About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

All posts for May 2015

PHP Community

I read a nice post about the PHP Community project over the weekend. I think Ben has done a really good job of documenting a lot of what has happened over the years.

I remember being very active on the PHP General mailing list back then, and the small bits of personality that shine through when answering questions gave that list a real sense of community. All a community needs is a common thread, and we had PHP. What we lacked was a village green.

The overwhelming response to my post was both the reason the site never materialized as I envisioned and the reason the project still feels like a huge success. The now-defunct wiki (does anyone have a backup?) had several hundred profiles within a few days, and that was just the people wanting to help. People wanted this. I just happened to be the first person to ask.

It’s a nice reminder that we should seek out the opportunities for success that are presented to us instead of always sticking to the plan. Being able to adapt is often more important than being able to predict.

If you’d enjoy a walk down memory lane, read Ben’s post.

Indie Web Movement and IndieAuth

At last year's Brooklyn Beta, Tantek gave me the lowdown on the Indie Web movement. To say it sounded right up my alley would be an understatement.

One of the first things I read about was IndieAuth. Tantek recommended this as a first step, so that I could log in and add myself to the list of IRC people.

If you use IRC, join #indiewebcamp on Freenode. There's also a handy wiki page on IRC if you want more information.

I added a few rel="me" links to my site:

<!-- Indie Web -->
<link rel="me" href="https://twitter.com/shiflett" />
<link rel="me" href="https://github.com/shiflett" />
<link rel="me" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/shiflett" />

I should point out that this isn't Tantek's preferred approach:

<shiflett> tantek: Is there a hidden way to add rel="me" stuff, like <link rel="me" href="..." />?

<tantek> Yes, that works, too. However, we prefer re-using existing visible links, as they tend to be more reliable.

These links provide some assurance that the owner of shiflett.org is the same person as @shiflett on Twitter, etc. With this in place, I eagerly clicked log in with your domain to see what would happen.

I have to provide the domain I want to use as my identity. Once I do, my site is scanned for rel="me" links to see which providers I can authenticate with.

Of course, I wanted to test the "ensure your profiles link back to your home page" requirement, so I changed the URL on my Twitter profile and tried again.

So, that works. :-)

Authenticating with a provider is no different with or without IndieAuth. The only difference is that now when I prove I'm @shiflett on Twitter, I'm also proving I'm shiflett.org. One of the things I quickly noticed about the Indie Web movement is that it's not trying to reinvent existing solutions. Instead, it aims to help me (and you) use existing solutions without having to give up ownership of our identity, data, etc.

Sounds pretty great, doesn't it? I look forward to sharing more as I go.

Thanks for reading.

Social Sharing Links

Since the redesign of this blog in 2007, I’ve had a few social sharing links at the bottom of each post. Last night, as I was fixing a few old bugs, I noticed these links were a bit outdated. Delicious instead of Pinboard, for example.

Here’s the new list I settled on and the basic format for each:

Designer News
Hacker News

The most notable newcomer to my list is Designer News. Choosing where I want to encourage you to share my posts is not an easy task. I only want to include a few. Of course, you can share anywhere you like, but if my choices can shape user behavior, it makes sense to choose carefully.

Now, I just need to write something worth sharing. :-)

Thanks for reading.