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Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, Indieweb, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation

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The IndieWeb Movement and Drupal

3 min read

The IndieWeb is a growing people-focused alternative to the ‘corporate web’.

This BoF session is encouraged for all levels of Drupal users: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Developers, and particularly those working for larger corporations, should be interested in the benefits that some of the IndieWeb principles can convey to the marketing/communications departments of their clients' companies.

Haven't you (or your clients) always wanted to be the "hub" of your own online presence with ancillary social services helping to serve your purposes rather than the services' own interests? Isn't this why we all want to build and have our own online spaces in the first place?

With the rise of areas like social media, it's often the case that much of our content and material lives in corporate silos like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and a variety of other sites. Sadly, as netizens, we do not have direct control over these sites, often can't export our data from them, and they can be (and often are) bought out or shut down at almost a moments notice. Worse, comments and interaction with our content is typically also stuck in these silos and it lives or dies with them. Wouldn't you love to have the network effect and value that these sites bring without the extra work or hindrances they bring?

There is a growing and very viable alternative to this model which is being built by the IndieWebCamp community as a multi-platform and opensource project which dovetails well with the ideals of the Drupal community.

Those who are interested in learning about and discussing some of the basic principles and philosophies of the movement are encouraged to attend. We'll chat about some of the current projects and capabilities as well as open standards that help enable the functionality you've always wanted (or maybe didn't know you wanted until now) in your websites.

Moving forward, we can all build IndieWeb principles into the Drupal platform to help it remain relevant as the web continues to grow and evolve.

A wealth of information about the IndieWeb community can be found at their website, but as a brief overview some of their basic principles appear below:

Your content is yours

When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.

You are better connected

Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.

You are in control

You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you. In addition, you share simple readable links such as example.com/ideas. These links are permanent and will always work.

Category: BoF

Skill: Beginner

Duration: One hour

Session Tags: IndieWeb, social media, Open Source, web architecture, open standards

Register for the session at 2015 Drupal Camp LA at http://2015.drupalcampla.com/sessions/indieweb-movement-and-drupal

 

Upgrading @WithKnown on One's Own Server

3 min read

It's only been a short time since I installed my own copy of WithKnown (GitHub) and there have been a few small upgrades since that time, but I was overdue for upgrading. I'd also seen one or two errors when posting, and figured that the small bugs I was seeing would have been worked out.

When I went to upgrade earlier in the week, I figured I'd wing it since at the time there weren't any instructions for upgrading in the documentation (or at least that I'd noticed at the time.)  Somehow I got sidetracked and finally just came back to it today.  Following the general procedure for upgrading projects like Drupal and WordPress, I trundled along and found generally reasonable results until I realized that URLs weren't mapping quite properly, photos were missing, and something was a bit "off". (I had tried reinstalling my original config.ini file along with the Uploads file, but that didn't seem to work somehow.)

I went back to check the documentation, and lo-and-behold, in the intervening week,  there are now some scant upgrade instructions available which follow below: 

Upgrading Known is designed to be very simple.

  • Take a backup of your Known directory and database.
  • Overwrite your Known files except your upload directory.
  • Access your Known site homepage.

I was reticent upon visiting my homepage as I received a splash screen exactly like the original set up, and was very worried that I might manage to blow out some of the primary data and crash the whole thing. (I did remember to do a back up before starting, but who wants to deal with that if they don't have to.)

I decided to plunge ahead and proceeded like I was setting things up for the first time. I was directed to a page to enter in the database name, login, password, etc., which creates a config.ini file in the root, and was then redirected to my site, with all the links and data perfectly intact and functioning properly. 

For those who haven't done it themselves, and have the same reticence I did, I'd recommend adding a few additional steps to the process:

4. Click on the set up button

5. Enter in your database name, user name, host name and password

6. Update the path for the "Uploads" folder. (It may automatically default to the proper path name, but double check it.)

7. Hit enter and you'll be taken to your site.

Depending on what one is using for the update, I might also recommend blowing out (deleting) the original Known files in your root directory in step 2, and installing the new ones rather than simple overwriting so one isn't left with out of date files.