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2019-01-05, 14:42

I've always known that my family was Irish descended in some way. We're too prone to doughiness and large multi-generational households to be anything but that. What with Brexit looking to be an absolute shitshow and me wanting to, you know, STILL BE EUROPEAN, I thought it'd be worth looking into my family history in detail.

Someone recommended to me for this. I was skeptical at first, but my god it is actually incredibly useful. If you're interested in this kind of thing then pay the money for it - it's worth it. You can hook into existing searches done by others, you can easily look up births marriages and deaths. It's so easy and amazing! (, please feel free to sponsor me at any point).

The long and short of it is that my family is definitely Irish, at least on my mother's side. At least three of my great-great-grandparents came from Ireland. (Two of them from Roscommon, and one from Caven County - The McGarry, Riley, and Conlon families).

Sadly none of them are enough for me to claim Irish citizenship, as you need an Irish citizen great-grandparent (listed on the foreign births register if born abroad) to be eligible.

But that's just on my mother's side. Turns out my dad's side is a complete and utter mystery. My dad is... not entirely there, and he can't actually remember his parents names now. So I haven't been able to even start on that. I need to get hold of his birth certificate and find his parents names to go further. (You can order any UK birth certificate online, btw, if you know enough details).

So you never know, maybe I do have an Irish passport lurking somewhere on the paternal line.

I've also found out that if I didn't have to sell my labour as a tech person I think I'd probably spend my time doing quiet research of this nature. This is what getting old is, isn't it?

2018-11-03, 21:54

I've just spent the day at IndieWeb Camp Berlin. It's been so amazing hanging around with some very lovely and clever people, all talking about how the web should be owned by the people who use it, rather than the corporations mining it for data.

The event is being hosted at Mozilla's Berlin HQ. Those Mozillan's are provided with snacks, drinks and a beautiful view in a way that makes my eyes water with envy.

Some interesting highlights included...

Microsub on the indieweb

Microformats sans CSS

  • Microformat entries often collide with CSS, even when prefixed. Especially URL microformat items and CSS utility classes.
  • The fact that it's inside class attribute can make things extremely unclear for devs. "Is this class for styling or for microformats?"
  • What if we made it possible to write microformats elsewhere?
  • We discussed using
    • data-attributes: nope. Using them to markup data for external services is apparently invalid according to the spec.
    • JSON-LD: Violates DRY principle, and is not easily usable by the average person with a website. Requires knowledge of JSON and a way to generate it.
    • property attribute: this one passed muster. It was originally intended to be used by RDFa. But what if we used it to store microformats instead...?

Data ethics on the indieweb

  • Do we assume that people want to publish on your site via webmentions? Is there an implicit contract that says if they send you a webmention then you're free to use that incoming data?
  • Or should we assume there are no rights and publishing desires by default and publish web mentions only if some kind of licensing indicator exists?
  • How do we deal with licensing of incoming webmentions? via metatags, robots.txt, oembed?
  • Is there an implicit right to privacy that web mentions violates?
  • How do we determine licensing? Do we effectively created a scorecard of "happiness to publish" based on aforementioned factors?
  • Are there regional/cultural differences?
  • adactio: "The licensing scorecard is effectively an algorithm, akin to Facebook's and Twitter's. we should be public about that if we pursued it".


  • How to markup photos, vs how to markup collections of photos?
  • Collections are distinct from groups tagged photos.
    • Collections are curated and displayed. More analogous to a physical gallery. It's an experience.
  • How to search across indieweb sites for photos, akin to Flickr search? The interesting prospect of searching across sites for all photos of the same tags.
  • Licensing comes up again!

2018-11-01, 12:31

I have officially migrated my blog from a Metalsmith static site to Craft CMS, hosted by Fortrabbit.

I really enjoyed working with Metalsmith and Netlify. It was fantastic to have such a small tiny core app that you could expand out as you needed to. Netlify made building and deployment an absolute breeze.

But it was a constant toil to get anything working in Metalsmith - it assumes you're going to write everything, and I seemed to spend more time writing code than I did writing posts.

It was also lacking in potential for #indieweb expansion. The most it could ever do was receive webmentions via (the very fantastic) Anything more than that (such a publishing and sending Webmentions) was going to involve jury-rigged solutions involving RSS feeds and IFTTT.

So I've decided to rebase my blog on Craft CMS. It looks like it will give me the space to do more in this area. While it is currently lacking in Webmention support it feels more much scalable, and people in the community are interested in this area.

More writing, less dicking around with code.

2018-10-14, 15:11

Finally bought hosting for Craft CMS on Fortrabbit. It has made setting up the app an absolute dream.

2018-09-30, 18:35

This is it. It looks like Craft CMS has me.

Goodbye, Metalsmith. Farewell, Jekyll. Adieu, Wordpress.

2018-09-24, 22:52

Sorry if I've been spamming people with new and random and extremely old RSS posts. Metalsmith has been going a bit haywire with dates. I say Metalsmith, I mean I fucked some stuff up. 😂

2018-09-23, 16:10

Don't mind me - I'm just trying out publishing notes automatically to Twitter.

Pushing for that elusive #personalbrand.