Mid-september is het Nederlandse WordCamp, een tweedaagse bijeenkomst over alles dat WordPress is. Ik ben niet zozeer de doelgroep lijkt me, maar het oogt wel als een goede manier om de IndieWeb ervaringen van mijzelf als WordPress gebruikende blogger te gaan laten zien. Wie weet kan ik een lans breken voor het vaker adopteren van IndieWeb bouwstenen in WP themes, plugins of zelfs core. Daarom heb ik nadat ik de oproep bij co-organisatoren Marcel en Remkus tegenkwam deze dagen, me aangemeld als spreker. Ze zoeken nog meer sprekers en workshops, tot 1 juni kun je nog een voorstel indienen. Eind juni hoor je dan meer.

Ongeacht dat voorstel is het misschien ook de moeite waard om te kijken of er iets meer te organiseren is, zoals een homebrew website meet-up of zelfs een IndieWebCamp. Daar moet ik nog even over nadenken.

In Antwort auf Sprachwechsel in WordPress von Robert Lender

Die Sprachauszeichnung von Textausschnitten in WordPress zu ändern, ist in der Tat schwierig. Ich mache das immer manuell. Sprachunterstützung scheint generell davon auszugehen, dass man immer nur eine Sprache verwendet, oder wenn man die Sprache wechselt, dass man immer nur eine Sprache zugleich verwendet. Der Gedanke, dass man zwei oder mehr Sprachen austauschbar verwenden kann scheint unvorstellbar zu sein. Ganz zu schweigen davon dass man dies innerhalb eines einzigen Beitrags tut oder dass man ein einziges Wort oder einen kurzen Satz in einer anderen Sprache verwendet als in denen man normalerweise schreibt.

Die Einstellung einer Sprache in WordPress ist eine seitenweite Einstellung. Das manuelle auszeichnen der Sprache ist der einzig zuverlässige Weg.

Damit ist es aber noch nicht getan. Wenn man sich ansieht wie z. B. Google Translate Inhalte analysiert, wird es schnell merkwürdig. Google achtet nur auf die für die ganze Webseite angegebene Sprache und berechnet eine algorithmische Wahrscheinlichkeit bez. die Sprache des Textes. Alle anderen Sprachauszeichnungen werden einfach ignoriert. Und selbst dann liegt Google oft falsch. Wenn ich auf einer individuellen Page, die als niederländisch deklariert ist, einen kurzen Beitrag auf Niederländisch schreibe, wird er trotzdem als Englisch interpretiert, weil die Menüstruktur auf meinen Seiten auf Englisch ist und mehr Gewicht zugewiesen bekommt als der Text selbst. Nur wenn es einen längeren niederländischen Text gibt, wird der Beitrag trotz korrekter Sprachauszeichnung der kürzere Texte, korrekt als niederländisch erkannt.

Vor einiger Zeit habe ich mein WordPress-Theme so angepasst, dass es Sprachen besser berücksichtigt:

  • Wenn ein Beitrag auf Deutsch oder Niederländisch ist, und einzeln betrachtet wird, wird die richtige Sprache als Sprache für die ganze Webseite angezeigt.
  • Wenn ein Beitrag auf Deutsch oder Niederländisch ist, wird er in einer Übersicht zusammen mit englischen Beiträge mit einer Sprachauszeichnung auf Post-ebene versehen. Beides mache ich, indem ich für jede Sprache eine eigene Kategorie verwende.
  • Kurze Sätze in einer anderen Sprache markiere ich mit einer Sprachauszeichnung, die ich leicht mit einer Tastenkombination hinzufügen kann.
  • In meinem RSS-Feed füge ich Links zur Maschinenübersetzung deutscher und niederländischer Beiträge ins Englische hinzu, erstelle sie aber als spezifische Links: Man kann sich nicht darauf verlassen dass die automatische Erkennungsfunktion von Google Translate dies richtig macht.

Kurz gesagt, ich bin nicht zuversichtlich, dass WordPress es richtig machen wird. Diese Diskussion ist kein neues Phänomen, und ein branchenweites Problem in der Tech Industrie. Vielleicht sollten gerade Coder in Europa mit unserer Sprachenvielfalt sich auf ein gut funktionierendes WP Plugin konzentrieren.

Die Auszeichnung des Sprachwechsels ist eigentlich keine Kleinigkeit. Denn immerhin geht es darum, dass z.B. Screenreader sehbehinderten Menschen Wörter richtig vorlesen und diese somit überhaupt verständlich sind. .[Was man] bis heute für einzelne Worte nicht machen kann. …da hoffe ich in Zukunft auf mehr Einsicht bei den WordPress Entwicklern.

Robert Lender

How long is the list of draft postings in your CMS? I had about 30 from the past 3 years. This morning I went through them and moved those that still look like a posting could come from them into my Obsidian notes. I have a writing folder there, and I find it easier to write there than in the back-end of WordPress, where I still do most of my blogwriting (including this post). Those drafts that had no actual content or were very much connected to a specific moment in time (today we went…) I deleted. About a dozen drafts remain and now live in my notes. Let’s see if having those drafts in an environment where I can encounter them more regularly leads to finishing them. In the past weeks I’ve done my weeknotes postings in Obsidian first as a note, and noticed how it increased the speed of writing. (Afterwards I still need to add links and images in WP though, it’s not a micropub editor.)

Today at 14:07 it is exactly 19 years ago I published the first post on this blog. Back then I already mention how connecting to others, conversation, is the key thing I’m aiming for. I’ve always been a prolific note maker (going back to primary school even, buying my own notepads). With the launch of my weblog it became a more public thing as well as a means to engage with others.

In recent years I’ve marked the occasion by reflecting on my blogging and practices (see the 18, 17, 16 years edition), and long ago I marked the 3rd and 5th anniversary both extolling the value of the conversations and connections this blog helped create.

