Indigenous for Desktop

I'm excited to announce that Indigenous for Desktop has a first release! Like the Android client, this application allows you to interact with the IndieWeb using the Micropub and Microsub specifications. Besides the fun of experimenting with a different framework, there are a couple of other reasons why I felt the need to have a different client. The main reason is the reader: long articles are quite tedious to read on my phone because the screen is simply smaller. Looking at images obviously has the same problem. Listening to podcasts works fine, but during working hours, I'm already on my laptop, so why not listen on the laptop?

This (currently) means I'm not going to port over all functionality that exist in the Android client, the main focus is on the most common features used on a daily basis. Please keep that in mind before opening issues. I've already created a bunch in the queue which I will work on next and (most likely) freeze after they are done.

The app is written and packaged using the Electron framework, which gives me the opportunity to use features outside of a browser, like disk storage (for configuration, caching ..), notifications and so on, but without having to worry that everything works on every operating system. Packages for the first release are available on the releases page at GitHub. I've tested it on Linux, MacOS and Windows, so crossing fingers that it works for other people as well!

Features available

  • Micropub: note/article with tags, single file upload, syndication targets, and published status.
  • Microsub: Read channels and posts per timeline. Inline reply, like, bookmark and repost with or without confirmation, mark all read.
  • Settings: The reader connects to https://indigenous.realize.be by default so there's a nice preview to see how it works. You can configure your reader and post endpoint manually - IndieAuth flow is coming in later versions.

What's next? Add more features of course! The idea is also to extract the code at some point to create a PWA version, but that's for another time :) In case you want to contribute to development, feel free to open issues and pull requests at https://github.com/swentel/indigenous-desktop

See it in action

New blog post: Introducing Indigenous for Desktop - https://realize.be/blog/indigenous-desktop - I also recorded a short video demonstrating the current features. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7egdRBg70XA #indieweb

A response to Mattias

This is a response to a conversation on Twitter related to an article on Mattias' blog. It turned out bigger even though I'm currently hiding in Dartmoor.

tldr: An article which is speculative, about a topic where so many (false) information is already being spread, in a context (site) which is otherwise tech related and with an extremely high clickbait title really deserves a better context or introduction. The 'My site is already opinionated' doesn't work completely here in my opinion.

I'm not responding with my view on the Corona virus pandemic that's hitting the world at the moment. I do have an opinion, but it hardly matters, I rather wanted to express why the article hit my bad nerve.

First of all: do you have the right to have your opinion? Of course. Should you write it down on your site? Sure, why not. But context matters, and that's what bothers me in this case.

You are highly opinionated on your blog on topics in which you are an expert in, others are also tech related or professional. That's the main reason I (and I assume many others) follow your articles, because I sometimes learn something new. Or I learn about a new service you're launching which I might rely on one day.

Looking at the blog archive - and I only went to page 3, but we're back to 2015 by then - it's safe to say that about 98% is tech related, so an article which suddenly covers a completely different topic comes as a little surprise to begin with, since the context here is your site. I wouldn't have cared at all if this was a retweet on twitter from another article for instance, because, especially with this topic, I ignore a lot.

From a marketing point of view, the title is perfect. I think many people are jealous. It starts with useful information, but then ends with your personal conclusion, based on speculation, which some people might even find (highly) controversial. People who love conspiracy theories will probably love this one. While you've admitted the speculation on Twitter, nothing in the article gives a glimpse of that.

Lastly, as far as I know, I don't think you're an expert on how viruses spread/behave or how government decisions work, feel free to correct me on that of course. Even if that's (probably) an obvious fact, some people, without context won't know this.


Now, it's easy to write down critique like this, so let me offer some some suggestions for more context:

  • Change the title: it's too general while in reality you were thinking about why our government wasn't acting (fast) enough - don't forget the 301 in case the alias changes ;)
  • Add a more explicit intro something like 'I'm no expert on viruses and certainly not a economist'. Break the ice a bit with a joke, you get the picture.
  • Future optimization: separate the blog in 'tech' and 'personal' sections. Although that's tricky, I know how hard it is to create a site and maintain content.

Maybe we meet one day, when normal lives resumes and conferences start again, and talk about this some more in person, that always works better anyway :)