Paul's Blog

Subscribe with RSS

This Blog Is Now Fediverse Enabled

Paul Kiddle

Hello, world. I've transcended "Using my blog to post about creating blogging software", now I am doing "Using my ActivityPub site to post about creating fediverse software".

So far it's extremely basic: Actors and Articles are represented, but no Create activity yet. The actor is followable but don't even think about sending me a like, note, or reply yet. If you want to ask any questions probably best to message @paul@hades.town for now.

That's all! Thanks.

Weeknote 01-29

Paul Kiddle

Last week's design sprint was super interesting and productive, everyone did a great job coming up with ideas and designs, and I'm looking forward to reaching the point that we can start building a product.

Most of my thoughts this week have turned to packing boxes, as we'll be moving house next week. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it - it will be sad to say goodbye to our current home, but as the time gets closer I am getting more excited about owning my own home and creating a place that I know is going to be more permenant than anywhere I've lived in the last decade or two.

Adding to my links collection this week: Storygraph, a promising alternative to Amazon's Good Reads. My own personal boycott of tech giants is not so much to damage those companies in any way (it's only a drop in the ocean anyway), but to support small projects and help ensure there are alternative products and ecosystems for people who want a choice.

Weeknote 01-19

Paul Kiddle

This month, a scientific study from Germany found that search engine results are getting worse, to nobody's surprise, in part to AI.

I've observed this decrease in result quality happening over the last few years (decade, even) as have many others in indie web circles. As with many problems on the modern web, there is a lack of intelligent curation and moderation that is being exploited for profit, and in my opinion it'll be hard if not impossible for search engines to do anything to remedy it in the long term.

But we are starting to see people experiment again with alternative forms of web navigation: manually curated directory listings, link aggregators like Lemmy, and the resurrection of the webring. I've added a links section to my website and will be starting to populate it with useful and interesting resources as I discover them, but what I'm really hoping for is to see someone create a federated discovery service inspired by StumbleUpon.


Next week I'll be joining my colleagues in a design sprint, which will be an interesting experience. We'll also be starting work on the RSS feed that I mentioned in my last post. And plenty of code refactoring, including dropping our storybook-based design system in favour of a combination of Figma files and hardcoded component demo pages within our main codebase.

Weeknote 01-12

Paul Kiddle

With the Christmas period now a distant memory, what is there to look forrward to in January? Actually we have a couple of winter celebrations coming up that our household like to celebrate, in our small ways.

This first is Wassail, an old English folk celebration to ensure a good havest for the new year. It's celebrated on 17th of January, Old Twelfth Night (as it would have been 12th night in the Julian Calendar) by drinking mulled drinks, singing songs, and hanging toast on trees.

The second is Burns Night on January 25th, a Scotish celebration remembering poet Robert Burns. Again, celebrated with song, drink and food. Although since we're not Scottish this is a smaller celebration for us; mainly a chance to try our hand at making a vegetarian haggis and enjoy a glass or two of whisky.

At work this week I've suggested we add an RSS feed to the site. In an era where so many people are becoming fed up with social media algorithms, many users have started to seek ways to curate their own news feeds and digital social networks, and it's a quick win for us to add this kind of open data feed to our site. Plus it's a timely coincidence, yesterday being the anniversary of the tragic death of RSS inventor Aaron Swartz.

Weeknote 01-05

Paul Kiddle

The lack of sunlight at this time of year really gets to me. It makes me feel heavy and slow. But we've had nice things to keep us occupied; the dregs of the Christmas period means plenty of snacks to finish off, the jigsaw to complete, and the decorations and tree to keep us feeling cozy... until tomorrow!

I tried a 7am swim yesterday, which left me in a good mood for the day, and remarkably awake. Unfortunately today the tiredness has caught up with me, but at least it's only Friday.

As for work, it's a slow easing in for this week. I'm trying to reduce the quantity of Javascript we send to the client, eventually with the goal of removing our React dependency completely. I think it's possible, and it will be nice once done - but it's going to be a long process!