This year, as most of last year was spent working from home. It meant a similar internal oriented focus when it comes to my note making and blogging.

I haven’t spend time on IndieWeb community organising for instance, didn’t feel the energy for it either. I did make steps towards making this blog much less dependent on third parties:

  • I stopped embedding Flickr images in my blog, replacing them with locally hosted copies while linking to the original. Most postings now no longer have Flickr embeds, some 150 still do, which I am slowly bringing down to 0.
  • I removed all video embeds, replacing them with stills and links
  • I slowly replaced a number of Slideshare decks, but not all yet. There are no actual slideshare embeds active anymore on my blog, as I deleted my account, but the now non-functional embeds still ‘call’ those web adresses. I’m self-hosting my slides on tonz.nl (Dutch), and tonz.eu (English)

I experimented with sharable bookshelves for my blog, but there’s a connection missing with my internal note taking. I’d very much like to directly generate my book lists and book posts directly from my own notes. I haven’t actually posted about books here since January, a fact I dislike.

That brings me to the note making part. I have completely removed myself from Evernote, replacing it with a local collection of notes in markdown. I’ve kept them separate of the notes collection I actually work with, but import specific notes when I need them. I also, based on an example from fellow Obsidian user Wouter Groeneveld, started scanning my paper notebooks from over the years, creating indexes for them, and thus making them connect to my ongoing work and notes. My use of Obsidian to maintain those markdown notes continues undiminished. The speed of creating new conceptual nodes has slowed a lot, having mined most of my old blogposts for their content. I am now slowly evolving my ways of digesting and adding new knowledge and thoughts. In terms of volume, there are now some 5k notes, of which 1k6 are conceptual, 1k are ‘collected stuff’ with just a few added remarks of why I find them interesting, and some 2k5 work related notes.

In general I would like to see a more direct connection between my notes and my blogging, and ‘wiki’ pages on this site. I’m not sure yet what I’d like so I need to experiment. In the past months I have been contributing to two GitHub hosted sites using Respec, where the site is directly created from my notes. This works really well, but as those are public pages I do keep the corresponding notes in a different place than my ‘real’ notes. I do want to maintain the difference between public and private, as it influences my writing, but I do not necessarily want to keep the public notes in a separate location from the others.

Coincidentally, around note making, I did do some outreach and hosted two ‘Dutch language Obsidian user meet-ups‘. The third is due to take place in two weeks.

For the coming time this note-to-blog pipeline, and making it easier for myself to post, will be my area of attention I think. Let’s see next year around this time, when I hit the two decade mark with this blog, how that went.

How I took notes in 2006, on a locally hosted wiki

I’ve been using the Post Kinds plugin for a few years on this WordPress site. It allows you to easily style a specific type of posting (a like, bookmark, reply, rsvp, read, check-in etc), it automatically pulls in the relevant information form the posting you’re reacting to, and adds the right machine readable micro-formats so that if you ping the source website that site can see if it is a direct reply, a like, a regular mention etc.

David Shanske deserves a lot of credit for creating and maintaining this valuable WP plugin, and for his contributions to the IndieWeb community over the years. Yet I always kept some reservations even while I’ve been depending on the Post Kinds plugin. One thing was the ability to shape how these post kinds look, meanwhile addressed. One is it prevents me from adopting Gutenberg in WordPress, even while others (of the few) plugins I use are moving to a Gutenberg only stance, meaning conflict and/or hard choices lie in the near future of this blog.

Most of all however I balk at how information around a post kind gets stored. To me the thing I am reacting to is an inherent and equal part of my posting. Because pointing to the thing I’m reacting to is nothing other than a hyperlink, the core feature of the web itself. That in the case of a post kind such a hyperlink is more fancily handled and presented does not change that. However the thing I am reacting to gets lifted outside the posting and is stored differently in the WordPress database by Post Kinds. This has as a consequence that should I switch off Post Kinds the connection between my postings and what it is reacting to is severed, even if it is still in the database. It changes “Reply to hyperlink.tld: That’s a great idea” to “That’s a great idea”, which is a serious loss of meaning. In that way Post Kinds becomes a lock-in and a potential single point of failure that breaks the web, at least my part of the web that this blog forms. The two images below demonstrate the effect:

A ‘like’ posting with Post Kinds enabled

The same posting without Post Kinds, which means a serious loss of information because the actual hyperlink to the thing discussed disappears

So I want to break out of that lock-in, and find a work around. This means all relevant info about the thing I am reacting to should be in the actual posting. My current idea is that I will create simple templates for the post kinds I actually have used until now, and put them behind a keyboard shortcut. That way I can ensure the right micro-formats are used for others to interpret. Over time I can replace the existing Post Kinds dependent postings (about 900 in this blog) in the same way, clearing the way for switching it off entirely. This should increase the autonomy of keeping this blog, and decrease dependencies.

Google is experimenting with added functionality to the Chrome browser that follows your browsing. It’s called Federated Learning of Cohorts, FLoCs. This is a way of tracking you for advertising purposes that doesn’t rely on third party cookies. That last bit sounds nice, but it is still very much based on active tracking, and this time it’s the Chrome browser itself that provides the data, turning Chrome into ad-delivery malware. You can opt-out with your Chrome browser, or better yet by not using Chrome, and also website owners can opt out their sites.

That is what I’ve done, opting out my WordPress site, by adding a small function to functions.php in my theme. Adtech cannot be aligned with the GDPR, so it wasn’t a decision at all.

WordPress seems to be planning to add that function to WordPress itself, starting from version 5.8, which should arrive in July. That sounds like a good step.

If that blocking is too successful however, I bet we’ll see opt-out settings actively ignored, like with the Do-Not-Track settings already.