I'm happy to announce that the personal reader project I've been writing for Drupal is now available for download! You can install it on your website, and as a PWA on your phone or tablet. No more third party applications, just pure HTML, css and the power of Drupal. The layout is heavily influenced by the Mastodon project, but needs more tweaks to fix the responsive behavior.
The project consists of two parts:
- reader module: API for getting channels, streams etc. The main entry point is at /reader. Configuration is at admin/config/services/reader.
- reader theme: theme for displaying the content. The theme enables you to install the reader on the home screen of your mobile phone.
I've recorded a short screencast showing the current interface and also how to install on a mobile phone! You can see channels from the IndieWeb microsub module and the local ActivityPub timeline of people I'm following on the Fediverse.
After a couple of weeks of coding and testing, I've tagged a first alpha release of the ActivityPub module for Drupal! It implements the protocol so that you can communicate with other Drupal sites or platforms which support ActivityPub. Remote accounts on for example Mastodon or Pixelfed can follow any user on a Drupal site now and read content, like posts and reply from their platform. It's only the tip of the iceberg of what's possible with AP, but the main focus at this point is discovery of content and users on remote platforms and performing typical social responses (reply, favorite, announce).
The core of the implementation uses Drupal plugins to map fields and content types to activity types. Being in alpha means that the interfaces will most likely change as bugs are fixed and new features will be implemented, but I'll document those when I tag a new version. For more information, installation and configuration, check the README which I will continue to update as well.
- Enable ActivityPub per user, discovery via the Webfinger module
- Map Activity types and properties to content types and create posts to send out to the Fediverse.
- Create comments from Create activities from remote users to content
- Accept follow requests, Undo (follow), Outbox, Inbox and followers endpoints
- Send posts via drush or cron, with HttpSignature for authorization
Have an account on Mastodon, Pixelfed or Pleroma? Then you can follow me via @firstname.lastname@example.org. Discovery probably works on most other platforms as well, but I haven't interacted with those yet, and I hope other people will download and start testing with those as well.
Even though I still have many seasons to watch, Bob Ross' "Golden Rays of Sunshine" (Season 28 Episode 4) will probably remain my favorite painting. It even has a 9.6 rating on IMDB! :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxj3xLDNxo0
Uploaded my first piano bagetelle on MuseScore - note, I'm neither a pro MuseScore user nor a good piano player (yet), but I had massive fun! :) https://musescore.com/swentel/bagatelle-1
I'm glad to announce that I've been awarded a grant as part of the European Next Generation Internet initiative (NGI) by the Dutch NLnet Foundation to work on my (currently) favorite projects: Indigenous and IndieWeb1. I didn't count on being selected when I submitted my proposal when looking at the other entries, but I guess I made a good case. I'll be spending a lot of time the following months working on them, so you can expect some exciting releases. The status of all projects and work done within this grant will be tracked here.
Indigenous for iOS
The app was originally started by Edward Hinkle and was the main trigger for me to build the Android equivalent. The project is currently unmaintained and lacks many features which are available in the Android version. Thanks to the grant, I can now revive the project so iOS users will be able to enjoy IndieWeb with a more richer and mature application.
Edward was so kind to transfer the existing repository over to me so all issues are preserved. I'll be creating projects and milestones so everyone can track progress. At some point, I will start rolling out releases in a beta program, so watch this space or announcements on Twitter to know when you can sign up for testing.
Multiple user support for the Drupal IndieWeb module
One of the last major missing pieces for the module is support for multiple users. All features currently work great for one account and the Micropub server supports multiple authors posting to the same domain. However, it's far from perfect, and especially the built-in Microsub server is not compatible at all for more than one user.
Work started in a separate branch a couple of months ago, but progress is slow as dragons are everywhere and I only work on this when I have some free time. With this grant, I'll be able to focus 2 weeks in a row to rewrite the critical pieces, not to mention all the tests.
I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to write an upgrade path, but I will keep on supporting both branches as I'm using the module on my site which only has one user, so no need to worry in case you are using the module already.
Kickstarting ActivityPub module for Drupal
It's been on my mind for so long, but I will finally will be able to work extensively on the Drupal Activity module. My work will happen on Drupal.org instead of the existing repository on GitHub, which will be used for a more extended version somewhere in the future. The 1.0.x branch on d.o will contain the lite version.
Besides these 3 major goals, I'll focus as well on the interoperability of both app clients (Android and iOS) with more software, e.g. Mastodon and Pixelfed. I'm brainstorming to figure out the best approach to contribute and how to integrate them with both clients, more details will be released in future blog posts and notes.
All those projects have a place in my personal vision on the Open Web, so I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work on them almost full time, hoping to convince more people to jump onboard ultimately. It would be great if we could get something into Drupal Core one day, or at least make some more noise around it. If you have questions, feedback or just want to have a chat, I'm (still, yes I know) on IRC on irc.freenode.net (indieweb or drupal channels). Ping swentel and I'll be all ears.Footnotes
1. to be fair, Solfidola might come close to become my new favorite, but it's not related with IndieWeb at all :)