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Amgine_[m]
^that, for me.
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[jgmac1106]
though i couldn't help someone edit a header or a footer on write.as so I lost interest quick
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cambridgeport90[
Indeed they will. I've been
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[jgmac1106]
to get to Mastodon now I syndicate to micro.blog (wish it was through micropub integration) and that in turn shares with the federated version of my micro.blog site
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[jgmac1106]
...just find too many ways the conversation can bifurcate...now I have different threads on micro.blog which I get through webmentions but any conversation on Mastodon has to happen there
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[jgmac1106]
or more likely I have no idea what I am doing syndication across multipel silos gets messy
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[Rose]
My problem with “I am my own instance with ActivityPub” is then I am an island. How do people discover me? (There’s also something with WordPress where your username is also your handle which I would love to change but that’s another problem). It feels like it’s rather isolating in many ways.
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aaronpk
people discover you when you reply to other people or other people repost your content
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[snarfed]
[Rose] right, discovery would happen the exact same ways it would if you were on mastodon "proper"
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aaronpk
but it's true you don't get the built-in "discovery" of the home timeline of the instance
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[Rose]
Yes, that’s the discovery I meant
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[Rose]
The home timeline
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aaronpk
I still think that model is flawed and that there needs to be better community-based discovery that isn't tied to your identity, but that's a different battle
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[snarfed]
right, firehose is not a great tool for much of anything, except maybe streaming analytics
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[Rose]
I also have the problem of not being able to migrate followers from one instance to another.
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aaronpk
[snarfed]: much of the culture of mastodon relies on the fact that people do actually follow the home timeline of the instance
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Amgine_[m]
relay.domain.tld <- a mastodon attempt at solution.
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[snarfed]
huh interesting ok. like early twitter days
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aaronpk
very much
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aaronpk
but like a lot of small twitters
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cambridgeport90[
You have to find your niche, I’ve noticed.
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Amgine_[m]
There is a mastodon fork, hometown, which focuses on building small local communities with another level of visibility - only visible locally.
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aaronpk
i'm all for small community based discovery, but it's fundamentally flawed that that needs to be 100% tied to the identity you have in the system
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Amgine_[m]
Agreed. I wonder how Zap does it?
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aaronpk
you shouldn't have to make a new mastodon account on instance.example just to be a part of the community on instance.example
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[KevinMarks]
Mastodon actively removing standards support is an argument for treating it like a silo
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[snarfed]
[KevinMarks] really? AP?
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[KevinMarks]
Websub and atom
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[snarfed]
they migrated from OStatus to AP, since OStatus is dying/dead. "removing standards support" seems a little overstated
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aaronpk
they just dropped a few in their latest release
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[snarfed]
i guess websub and atom standalone though, fair
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[schmarty]
a few pretty interesting removal PRs in there
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[KevinMarks]
They kept the crappy part and deleted the useful ones
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[KevinMarks]
Noöne will miss salmon, but losing websub is a shame
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[snarfed]
i guess. i've always wondered about websub adoption. does anything widespread use it? (honest question!)
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aaronpk
podcasts I assume
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aaronpk
actually I take that back, I think most of the directories just poll anyway
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[snarfed]
not that i know of, many/most podcast apps poll infrequently
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[snarfed]
i mean yes websub is useful! and disappointing if it hasn't been more adopted
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[Rose]
I believe Overcast has some smart logic built in, it knows approximately when new episodes drop and polls more frequently around then until the new episode is there and regularly the rest of the time. Also the more listeners it has the more it checks. That’s my observation from one podcast where I see those stats on the server though
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[KevinMarks]
They make a huge fuss about how hard it is to deal with highly followed accounts with activitypub, but glibly delete websub
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cambridgeport90[
Why is that familiar? podcasting, is it not?
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aaronpk
websub with a built in hub has the same problems, but that's more dev
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[Rose]
Overcast is a popular podcast app on iOS
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[KevinMarks]
They finally have an account migration story, but it still doesn't use 301 but some magic proprietary refollow event that they throttle
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benharri
i think pocket casts does something similar
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[Rose]
It certainly looked like it in my server logs Ben, at least from what I saw. I wasn’t really looking for that to be fair (I was digging around for another issue)
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[KevinMarks]
Hm what is I join the new instance and then migrate it back to mine?
