grant.codes

#100days 63 - updated my next js site to better handle fallbacks and dynamic routes, so valid post urls that 404 will actually 404 and posts that are dynamically loaded will show a loading indicator.

#100days 62 - Made a little update to my new site to fix the navigation sizing on large screens.

#100days 61 - Fixed a few styles on my new site so that previews of articles on my archive pages look more similar to the rest of the posts.

#100days 60 - Made a small but long overdue change to my site, so that it only sends me notifications about new webmentions. My notifications were filling up with duplicate mentions because of people sending them every time they build their site (which is totally fine)

#100days 59 - Made a decent amount of progress on the PostrChild extension as my IndieWebCamp project, but still not very near ready for release 😣

What I did manage to do was: make the autocompletion system for emoji, blocks and contacts much more reliable, fix the button to easily reply to any page and some updates to inserting and uploading images.

I still have a lot left to do but I am really hoping I now have the biggest hurdles out of the way and future development will go more smoothly.

Are Micropub Queries the missing link?

With IndieWebCamp West just about to start I figured this would be a good time to write up some of my thoughts on one of the missing pieces of the IndieWeb ecosystem: Micropub Queries.

What is Micropub

The quick version is that Micropub is an open standard to allow publishing to your own website from a variety of apps or clients. It's great. I love it. But it's mostly a one way experience, publishing only.

The spec does define ways to query and update specific posts, but they are generally not implemented by very many clients - perhaps because they are more complex to design and develop or perhaps because it's not the most useful thing.

Increase in usage

Recently we've also seen a couple of large projects add Micropub support in iA Writer and Thread Reader. Which is awesome, but I think if queries become more mainstream there is the potential for much better apps and a more convincing reason for Micropub to be integrated into more existing apps.

Queries

Proposals for Micropub Queries have been around for a while without a huge amount of movement. Maybe it's a chicken and egg type scenario, if no clients add support, then why add support to your site?

Existing examples

I've made a couple of things that use queries myself. My chatbot can query posts (although it's not very useful) and Together has a useful view of your published posts as well, and Indigenous for Android also can show a basic list of your published posts.

But for me all those examples are fairly basic, and there is a lot of potential for more powerful and compelling experiences.

A vision of the future

There are so many possibilities for super useful experiences for Micropub Queries that I'm just going to list off a bunch of things I can think of:

  • Readers could check if you have already liked, bookmarked, replied etc. to a url
  • Apps like indiebookclub could query for books you have already read, or even track your reading progress
  • Save drafts to your own site and then edit and publish them from a Micropub client
  • Full admin UIs like the WordPress admin menu or Publii (recently mentioned in the IndieWeb chat) could support Micropub with the ability to query for drafts, trash, different post types etc.
  • Find your last location by querying the last post with a location included
  • Gallery posting apps that can query for already created photos like best nine
  • Collection apps that can find existing posts
  • Search your own posts via the API
  • Create generic sites just using the Micropub Query API, eg. checkin views are hard, an app could query your site and generate a nice UI for you

There are so many more that I've thought of and forgotten or that I've not though of yet.

Although there are plenty of nice, usable apps on the Indieweb I still think we are missing a next level experience to really highlight the power and potential of Indieweb technologies, maybe Micropub Queries could help bring that about...

#100days 57 - Updated some more styles on the next version of my site and made pretty much all images lazyloaded. So my pages of photos should be a bit more performant πŸ˜ƒ

#100days 56 - Also been working on my updated site as well. Managed to completely remove styled components from it now and converted everything to more plain sass.

I'm sure there are little things that have broken or can be improved but I definitely prefer this setup to styled components - I can see the appeal but I find them to be limiting or hard to use when you hit edge cases that don't really fit in the "component" mold.

#100days 55 - So my failure with the PostrChild extension yesterday was not so much of a failure as I thought.

Turns out that web extensions don't support having both a "browser action" and a "page action" in one extension. But it's no so bad, it was just providing a one click alternative to a 2 click flow.

#100days 54 - Just continued converting some of my new site styles to sass.

Also tried another update to the PostrChild extension but it was a bit of a failure for reasons unknown to me right now

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