IndieWeb Summit 2019 – Hack Day Recap

Today is day two of IndieWeb Summit 2019, emphasizing hands-on experimentation to learn more about the IndieWeb, improve your web site, and/or help other folks with their own projects.  My goal for the day was to resolve a number of the issues I was having getting core IndieWeb functionality working with my WordPress based blog. Thanks to some great help from David Shanske and Jack Jamieson (plus the power of hands-on tinkering), here’s what I accomplished:

  • Adopted a WordPress theme that’s both fully compatible with IndieWeb protocols and microformats and visually appealing to me.  Specifically I installed and switched to IW26 — David Shanske’s fork of the WordPress 2016 standard theme.
  • Enabled support for IndieAuth, WebMention and MicroPublish endpoints by adding the right <link> elements to my home page.  As part of that learned how to use the Microformats parser on microformats.io to examine and debug my own settings.
  • Set up an .htaccess file in my site’s home directory with rules to properly handle redirection to https: and to dereference  the www. prefix to site URLs.  Made the appropriate matching adjustments in WordPress and my Dreamhost admin panel.
  • Developed a better understanding of WordPress Post Kinds (after all, David wrote the plugin), customized the set to fit what I’m likely to use when I post, and tested a few.
  • Added rel-me connections to my blog for Flickr and Instagram using the WordPress widget.
  • Tested use of Quill as a micropublishing client. Successfully posted a note to my blog from Quill in Firefox on an Android phone.
  • Tested WebMention support thanks to Jack, resulting in a series of comments on our respective sites (and also highlighting a formatting bug he was able to fix on his custom WordPress theme with some help from David).
  • Added Syndication Link support and tested it by posting a review to TripAdvisor.com and a companion note on my blog reference that review.

This got me over the WordPress vs. IndieWeb theme problem I’d been struggling with and hoped to resolve today, and a lot more overall IndieWeb functionality as a bonus.  Thanks to David & Jack’s help I’m comfortable asserting that you can satisfyingly bring IndieWeb to a WordPress site, though more compatible themes and onboarding resources would both be big wins.

Part of my ‘hack day’ project at IndieWeb Summit is getting more IndieWeb protocols working on my blog. This is a test of micropublishing on using Quill (and in this case with the web version on Firefox on Android).
I’m spending the day today at IndieWebCamp SF Decentralized Web Hackers Day hosted in Mozilla’s San Francisco office as a lead-up to this week’s Distributed Web Summit.  My personal adventure today is getting up to speed on IndieWeb basics and enabling as many of them here on orangemoose.com as time (and trial & error) allows.

Decentralization is one of the core aspects of the IndieWeb, which aims at enabling a people-focused alternative to today’s very (if not alarmingly) centralized “corporate web”, but doing so by applying familiar, existing technologies in careful ways that keep the user in control of their data including identity, posts, code, created content, location, and more.

Happily today’s Hackers Day is set up to encourage hands-on experimentation and adoption, and the room is full of wonderfully knowledgeable people eager to help.   Look for another post after the day is done, and we’ll see how well I do.