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[Rose]
Good question
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[Rose]
The decision on this issue for Mastodon seems rather negative: https://github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/issues/6074
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Loqi
[sivy] #6074 Mastodon should send webmentions to linked sites.
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aaronpk
I still think that was the wrong way to propose it
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[Rose]
Quite possibly
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[Rose]
Am I interpreting things incorrectly or is it one person who makes all the decisions for Mastodon?
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aaronpk
I mean it is one person's project
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[Rose]
IndieWeb was started by you and Tantek…
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[snarfed]
"benevolent dictator for life"
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[snarfed]
governance is hard
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aaronpk
but explicitly not as a single software project
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[Rose]
Valid point
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aaronpk
that's why plurality is one of the core principles
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aaronpk
and you won't see tantek or I try to make any statements about what should or should not be "features of the indieweb" because that's not how you create a thriving ecosystem
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[Rose]
“features of indieweb” “it should have them” 😉
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[Rose]
I have to say the massive variety around is definitely a massive plus, even if it does mean one spends some time going around in circles trying to make decisions on how to do something
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[schmarty]
☑ Features
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[Rose]
Alright folks, what’s after features? 😆
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gRegorLove
☐ Profit!
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[Rose]
Hmm, profit seems hard, I vote for another cycle of “features” and “???”
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gRegorLove
Cats should be in that list somewhere too
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[Rose]
I think IndieWebCat is the middle ?
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[tantek]
[David_Bryant] you might sympathize with this about variety vs time 🙂
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Loqi
dougbeal has 1 karma in this channel over the last year (6 in all channels)
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gRegorLove
dougbeal++ nice!
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[David_Bryant]
:thumbsup:
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[jgmac1106]
hearing WordPress adopt a"benevolent dictator for life" model was major reason I decided not to use WP, just not the kind of open source I wanna do
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[jgmac1106]
I like the term building blocks and not "features" for this reason, you still have to decide what blocks you want to use. Products have features the web has open standards folks mold into building blocks
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GWG
Darn, I am already behind on my 5780 Indieweb commitments
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[tantek]
except in indieweb, don't confuse the fact that most building blocks are technical, protocols, formats, etc., not features
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[tantek]
not saying we couldn't do that, but as of right now, /building_blocks is technical, not user-focused
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[tantek]
thus comparing "building blocks" to "features" is a misrepresentation
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[tantek]
or maybe it's what you want it to be, but it's not what it is now
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[jgmac1106]
yes I am saying someone might use building blocks to build features in their websites or tools
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[tantek]
I think we have to treat "build features" as a dev conversation then
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[tantek]
In thinking more about pathways to onboard folks more easily towards indieweb(-like) solutions and approaches, I'm wondering more about low friction options that may be limited (yet solve a person's particular use-case), however allow for migration to more full featured solutions when (if) a person decides they want more
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[tantek]
For example, what's the current best/easiest "indieweb-friendly" or at least "indieweb-like" solution for "just" starting a blog on your own domain (use-case: just replacing use of Medium with a blog on your own domain)
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[tantek]
and if you say install xyz with command line foo I'm going to say no
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[jgmac1106]
So far between summit and now NYC the them from html5 and thrown up on githubpages, add h-card been best
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[tantek]
so you completely ignored my question ok
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[jgmac1106]
that still requires prerequisite skills
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[jgmac1106]
no my apologies didn't mean to
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[tantek]
Here I'll restate with fewer parentheticals
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[tantek]
What's the current best/easiest "indieweb-friendly" or at least "indieweb-like" solution for "just" starting a blog on your own domain?
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[jgmac1106]
the one that works for you, can't think in terms of best, only better, local contects shift too much for a best solution
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[tantek]
it's ok to say you don't know
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[jgmac1106]
I think micro.blog gets closet and manton working on domain registration
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[jgmac1106]
that will make it truly turn key
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[jgmac1106]
I am really hoping your WP talk has impact and tumblr becomes WP IndieWeb playground
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[jgmac1106]
tumblr has much the same vibne with post types
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[jgmac1106]
..I can dream
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[jgmac1106]
but true I don't know but I try new stuff all the time
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[tantek]
"closest" is not really an answer. Here is a sample baseline to consider: signing-up on WordPress.com and paying the small extra bit to use your own domain.
