notes on indieweb 🔛 Xanadu design patterns

I've noticed that some IndieWeb blogs converge towards Xanadu's most popular design patterns.

Table of Contents

appeal of the IndieWeb

I've known about the fact that IndieWeb exists as a vague concept for a while.

I think if you're into digital gardening, you might come across IndieWeb serendiptously. These groups are not separate.

I'm more religious about (as in: attached to, committed to) the idea of digital gardening than I am to IndieWeb, but these communities have different strengths.

Digital gardening is more focused on the form of a website (is there a knowledge graph on the site? are there link previews on hover?) than its function.
Digital gardening can be more elitist than IndieWeb - digital gardeners have their own hall of fame, whereas anyone can make an IndieWeb wiki entry for themselves.

I really went to an IndieWeb meeting out of curiosity and stayed after receiving kindness from strangers. The concept of having your own website is pretty simple, but I'm most drawn to the people of IndieWeb - the indiewebbers.

I am a social being.

In college, I was really impressed by the idea that math is something you have to learn in a social context because it is socially constructed.

Math is a social construct and so are the communities people blog in.

transclusion 🔛 POSSE

Ted Nelson's idea of transclusion requires pieces of online content to have a single source of truth - no copies, no duplicates. POSSE (post on your site, syndicate elsewhere) embraces this "single source of truth" idea.

POSSE relies on copies of content, but all those copies point to the original. This is different than the common practice in which you can copy the content of a webpage to another webpage without any attribution or hints as to where the content originally came from.

bi-directional links

Webmentions are similar to Xanadu's bi-directional links that allow you to see where a certain piece of writing has been referenced online.

visible links 🔛 hovercards.js

James wrote some code that enables visible linking (link previews on hover) for self-hosted sites.

thoughts re: Xanadu's creator

Xanadu is a 10+ year long project that was never finished. I listened to a podcast recently where Ted Nelson, decades since the beginning of Xanadu, was harping about his failure and bitterness. The Future of Coding podcast made the observation that early computing researchers like Ted Nelson and Alan Kay come off as bitter and unhappy when discussing modern computing.

I understand that Xanadu never came to be. I understand that Ted Nelson and Tim Berners-Lee disagreed on the nature of hypertext.

I still don't understand why Ted Nelson sounds bitter about the fate of Xanadu when the project was so influential regardless. I'm talking about it now. Creators of apps like Notion and have been inspired by Xanadu. Even the creator of likes Ted Nelson. Why does Ted Nelson still feel like he failed?

I actually have more to say about Ted Nelson but those thoughts apply to Alan Kay as well, so I'll end this now 🔚