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IndieWeb Summit 2016 discussion day

Following Shane’s call-to-arms (to write more than 140 characters at a time) and gRegor’s lead and to spite Sandro who doesn’t want to read it, I wanted to write a little bit about day 1 of the IndieWeb Summit while it’s all still fresh.

Observation: I’m an odd mixture of excited/energized and sleepy. Keep yawning through conversations I’m super interested in hearing. I’m incredibly happy to be part of this community. And I’m proud that I get to act as any kind of “leader” within it, even though that is so not my normal mode.

Sessions were excellent. First thing we talked about web hosting and how we can make it accessible to a wider audience. Shared hosting sucks and really limits the type of software you can run; VPS requires major intense UNIX knowledge and time and effort; PaaS’s are great but still very technical and kind of expensive for people just screwing around with a personal site. I really latched on to the idea of sort of a co-op model where friends share space, and have one or a few dedicated sysadmins… sort of like tilde.club or that server your friend ran in college, with someone who’s excited to help their friends (a small group of people who know and trust each other) setup/admin/run their sites. The admin would provision and install software manually until some parts become awful, and then automate those pain points (and hopefully end up with something (re)useful). This feels like an “in”, where typically the hosting issue just feels totally impenetrable to me.

(This might be a terrible idea that will create horrible security and/or ruin friendships)

Eric led a session on Camlistore. Together with a podcast about IPFS I listened to recently, I guess I’m starting to get it, sort of? Content addressable static resources part makes a ton of sense, but I haven’t connected the dots on the mutable layer on top of that (in either Camlistore or IPFs). I’d like to learn more about that because naively I’d expect that to be the weak link in terms of longevity — You have a terrabyte of SHA1’ed data that you can check and verify, but if the (mutable) index gets corrupted, how do you find anything?

I attempted to lead a session talking about offine-first and Progressive Web Apps (which feel like a big deal…), like MobilePub. This was totally self-serving because I want to build some little bits of offline behavior for Woodwind tomorrow. But we also discussed a bit whether it was useful or interesting to use service workers on your personal website. At the bare minimum, I think it’s super badass to show your own personalized “you are offline” screen, like some people have a custom 404 page. I’m curious to see how I can do offline-first with an app that is mostly server-rendered HTML and very little Javascript.

Closing out the afternoon, I found a comfy couch and listened in on a session on longevity lead by Emma.

Also I got to, briefly, meet Scott Hanselman! I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. That partially made up for me not saying hi to James Urbaniak at Ground Kontrol last night.


Wow, Scott Hanselman is at the IWC? I'm a big fan of his too! Especially of how diverse his podcast interview partners list is.


Wow, Scott Hanselman is at the IWC? I'm a big fan of his too! Especially of how diverse his podcast interview partners list is.

Kyle Mahan
Yeah, he came by just for a bit around lunchtime. I absolutely agree, found a lot of new non-(white guy) people to follow through him. He’s done a lot to make tech more humane in general.