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[tantek]
The UX of doing that is not bad. Can you provide any better examples or is that it for the moment?
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[jgmac1106]
that would fit as squarespace and wix don't fit for me bc data export
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[tantek]
correct. that's why my requirements included "allow for migration to more full featured solutions"
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[jgmac1106]
No WP onboarding works
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[tantek]
only if we have a good transition strategy
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[tantek]
otherwise they end up going down a pain-path of WP plugin setup/config/debugging
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[tantek]
this is why I'm asking for a better option that WP
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[tantek]
*than WP
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[jgmac1106]
I would say Google sites but haven't seen what takeout looks like, and not so much blogging, and no real HTM:L which annoys me as generations kids taught to build first on Google Sites
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[tantek]
nope that's not a blog
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[tantek]
I asked a specific question
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[jgmac1106]
still then say micro.blog
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[snarfed]
we currently advocate micro.blog as the easiest way on https://indieweb.org/web_hosting#Custom_domain_silos . wordpress.com is probably just as easy, if not easier, but it's meaningfully less indieweb
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[tantek]
[snarfed] would you see micro.blog as a reasonable transition for someone who just wants to move away from using Medium?
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[jgmac1106]
It is a Ghost blog but it's one button install and domain is easier to get using Glitch now
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[grantcodes]
What they said ^^^
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aaronpk
Dreamhost with Wordpress wasn't terrible. I just did that today on a brand new account in under 20 minutes
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[tantek]
is its long form support comparably "good enough" that you won't feel like you're missing anything critical?
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[snarfed]
[tantek] no clue
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[jgmac1106]
aaronpk++ for testing
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Loqi
aaronpk has 24 karma in this channel over the last year (185 in all channels)
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[grantcodes]
Was also going to say ghost is a more direct medium comparison
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[tantek]
aaronpk, what you can do in under 20 minutes is perhaps not the same as for beginners (or any of us 😉 )
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[snarfed]
DNS is still probably the longest pole for beginners. services that build in domain registration and setup (eg wp.com) will win over those that don't (eg micro.blog, but manton has said he plans to do that eventually)
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cambridgeport90[
Right, but
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aaronpk
Part of the struggle with anything with a custom domain is waiting for DNS
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[tantek]
[grantcodes] with Ghost I'd be concerned about being stuck, i.e. this is key: "allow for migration to more full featured solutions"
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[grantcodes]
But unlikely to get much indieweb building blocks
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aaronpk
there's no immediate win or immediate feedback when registering a new domain, regardless of the software or hosting company
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aaronpk
That's a huge challenge to compete with compared to anything hosted like Wordpress.com or even joining an existing mastodon instance
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[jgmac1106]
Known was this when it was one click install and automatic updates through shared host
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[tantek]
grantcodes, TBH I'm not concerned about the building blocks to start with, more like getting someone a home they can migrate to *immediately* away from Medium, and then helping them figure out what they want to do longer term
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[grantcodes]
Import export is hightighted as a feature: https://ghost.org/feature-index/ so probably as good as anything else
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[snarfed]
([tantek] re long form on micro.blog https://help.micro.blog/2018/writing-longer-posts/ . i have no firsthand experience though.)
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[jgmac1106]
thanks to [benatwork] Medium export very IndieWeb friendly
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[benatwork]
I am actually alarmed that this is the case three years later - I've got to assume it means nobody is really maintaining that code
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[tantek]
means you wrote it well. share your secrets in dev 🙂
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aaronpk
Heh that's not reassuring
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[tantek]
it's a natural consequence of limited corporate resources. if some part of a product is "good enough" a wise management team will leave it alone, and a wise engineering manager will steer eager devs away from fixing what's not broken
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[benatwork]
True enough - and Medium hasn't really changed since then
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aaronpk
As long as it stays not broken
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[benatwork]
I bet it's actually that I wrote tests that check for mf2 and everybody is too lazy to change them
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[benatwork]
ennui through robust testing - that's my secret
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[tantek]
--> dev please
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[tantek]
which is why I asked in there 🙂
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aaronpk
tests++
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Loqi
tests has 1 karma in this channel over the last year (4 in all channels)
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aaronpk
But for real tho, there's no get started with a blog in 10 minutes story with a new domain because you have to wait for dns
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[tantek]
part of why I'm asking is there are some number of folks that find IndieWeb due to *a* particular frustration. e.g. wanting to move off of Medium, but keep everything else. or wanting an alternative to Twitter, but still keeping their IG, FB etc.
