I'm Alex Kearney, a PhD 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 really need to invest in better unit testing

Reflections on Two Years of #Indieweb

Today marks two years of #indieweb for me. I've been reflecting on my experience joining the community and my plans for the future.

Today we had our first HWC in Edmonton. We had four people in attendance; everyone was either building their own personal sites on the university server, or helping people navigate the basics of building a site.

The plan is to have a weekly to bi-weekly meeting where we provide people with the tools to build their own sites. I'm starting with University pages, as it's something people should just have in general, but I'm going to write up some tutorials to motivate and guide people through the hurdles of getting involved in the indieweb community.

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.

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.

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...

Me pretending I'm actually at the Homebrew Web Camp in Edinburgh.

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!

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.

An interesting take on changes in the way we use the web by an Irani-canadian after being imprisoned for several years.

Some networks, like Twitter, treat hyperlinks a little better. Others, insecure social services, are far more paranoid. Instagram — owned by Facebook — doesn’t allow its audiences to leave whatsoever. You can put up a web address alongside your photos, but it won’t go anywhere. Lots of people start their daily online routine in these cul de sacs of social media, and their journeys end there. Many don’t even realize that they’re using the Internet’s infrastructure when they like an Instagram photograph or leave a comment on a friend’s Facebook video. It’s just an app.

This aptly describes a lot of the issues I've had with using-social media. Specifically, it mentions how walled-off instagram is.

His blog is now here

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.

9 Weeks of Indieweb

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


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. :/

Patched together reply-to and micropub today. All in all, I guess that's productive.

Here's a test post from Quill!

Woo, just added geolocation.

Woo! Finished up a prototype UI. Now I can at least syndicate to twitter.

I'm testing out my new posting UI after some bugfixes. Here's a photo of Edmonton. #indieweb