I'm Alex Kearney, a Master's student studying Computer Science at the University of Alberta. I focus on Artificial Intelligence and prosthetics.

When I'm not playing with robots, I hang out with the indieweb community, drink tea, and scubadive.

I think I'm going to make a #yeg news aggregation site for #opendataday .

Refactoring my post-parsing was a nightmare, but my code is so much cleaner now. #indieweb

Finally got around to adding geocoding to all my #indieweb posts.

I've just added an approval queue to my activitystreams inbox. Now I can receive notifications from anyone!

I've added an activitystreams inbox to my indieweb blog. Only rhiaro can send me notifications though. :)

@ChrisAldrich I'm glad you enjoyed it! Coming up with something that's easy enough to use consistently is kind of tricky. #indieweb

It worked though! I recently used it to put up two weeks of photos!

My favourite part of the indieweb: when you make a post outline the neat thing you made, breaking it in the process. 😬

On Posting images

I talk about albums, photo management, and the sleek way I now post collections of photos.

Successfully scraping articles off of news sites. Time to work on crawling. wzxhzdk:0 .

Design For Informatics is wrapping up. Seeing the diversity of people's presentations makes me appreciate the value of a project-based course.

Procrasticoding: for when you really don't want to work on that essay

test tweeting with bridgy

yeah, my Micropub endpoint was the first thing I built so that I could just use quill instead of making my own forms. I feel like I could personalize my own one to do some leg-work to get hash-tags, summarize text, and the like.

I should probably get brid.gy integrated at some point. It looks pretty cool.

Also, I feel like I need a better minimal interface for adding posts. Right now it's a chore to add anything but text to the site. It's especially frustrating on mobile devices.

Since I've been running out of space on my little digital ocean VPS, I picked up a pi today and have set it up to serve image.

So that's located at http://photo.kongaloosh.com/data/IMG_0287.JPG. This lets me keep photos remotely and manage them remotely. The downside is, I'm stuck with Canadian internet providers, probably the few remaining in the world that make North Korean ISPs look like reliability itself.

This kind-of breaks my own editor, which currently stores images locally. Instead I'm going to have to re-do my whole image-posting system. That shouldn't be a big deal to fix.

Additionally, I'd like to make some sort of album viewer, but that's a project that's probably going to have to be shelved for a while. I have to do real-work eventually.

It's happened, I've turned into a robot. Or, rhiaro was nice and gave me a tele-presence so I could pretend to be in Edinburgh.

Things I did:

  • Added linear navigation
  • Did some refactoring
  • Added a reply-counter on my stream
  • Added a mention-counter on my stream
  • Broke self-webmentioning...
  • Forgot I was still on-camera when I started a lab discussion on Asimov.

I hope we have more HWC when I'm back in Edinburgh for the winter...

I added a nice little counter at the corner of each post on my stream.

It gives a heads-up as to how many people have responded and whether or not it's in response to another post.

Woo, I now have linear navigation. In other words, the older posts button now actually displays older posts!

Okay, I didn't realize how messed up my microformating is.

Tomorrow I'm going to:

  1. go through and make sure that my site is properly microformatted
  2. try to improve readability
  3. do linear navigation

I guess I have things to do for the EDI HWC

I'm a bit stumped right now, I'm trying to figure out what to work on next for my site.

I've got:

  • A micropub endpoint for Own Your Gram and Quill
  • In-reply-to
  • Webmentions

I guess cleaning up my ui and working on refactoring would be the responsible thing to do...

HWC Edinburgh

I'm going to try and make it remotely, but I'm still in Edmonton.

The Product Designer

Platform Thinking

Maturity Models

Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development

Usibility Metrics

When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods

What Causes Behaviour Change

First Rule of Usability? Don't Listen to Users

A discussion on human-focused design.

The article starts with a humorous note which happens to mirror fields including criminal investigation. It's even touched upon by Malcolm Gladwell in his spaghetti talk.

To design the best UX, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behavior. Users do not know what they want.

Don't listen to people.

If the users have not actually tried to use the designs, they'll base their comments on surface features. Such input often contrasts strongly with feedback based on real use.

Actions speak louder than words.

Human Design Toolkit

UX is Not UI

I've just moved to a public repository so that I can share my project with a couple of other. The project's pretty rough around the edges, but I'm pleased with the way everything's flowing now.

especiallly given how hacked together this is

I've now got support for:

  • micropubbing
  • webmentions
  • in-reply-to
  • albums (albiet in a hacked together way)

But, I need to add testing. That, and there are a lot of little things that would make the project overall nicer. For instance, simply displaying the link if we can't find any indieweb formatting on an in-reply-to page.

Also, I'm running critically low on storage space on my server. I'll need to start working on some self-image-hosting soon. That would also enable me to throw some albums up.

That being said I'm going to take a little dev sabbatical for now.

I guess I have the mechanical aspects of webmentions in place. I just need to do some more testing and make sure that the formatting is readable.

Another test note for webmentions.

This is a test note to use as a source for sending web-mentions.

I'm spending more time thinking about UX and how to make things easier to visually parse. Design is hard.

9 Weeks of Indieweb

A discussion of my first nine weeks in the indieweb community.

I like how you can see the clear delineation between exams and not exams in my github commit graphs.

That, and the increased density from term-time to free time.


Here's an example of a collection of images, or an album. So I've started this as a means of collating a group of related items.

I wanted the extension to be as minimal as possible. As a result, I treat a collection post the same way as any other post: there's no additional information or details associated with a collection. I manage this by making albums that are simply 'responses' to other posts on the site with the in-reply-to field. This lets me give all the individual images additional information, by letting them be their own posts. It's a bit of a hack and I'm kind-of using in-reply-to fields for something other than what they were originally intended for.

It's just a mock up, really, but it does what I need it to do. I still need to figure out what the most sensible way to display all this is. :/