Having a diagram doesn't make it clearer, making it clearer makes it clearer.
Words to live by from a how-to-do-slides post that didn't contain a lot new for me. Except for the bit about showing websites.
1 min read
In the latest More or Less, there's a certain irony to the juxtaposition of item 5 -- “The difference between a Miracle and a Fact is exactly the difference between a mermaid and a seal.” – Mark Twain -- and item 2 -- "Giant container ships are just as responsible for pollution as cars". How hard would it have been to check? For example, BBC Radio 4's
3 min read
One of the developers of Sunlit, a photo-sharing app that is part of the Micro.blog ecosystem, contacted me to say that “the images on your site have a MIME type of application/data”. I’d like to say I understood immediately what the problem was and what it meant, but I had to do some learning first. It wasn’t as simple as the extension, the bit after the filename that indicates whether it is a JPEG or PNG kind of image. Rather, it was about what my server tells your browser about the image.
To backtrack, Known stores all files as
blobs that contain the actual file data, the 1s and 0s. Your browser, when it receives a post from my server, can often sniff out what kind of thing (image, audio, text etc) that blob of data represents and do a good job of showing it to you. Normally, you wouldn’t even notice. One clue is that if you right-click on an image, and ask to open it in a new tab, it actually gets downloaded instead, I suppose because the new tab doesn’t know what else to do with it.
Anyway, I confirmed that the source file for most images did not have an extension (which would have told the browser directly how to deal with it). Most, but not all. Files I had uploaded to my site directly did have an extension and the correct MIME type. The “bad” files had come from OwnYourGram or Quill, both of which are part of the joyful #IndieWeb. They use a standard called Micropub to send things to a suitably equipped website.
It seemed unlikely that both Quill and OYG would fail to send the requisite information to identify a photo, so I went digging into the code that Known uses to decide what to do with a post sent by Micropub. I made a bit of progress but although I could see more or less what was happening, I couldn’t see how to make it right.
Fortunately Aaron Parecki, who built Quill and OwnYourGram (and so much else), was around and gave me the clue I needed to investigate:
curl -I example.com/file.
One beautiful feature of Quill is that if it is sending a photo and if the receiving site has a media endpoint for receiving files (which Known does) it uploads the file, shows you a preview and tells you the location of the file. With that, the
curl command shows that the temporary file has the correct description of
Content-Type: image/jpeg. Once Known has processed the whole post from Quill, though, the file that contains the image shows as
Somewhere between receiving the temporary file from Quill and storing it permanently, Known fails to give it the proper MIME type.
I wish I knew enough to discover where the problem lies. Most likely Marcus Povey – who keeps the wheels spinning at Known – will be able to do the needful, now that I have submitted an issue. And Sunlit will be able to share my photos far and wide.
1 min read
@phoneboy kindly shared a he said he had received.
As I suspected, it looks to me like common or garden spam, hence the scare quotes. Of course, I can't be absolutely certain without digging further into the actual URLs, which I'm not about to do, but everything about these comments screams pingbacks or trackbacks. And the solution is obviously Akismet which, to be honest, I am suprised Phoneboy has not already installed and activated.
1 min read
A couple of days ago, @phoneboy mentioned the fun he had
Once I figure out the right settings, I’ll let you know.
And I’m not sure what that means. What right settings? Doesn’t WordPress keep a copy of all comments it receives? It would be really useful to see the contents of those “spam webmentions,” where they came from, what they contained, who sent them, simply because, as I said before, so few of these imagined evils have so far been spotted in the open. Not sure what settings that requires.
Also, the irony of this question has not escaped me:
Also, where did you post this comment? Didn’t see it in micro.blog.
I posted it here. Where else would I post it?
1 min read
Strangely, perhaps, given my love of tinkering with shiny, I've never been tempted by Ghost. But reading the latest birthday review surfaced this bit of wisdom.
Decentralised platforms fundamentally cannot compete on ease of setup. Nothing beats the UX of signing up for a centralised application.
Centralised platforms fundamentally cannot compete on power and flexibility. In the long run, nothing beats owning your technology and controlling your destiny.
1 min read
Like Tom MacWright, I too have almost no need for Google these days, with one exception: Chat. I have a couple of friends with whom I enjoy messaging, and they aren't about to go anywhere else. I already use YakYak. Is there any way I could message their GTalk without having a Google account myself?