Replied to https://jackjamieson.net/yarns-v-microsub/
I’ve been slowly making some improvements to my Yarns Indie Reader for WordPress, and also seeing very impressive development of other IndieWeb readers such as Together, Indigenous, and Monocle. These three readers all rely on Microsub, which splits the work of building a reader into two parts: Together, Indigenous, and Monocle are all clients, which means they don’t have to do the work of managing feeds themselves. Instead, they connect to a Microsub server (such as Aperture), which does all the work of polling for new posts and fitting content from many different sites with varying formats into one standard structure. When I started building Yarns, I didn’t know about Microsub, and so I built a reader that performs both tasks. On the one hand, this meant additional work for me, and Yarns is a bit rough around the edges as a result. On the other hand, Yarns is easy to use and functional, and I use it every day. Upon comparing Yarns to these Microsub-powered readers, I’m trying to sort out its advantages and disadvantages. Now that I know about Microsub, should I Should I continue in the direction I’m going? Should I shift gears? Should I focus my attention elsewhere? (Pro) Hosted on your own instance of WordPress. No reliance on third-party servers. This means no third party has a list of what websites you are reading, nor any possibility for control of the your feed. In practice, existing Microsub servers are trustworthy and built by people whose values I agree with. However hosting your feed yourself promises a greater degree of ownership of your data. (Con) Yarns currently lacks polish and has a limited feature set (no filtering by channel, no automatically marking posts as read, no multiple accounts). (Pro) These readers look and function great, and continue to improve. (Pro) Work with any Website that supports Micropub. (Con) Requires Micropub to post. Appeal toward people who have already set up an IndieWeb-style site, or are willing to do so; slightly higher barrier to entry than (Con) There are a few options for Microsub servers, but all are in early development. There is no obvious way to sign up for any Microsub server that I’m aware of. Instead, the most obvious path is to download a microsub server’s code from GitHub and set it up on your own server. This clearly limits Microsub to technically skilled users. This is not a permanent state of affairs, and is only a problem because Microsub is so young. Note: This is a *very* temporary limitation, since a public release of aperture is apparently ‘very close’. For my use-case, Yarns is sufficient, although there are many things I’d like to improve. However, the new batch of IndieWeb readers are all excellent, and so may scratch my itch in their own way. To figure out my next steps, I’ll probably have to wait and see what happens at IndieWeb Summit next week. Nonetheless, I think there are four basic directions I could take: Continue development of Yarns as a standalone reader. This would be a somewhat rough fit with the emerging IndieWeb ecosystem, but It would provide for some more plurality and diversity of options. Focus on Yarns as a WordPress hosted Microsub client. This would involve rewriting Yarns to pull from a Microsub server. This is feasible, but would lead to me focusing on front-end design, which isn’t my strong point. Focus on Yarns as a WordPress hosted Microsub server. Pro: Individuals could easily own their feed server as a WordPress plugin instead of relying on a third-party. Pro: Yarns already accomplishes many of the difficult parts of feed aggregation, and the Microsub spec provides solid guidelines for the rest. Con: This is still a fairly difficult project (at least for me), so I need to figure out if it would be worth the time. Abandon Yarns altogether and just start using existing Microsub readers. This would free up some time to work on some other projects, such as contributing to existing IndieWeb projects and working on WordPress themes. I’m still thinking through these options, and leaning toward investigating #3. This site is powered by WordPress and styled with SemPress
I didn't know about Yarns, it looks great! I agree with Eddie - Yarns as a microsub server makes a lot of sense to me. Keep up the good work!