We had the second IndieWebCamp in Oxford on Saturday, hosted at the lovely Oxfordshire Central Library.
Normally these are run over two days, with a barcamp on day one, and building things on day two. Unfortunately I could only secure the venue for one day, so we had a compressed version.
I opened with a super super brief overview of the Indie Web, and then we had a quick round table chat about what people were hoping to work on. We had a good mix of first timers and old hands.
For my project I wanted to look at pulling in my bookmarks from Pinboard, using a PESOS approach to mirror them on my site. Pinboard has a great ecosystem of tools that already work for me, so there were a lot of wheels I didn’t want to reinvent.
I made some headway, building a Perch app to handle the content model and the syncing.
The app understands the content I want to pull in, and I have the code to talk to Pinboard working, but those two pieces aren’t talking to each other.
I’d like to think I have two thirds of the puzzle.
Unfortunately I had to leave before the end so didn’t get a chance to completely finish the build. My aim is to find some time in the next few weeks to finish it up and release it to the Perch community.
I’d like to thank Summer Of Hacks for inviting me to be a part of their program (I think I made them stretch the idea of "summer" a bit far), and especially Rich for finishing up the workshop in my absence, Oxfordshire County Libraries for hosting us, and Haybrook for their sponsorship.
Here’s to next year.
Some of the other attendees have written about their experiences of the day.
I’ll link up others as they come in.
I'm here at the first IndieWebCamp Oxford. I can't quite believe it all came together!
After some introductory rambling from me, the group got down to planning and coding.
As I hoped, we have all levels of experience, with some implementing IndieWeb functionality for the first time, whereas others have larger scale projects in mind, including Ben's epic "document all the things" in preparation for he and Sarah's trip to New Zealand, and Dan Q moving his geocaching tools to a more POSSE model, with less reliance on outside services.
For my part, so far I've finished the webmention implementation I set up a few months ago, adding a Facepile for likes and reposts, and cleaning up the markup. Next up I think some improvements to the microformats around the site.
Save the dates folks!
On Saturday 22nd September and Sunday 23rd September we will be having the first ever Oxford IndieWebCamp!
It is a free event, but I would ask that you register on Eventbrite, so I can get an idea of numbers.
IndieWebCamp is a weekend gathering of web creators building & sharing their own websites to advance the independent web and empower ourselves and others to take control of our online identities and data.
It is open to all skill levels, from people who want to get started with a web site, through to experienced developers wanting to tackle a specific personal project.
I gave a little presentation about the Indieweb at JS Oxford earlier this year if you want to know more.
Last night I attended the always excellent JS Oxford, and as well as having my mind expanded by both Jo and Ruth's talks (Lemmings make an excellent analogy for multi-threading, who knew!), I gave a brief talk on the Indieweb movement.
If you've not heard of Indieweb movement before, it's a push to encourage people to claim their own bit of the web, for their identity and content, free from corporate platforms. It's not about abandoning those platforms, but ensuring that you have control of your content if something goes wrong.
From the Indieweb site:
Your content is yours
When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.
You are better connected
Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.
I've been interested in the Indieweb for a while, after attending IndieWebCamp Brighton in 2016, and I've been slowly implementing Indieweb features on here ever since.
So far I've added
rel="me"attributes to allow distributed verification, and to enable Indieauth support,
h-cardto establish identity, and
h-entryfor information discovery. Behind the scenes I'm looking at webmentions (Thanks to Perch's first class support), and there's the ever-eternal photo management thing I keep picking up and then running away from.
The great thing about the Indieweb is that you can implement as much or as little as you want, and it always gives you something to work on. It doesn't matter where you start. The act of getting your own domain is the first step on a longer journey.
(8th May 2018: Updated related links URL to point to Pinboard)
(Update: Al has posted his video of the talk on Vimeo, thanks Al)
It was a particular honour to be asked to give a keynote as it was almost three years to the day (give or take a week) that I did a microslot talk at the very first Geek Night (a little nugget that JP stole for his introduction. Damn your eyes sir!).
As usual the night was great fun. Thanks to JP for all the organisation and set up (it's true, gaffer tape really does hold the universe together), and thanks to everyone who came. I received lots of nice feedback after I'd finished the talk, which is always gratifying.
For those of you who wanted to delve deeper into the subject, then as I mentioned during the talk, you really can't do any better than Jono Bacon's "The Art Of Community". It's available for free download under a Creative Commons license, but I would urge you to buy a copy too. It really is a fantastic piece of work.
