Monday, October 29, 2012

Password Free Database

Got around to implementing Mozilla Persona for Converspace. It has its flaws but not having to store user passwords in the db is a big win!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ReverseHttp  allows HTTP clients to expose webhooks so that servers don't have to implement long-polling.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Facebook's Like is just a canned response

  • Writing blog posts (long form) is intimidating.
  • Twitter's constraints (140 character limit, lack of title) makes writing less intimidating.
  • Facebook's Like takes this to its logical conclusion by allowing people to "participate" by "publishing" an "activity" which is just a canned response.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

AJAX based Poormanscron

I've been thinking of a good fallback for running long-running processes on commodity hosting for indieweb social web apps. Given the special use case of social web apps, where users might stay on the app for a long time (or leave a window/tab with it always open), an AJAX based poor man's cron might work very well.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Renamed ActivityPingback to ActivityPush

Did this for a couple of reasons:
  • To avoid confusion with Pingback and all its variants (should have done this a long time ago as per Evan's advise).
  • To see if I can evolve this into a simple and generic way to push activities, to avoid having to use two protocol, one for pushing solicited notification (to subscribers via PubSubHubbub) and one for unsolicited notifications (which is what ActivityPush does currently). This is similar to what does (replaces PubSubHubbub + Salmon), but I want to see if I can do it without an HTTP based protocol and differing a lot of things to the implementations.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Email workflows based on #tag filters

I use #tags either in the subject or body of the email to enable pre-defined filters to apply appropriate labels on them to manage my common email workflows:
  • Bookmarking: I email bookmarks to myself especially from my android phone (using the very convenient "Share page" via Gmail option) with the #bookmark tag.
  • Read Later: This is an extension of bookmarking and I use the #readlater tag.
  • File Storage: I email files or forward emails with attachments of interest to myself with the #files tag.
  • Capturing ideas: I email ideas/notes to myself with the #ideas tag.
  • Task Management: I haven't fully explored this yet.

Social Verbs

I've been thinking about social verbs lately and what they mean to me and how I want to use them, as opposed to how the social networks want me to use them. So I'm compiling a little work-in-progress list:
  • I like something when it brings a smile to my face. (aliases: Love, Heart, Favorite)
  • I share something when it is noteworthy and assume others might find interesting. This could be my own content or someone else's content or something someone else has shared. In the context where my blog is separate from my activity stream, I post to my blog and I share the link to the post with others. When my blog and activity stream merge into one, I just share content. (aliases: blog, tweet, status update)
  • I bookmark something when I want to save it for future reference. (aliases: save)
  • I star something to mark it as important/significant.
  • I upvote something (in the context of a list of things) when it is more relevant.
  • I recommend something when I really believe in it and want to tell others about it. (aliases: endorse, promote)
  • +1 something when I agree with it or support it.

What do the verbs mean to you?


Distributed Mentions

Given the URI-centric approach of Activity Pingback (and Activity Web) I'm leaning towards /username over @username to mention/reply-to users on Converspace. This works very well because it's just a relative URI and lends itself well to the Federated Social Web by allowing you to mention/reply-to someone on another network with simple prefixing: or

Inspired by:
See also:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Facebook designing your online identity is like IKEA designing your apartment

"Facebook designing your online identity is like IKEA designing your apartment. The only individuality lies in the family pictures standing in your BILLY shelves." 
While early online networks like encouraged its users to entirely modify their online presence, and Web 2.0 have steered this "User Generated Content" into a commercially valuable structure. Facebook has finalized this "evolution" by disabling the user to do anything but feeding the system that gives FB it's estimated value of 50 Billion.

Monday, October 08, 2012