New IndieWeb-based Feed Reader in Development

created Jan 2, 2018

In my micro.blog timeline, I saw this post.

https://cleverdevil.io/2018/this-is-great-id-love-to-see-evergreen_mac-support-the

I'd love to see @evergreen_mac support the broader #IndieWeb via Micropub and Microsub! We're doing that in Together – https://github.com/cleverdevil/together

From the GitHub page for Together:

The future home of the together project: an IndieWeb environment for reading, discovering, and interacting with content. You might call it a reader.

This is a React based frontend prototype. Currently for rapid experimentation and not in any sort of finished state. This project was bootstrapped with Create React App.

https://github.com/facebookincubator/create-react-app

https://github.com/facebookincubator/create-react-app/blob/master/packages/react-scripts/template/README.md

From the IndieWeb reader page https://indieweb.org/reader

A reader (or indie reader) in the context of the indieweb is the portion/feature integrated into an indieweb site that provides a way to read content from other indieweb sites, possibly including posts from the current site as well.

Jan 8, 2018

https://micro.blog/colinwalker/261752

http://stream.boffosocko.com/2018/cleverdevil-that-is-wicked-awesome-i-really-want-a-feed

https://cleverdevil.io/2018/great-progress-is-being-made-on-together---cleverdeviltogether

http://share.cleverdevil.io/JNrG4pVNfY.mp4

Jan 9, 2018

cannot install nodejs because my old linux mint computer uses a "petra" distribution and nodejs does not support petra.

i need at least version 4 of nodejs to be able to install yarn, which is also required by Together.

jeesh. forget it. i'll stick with the web-based theoldreader.com for real feed reading, and i'll stick with woodwind.xyz for indieweb testing, since woodwind supports micropub.

together looks slick in the above video, but i'll have to pass for now.

March 2018

I noticed this on Together's GitHub repo readme page.

Together is a React based application. To use it, you'll need a website that supports Micropub, IndieAuth and Microsub.

My Wren web publishing app supports MicroPub and IndieAuth, but I don't see a reason, yet, to support Microsub.

June 2018

Despite the alleged Microsub requirement, I tried to install Together, again, on my old Linux desktop computer. I cannot get a "modern" npm to install.

My Linux install is made obsolete by JavaScript and a social feed reader.

"I fart in your general direction."

But on this same, old Linux computer, I can run the Nginx web server, programming languages, such as C, Perl, Python, and Lua, and other useful development tools.

I wonder about the strictness of the Microsub requirement. Let's say I got the software installed, would it fail because my website does not support Microsub?

https://indieweb.org/Microsub

Microsub provides a standardized way for reader apps to interact with feeds. By splitting feed parsing and displaying posts into separate parts, a reader app can focus on presenting posts to the user instead of also having to parse feeds. A Microsub server manages the list of people you're following and collects their posts, and a Microsub app shows the posts to the user by fetching them from the server.

Microsub enables a client to show posts from feeds across the web and display them in a reader, without having to do any feed parsing itself. With Microsub, people can use any suitable reader to follow and read the content. Decoupling the idea of displaying posts from actually fetching remote feeds makes it simpler to build a reader, as well as makes your subscription list portable between readers.

Ahh. I think that I understand. I would need to install or create ANOTHER program that manages the feeds. Right.

And how is all of this "easy" to use for the non-tech people in Gen 4? I don't see my wife trying to get IndieAuth, Micropub, and Microsub working on a server.

theoldreader.com is a simple, web-based feed reader. I works well for my needs.

BTW, responding to a post from within an IndieWeb-based social feed reader, only works if the other sites support receiving Webmentions. I read and/or follow a lot of websites managed by people who have probably never heard of the IndieWeb nor Webmentions.

My response created from within a feed reader would appear on my website, and that's it. Ditto for other interactions, such as likes. But I can do that now without using an IndieWeb feed reader. This post is an example. I created the post on my website, and that's as far is it goes.

And if the author supports receiving Webmentions, then I can send the Webmention from my own website. I don't need a feed reader, especially if the writing area is limited in the feed reader.

If it's a simple reply, comprised of a couple sentences, then posting from within a feed reader makes sense. But if the reply post requires more thought and time, then it's better to create the reply on my own website and send the Webmention reply when I'm ready to send it.

I'm guessing that the main reason why the Gen 1 (techy) IndieWeb users want social web feed readers is for sending lame "replies", such as likes, shares, forwards, and a zillion other useless responses.

Those are not real replies in my book. I prefer to read actual text-based responses and not some kind of programmatic interaction or reaction that adds nothing to the conversation.

And these so-called "likes" can become spammy when used by people to who only want to advertise their websites.

Lo-fi works:

Anyway, it's still good to see innovation and development in the feed reader space. Maybe someday, installing desktop software will become easier, like it was back in the 1990s.

It's stunning that JavaScript (Node.JS and React) is the best tool for creating desktop apps in 2018. Too much other crap is required to be installed before installing the code that supports the app.

It's a feed reader. It's a Micropub and Microsub client app.

Together is still an interesting project, but it's not interesting enough to make me setup a newer Linux box.

https://indieweb.org/Microsub

Aaron Parecki uses Aperture as his Microsub server, and the Together and Indigenous clients.

https://aperture.p3k.io

I logged into the Aperture Microsub server, using my website via IndieAuth. And now I don't know what's next. I don't understand the instructions. I thought that the Microsub server managed the feeds.

https://aperture.p3k.io/docs

The instruction page mentions API keys and channels. ???

Channel are subjects or topics or categories. I think. Adding a new source to the channel is the URL of a website that should contain feeds listed within the website's homepage.

Now that I figured that out, sort of, the next step is to find a Microsub client that points to my Aperture account, which is a Microsub server.

Next, I logged into https://monocle.p3k.io using my website via IndieAuth.

Somehow, Monocle found my feeds at Aperture.

I do like web-based systems better than native apps, since I can access the web version across multiple devices, such as my Linux desktop computer, Chromebook, and iPhone.

But it would be nice to try a desktop feed reader someday.

Hey, it all worked. Adding feeds at Aperture, reading feeds at Monocle, replying to a post from within Monocle. Interesting.

This is the post that I created from within Monocle. I was replying to a post made at wren.soupmode.com.

http://sawv.org/this-is-a-june-27-2018-test-reply-webmention-post-thats-being-typed-fr.html

Now, my feeds contain only a snippet of the post. I don't like displaying all of the content within a feed because some of my posts can be quite large.

When using a feed reader to read other websites, I prefer to focus on the titles or the first sentence or two of posts. That should be more than enough info to decide whether the post is worthwhile to read by either expanding the view of the post within theoldreader.com if the website publishes all of their content within their feed, or click the link to visit the website to read the entire post.

Many feed reader users prefer websites include all of the content within the feeds. They don't want to visit websites.


Jun 27, 2018 cont ...

I discovered a hosted version of Together, via the IndieWeb wiki.

https://alltogethernow.io

I logged in with sawv.org (IndieAuth), and it automatically displayed my feeds that exist within Aperture.

The connection between Microsub clients and the Microsub server that I'm using is made via the homepage at sawv.org where the following HTML exists at the bottom of my homepage.

<a rel="microsub" href="https://aperture.p3k.io/microsub/18">Microsub server</a>