I've also collated links to related sites and articles on ~~delicious.com~~ Pinboard under the tag "ogn16".
And finally, for those of you who kept asking me about the Stormtrooper slide, I present you with the most awesome link in the history of awesome links: Stormtrooper 365.
(8th May 2018: Updated the "accompanying links" URL to point to Pinboard)
Still flushed from the success of the Oxford Flickr Exhibition and having given a lot of recent thought to just how much we've achieved as a group in the last three years it seemed a good subject to tackle.
The talk seemed to go down very well with more than a few laughs elicited from the crowd. I had a really great time and the Leeds lot are a really nice bunch of people. It's good to see the grassroots level geekery flourishing all over the country.
20:20 style talks are pretty tricky and if I learnt one thing it's not have so many bullet points in my notes, there's really only time for one nugget per slide. It was a lot of fun though and I'm going to see if JP is up for trying them out at a future Oxford Geek Night.
Thanks to everyone at Leeds for a great night.
From a fantastic piece by Christopher Calicott looking at how front end design and development is treated within the Drupal community.
Having such high standards for writing PHP code while playing so fast and loose with front end code and treating it as though it’s a non-issue, even while the rest of the world does it this way, is not only a gross double standard within the Drupal community, it is currently beginning to get the attention of the Web world outside of Drupal — and not in a good way. We’re positioned in the press to take off like a rocket and gain real longevity, and yet in the web design community – people who talk around the world at conferences, on podcasts, et cetera – are starting to hear that Drupal, despite the good things about the code they’ve heard, makes minced meat of their beautifully executed, semantic XHTML, and there are no plans within the leadership of the Drupal community (yet) to raise the standard for front-end code to the same degree that they have on the backend. Firstly, developers take writing code very seriously and have stringent – but ultimately plain and simple – coding style rules to follow with their module development. Designers have the same sorts of practices. It’s what they do and it’s equally as important. It is time that that is fully recognized in the Drupal community and an effort be made to bring this paradigm (elsewhere largely already in practice) into our community. Designers feel just as strongly about a developer playing fast and loose with improperly written, unsemantic XHTML as developers do about designers who make dumb mistakes with PHP or try to talk shop when they are out of their depth. In fact, dare I say it – if you’re writing poor, unsemantic XHTML markup, it’s due to your lack of understanding of what you are doing, at this point. Web standards are widely adopted in the Web world. Drupal ignores this fact at its peril.
It's an issue that's been bubbling under for a while, and this is the best treatise I've seen on it yet. Required reading for anyone involved with Drupal on any level.
Flickr have just announced a fantastic new project called The Commons. The idea behind which is to harness the collective power of the Flickr community by allowing us to tag reference collections of images from institutions around the world.
The Commons kicks off with a pilot scheme involving the U.S. Library of Congress. From their photo catalogue of over a million photos the Library team has chosen around 1,500 photos each from two of their more popular collections, 1930s-40s in Color and News in the 1910s.
As well as being a historical treasure trove for us to pour over, absorb and catalogue, these images are also under a “no known copyright restrictions” license. It doesn't mean they're Public Domain, but it should allow for all sorts of interesting re-use possibilities.
It's very addictive once you get involved and reminds me a lot of Galaxy Zoo in a way. There's an aspect of “…just one more picture…” to it, which is bad for me as you really don't want to know how many hours I've lost to Galaxy Zoo.
For more commentary on the project, pop over to Adactio where Jeremy Keith has posted some thoughtful insight.
Artur Bergman over at the O'Reilly Radar has had a chance to look at the new Virgin America planes. The inflight entertainment system sounds amazing!
Developed internally at Virgin America, the system is named Red and provides live satellite tv, movies, mp3s, games and plane-wide chatting. Yes, chatting. There is a general chatroom, a private invite channel for your friends, and direct user-to-user messaging. When watching television, you have the option to chat with everyone who is watching the same event.
There are also some other smart touches like USB sockets for charging of peripherals, and being able to order food via the system which keeps track of what's been ordered so ground crews know how much to restock…
…oh, and it has Doom on it…
…yes, that's right, Doom.
Update (9th August): Xeni Jardin from BoingBoing writes about the experience on the Virgin America Inaugural, and Artur Bergman blogs about the flight on the O'Reilly Radar, including a screenshot of Doom on the IFE. Cool stuff.