HWC Baltimore 2018-07-11 Wrap-Up

Baltimore's first Homebrew Website Club of July met at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center on July 11th!

Here are some notes from the "broadcast" portion of the meetup:

jonathanprozzi.net — Been building static HTML/CSS layouts for fun! Some examples. Also started practicing turning those designs into layouts in Figma. Had a usability testing call w/ the folks from Gatsby that turned into a great discussion about how to better build community starters.

dariusmccoy.com — Was having some issues w/ his site, which is hosted on AWS. He is thinking about wiping his instance and starting a new one, since he has lost track of some of his passwords. In a tricky spot because AWS doesn't offer any tech support for free tier users. Talked about switching to Digital Ocean or something simpler but will have to balance his budgets to justify the costs.

derekfields.is — Been taking a Udemy course on VueJS. Before that has been working on a schedule for developing his website. Has a friend doing the same and they mutually keep each other on track to spend a certain amount of time on developing their skills and sites. It's kind of working!

martymcgui.re — Brought a bunch of stickers and other fun things home from IndieWeb Summit! Had a great time seeing folks he met last year and meeting new folks. Lots of great discussion sessions, hacking projects, wild ideas, and more. He really needs to write it up on his site! His hack day project also desperately needs to be written up – it's an IndieWeb-style web ring, available at 🕸💍.ws ! This week he added support for indielogin.com, which lets people sign in using their own websites by setting up only a couple of links.

Other discussion:
  • IndieWeb Summit! Marty went and loved it. Next year would love to bring more folks from HWC Baltimore, and travel assistance is available. We'll work on it.
  • Marty met Jared Ewy of name.com at the Summit and talked about all the cool work DHF does teaching youth to build websites, the upcoming Web Shop, hosting HWC and IWC Baltimore, etc. Jared gave him a bunch of codes for free domains and some hosting discounts to benefit that work, so we discussed lots of ideas!
  • Some possibilities: give Web Shop youth employees incentive to work on their own projects, outside of paid jobs, to learn more about building their own sites. Host a special Homebrew Website Club that's a 2-hour jam for new folks who don't have a domain yet to get set up with a website. Host a longer "Build Your Website Day" (maybe in coordination with a multi-city Drag Queen Build-a-Website Day?)
  • What would an IndieWeb "starter pack" look like for a quick "you have a domain but no money" way to get started? GitHub looks good for skill building for folks that want to get into web development someday because it's mostly managed by hand. Netlify looks pretty good for this because they offer hosting, flexible static site generation, SSL for HTTPS, and the NetlifyCMS. They also support some features like building your own webhooks on JavaScript, which could eventually be used to handle common IndieWeb building block endpoints (IndieAuth, Micropub, Webmention, ...) Because they run all the stuff for a given site from a git repository, it's possible to take a site from Netlify and set it up elsewhere if their offerings change.
  • "Packages" for a getting started workshop. E.g. "what will you get at the end + what will you need to learn along the way." Static HTML/CSS on GitHub could get a portfolio site done. For $5/mo a Neocities site can be hosted on a custom domain and requires no Git/GitHub wrangling. Micro.blog hosting is also $5/mo and brings a ton of features, interactivity, and community.
  • Talked about VueJS passing React in terms of number of stars on GitHub, and speculating why that is. For example, VueJS can be a lot easier to dip your toes in and get started without a complicated build toolchain.
Photo of HWC Baltimore attendees
Left-to-right: martymcgui.re, dariusmccoy.net, jonathanprozzi.net, derekfields.is

Thanks to everybody who came out! We hope to see you all again at our next meeting on Wednesday July 25th at 6:30pm (quiet writing hour at 5:30pm)!

Photo for tonight’s HWC Baltimore

Replied to https://martymcgui.re/2018/01/20/073442/

For future reference, here’s the SVG used to plot the IWC Baltimore 2018 poster!

I also made a smaller version intended to go on the back of the IWC Baltimore session facilitator cards that I described in my session-planning wrap-up.

★ Favorited https://blog.adafruit.com/2018/07/11/from-ladyada-a-crickit-manifesto-crickit-robotics-design-manufacturing-makerobotfriend-digikey/
post from From Ladyada: A Crickit Manifesto #Crickit #Robotics #Design #Manufacturing #MakeRobotFriend @digikey
[Ed. it is rare that anyone gets to see the thought processes that go into reinventing in robotics. Here, Adafruit founder and engineer Limor “Ladyada” Fried goes into the process she went through to introduce a new kind of inexpensive robotics controller to the Maker community: Crickit. ] Warning! Here be ADABOX 008 Spoilers! Turn back if you don’t want...
★ Favorited https://aaronparecki.com/2018/07/11/8/quill-event
post from
Quill's event creation UI now has venue autocomplete and a map preview, and sends the full venue information to your Micropub endpoint as an h-card! Selecting a location also sets the timezone offset of the event start/end date properly too! This just made it so much easier to post events to my site, so I expect to be posting a...
★ Favorited http://jgregorymcverry.com/4208-2/
post from
Because of the #IndiewebRing I discovered @schmarty’s, whose hacking away at the tech for #IndieWeb WebRings Podcast We Have to Ask Podcast , Funny stuff. Nice concise format…that gets derailed nicely.Looks like I am going in deep? By Design? This ring a trap?
★ Favorited https://liz.micro.blog/2018/06/09/next-conference.html
post from
This week I spoke at NextDoor. I don’t have a verbatim record, but this is what I said, as close as I can recall. I spoke about Thinking like a Tester and being strategic about where we look for bugs. I was wrapping up by pointing out that our biases create blind spots that we need to compensate for, to...

Thanks to our guest Ash(er) for his well-honed training in this week’s We Have to Ask Podcast.

And special thanks to Jāsön Herbert for the incredible 8-bit art of our heads! 😍


post from Will We Catch Them All? • Ep 194- Pokemon Generations
Marty and Jonathan attempt to catch them all. Pokemon is a multi-generational game series that continues to go strong. Our hosts have a guest who has extensive knowledge on these Pocket Monsters.
Reacted ❤️ to https://gregorlove.com/2018/07/feeling-a-mixture-of-futility/
post from
Feeling a mixture of futility about the state of the world, loneliness, and depression. I don't post about these feelings often but I thought I'd try.