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[tantek]
ok aaronpk that's a good point and I have some meta thoughts. going to that channel
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[jgmac1106]
adding a custom domain in blogger still pretty straightforward
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aaronpk
[jgmac1106]: Doesn't change the dns issue
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[tantek]
blogger themes look dated compared to Medium
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[tantek]
they don't give a nice enough "look" that people today would want to be associated with (have their domain / identity on)
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[tantek]
similarly with Tumblr, the defaults all look too "non-serious" as compared to what one would want for a Medium replacement
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[tantek]
which is why I wouldn't recommend either of those to someone looking to move off of Medium
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[tantek]
(despite the relative ease of UX of their onboarding)
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[jgmac1106]
aaronpk you mean wait the 2-48 hours on a change?
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[jgmac1106]
shared host + WP install is a good approach for a medium export imo, often the most economical approach if price point a concern
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[tantek]
until we've figured out how to make the plugin path not so painful, I won't be recommending to any new person to setup a new WP install
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[tantek]
in fact I'd say it is irresponsible to make any such recommendation because you are knowingly leading them down a path that will cause them a lot of pain to try to get more things working
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[tantek]
as I said in IWC NYC, stop assuming/implying that everybody has programming / devops as an enjoyable hobby
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[tantek]
(because a lot of "get started" recommendations seem to have that strong assumption)
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[tantek]
I'd be ok with suggestion WP.com to a new person. Not shared host + WP install.
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[jgmac1106]
I am assuming they want a url and blog. Not assuming they want anything more
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[jgmac1106]
If they want to try all the IndieWeb extras I wouldn't recommend
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[tantek]
of course they want to do all the cool things they see in the Intro demos
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[tantek]
this is my point, expect that they will want, then try, and if it seems like "just install this plugin" they will walk down that path and run into all the pain we've seen people encounter
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aaronpk
as soon as you want to do anything with wordpress beyond use the default theme, you're entering the world of wordpress knowledge, not even counting the indieweb plugins
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aaronpk
and tbh that's more than I would recommend for most people
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[tantek]
at least with WP.com there is the *useful* price barrier to custom plugins that helps avoid that pain and present the opportunity to migrate to something else
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aaronpk
well, more than I would recommend most people if they are expecting something like medium
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[tantek]
yes the themes issue makes me want to deprioritize WP.com even
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[jgmac1106]
Write.as Medium like in terms of Design and UI
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[jgmac1106]
Don't know about import. Free plans limited
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[tantek]
what is write.as
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Loqi
write.as is a minimal UI blogging tool meant for quick posting with good pseudonymity https://indieweb.org/write.as
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aaronpk
omg [jgmac1106] please use prepositions and pronouns so that what you say is more easily understood by people, especially people whose native language is not english
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[tantek]
"tool" sounds like something you install. is it really a free service? that should be made clear in the dfn and following paragraph
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sknebel
What is WriteFreely?
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Loqi
WriteFreely is an open-source blogging platform that supports ActivityPub federation and plans to support Micropub in its desktop app and probably web editor too https://indieweb.org/WriteFreely
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sknebel
write.as is the hosted service of the creator of WriteFreely
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[tantek]
really really dislike this abuse of "platform" as a term
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[tantek]
is it a tool? is it a service? what?
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[tantek]
or "just" a project?
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[jgmac1106]
Thx aaronpk good advice....
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[KevinMarks]
Blogger is fairly turnkey. Can we make it more medium like with a theme (and bridgy)
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[jgmac1106]
No the new themes are nore js than html...closest I got was reverting to classic theme and then using IFTT and bridgy... Could just publish with Bridgy
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[jgmac1106]
Could be done but would need help with the CSS... But that's more dev