An absentee webring steward returns

Are you a member of the πŸ•ΈπŸ’ IndieWeb Webring? Everything is fine! We are up to around 450 active sites, with more than 250 of those appearing on the webring directory page!

Okay so what is this update?

Ha! Ha. Reader, you see right through me. Since the last IndieWeb Webring update, an afficionado of IndieWeb, webrings, and PHP who goes by Von Explaino (aka Colin) reached out about collaborating!

He posted about his own updates in Playing with IndieWeb ring's code, and I posted a follow-up with my interest, and he shared his fork of the codebase and posted some ideas for future work. Look at this lovely back and forth discussion between our IndieWeb-powered sites! You love to see it.

That all started in, =ahem=, JULY OF 2023. After a slow email exchange between a patient Colin and a very embarrassed and tired me promising to take a look any day now, I eventually apologized for not having the energy to work on the web ring at that time, and around September we stopped corresponding.

The update is that there's no update?

No! Well, sort of? This weekend I finally made time to reading through Colin's updates and additions, especially focused around the PHPUnit tests that he added for the basic database logic and site fetching and parsing and link-finding code.

The tl;dr is: I've incorporated most of Colin's updates, hooray!

I want to see!

Sure! You can find today's updates to the code here on my git hosting!

I don't want to look at code! Show me what changed for webring members!

Oh! Fair enough. None of today's updates affect how the webring looks or works at this time. It's more like setting up support infrastructure around the way the webring works now to make sure that nothing breaks unintentionally during future updates.

Does that mean changes are coming?

Most likely! But all good stuff, I think. At the top of my list are:

  • Automating the "gardener" that checks whether active member sites have lost (or inactive members have regained!) their webring links.
  • The directory page sure is getting unwieldy with so many profiles on there. It could use some improvements.
  • General design and navigation cleanups.
  • I've seen some interest in having the webring be a "true ring" - with deterministic next / previous links. I'm open to this but I want to keep it simple. (And I'll probably want to shake things up every once in a while!)
  • I've seen some interest in using the active member sites on the webring as a "Who to Follow" for folks who are setting up their feed readers. I don't have it in me to maintain a "planet" feed that contains posts from everybody, but I could probably add some feed discovery so you can see which sites have clearly labeled feeds and maybe let you export an OPML list.
  • Oh! And I keep wonderi-

Okay! Okay.

Right, haha. That's it, for now. As always, feel free to reply to this post on your own site, or feel free to drop me a line in the #indieweb chat (I’m schmarty there).


Marty McGuire Marty McGuire at said:

Are you a member of the πŸ•ΈοΈπŸ’ IndieWeb Webring? Perhaps one of many who have been confused to discover that member sites are not automatically removed when the webring links disappear from their site? I'm pleased to announce that the webring will now be self-gardening! Webring member sites th- Hold on, links to what now? That-... is actually a good question! In order for webrings to work, member sites have to link to one another, usually through the webring itself. When you sign in to the πŸ•ΈοΈπŸ’ …