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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.

Greg McVerry

Designing an #IndieWeb Course Template

2 min read

So my long term goal is to help create a decntralized LMS powered by tools and philosophies.

To that end I needed to redesign my course templates.

I started with my live course: and went at it.

My first goal was to add h-card and h-event microformats.

I then shared some of my progress and folks were wondering why I still used Bootstrap and not CSS Grid and flexbox. ...Mainly because I didn't knwo how. So I had to learn those.

I may have made quite a few errors as I cobbled it together.

What is next?

I could not for the life of me get the side nav javascript I usually use to work. Will contine on that.

The font awesoem icons simply would not center. I tried everything. Except the right thing.

I really like a collapsible side bar with a full screen sections but I figured the holy grail was good place to start.

Where to find it?

Here is the GitHub repo:

Here is Glitch:

Here is Thimble:

Progress on classroom

Course Template (done)

Syllabus Template (not started), but it is just updating to CSS grid as well

Choosing blogging/microbloggin option for students (in progress)

Tutorials (not started)

Figuring out and installing Apeture and getting a MicroSub reader for the class (no where near ready).


Greg McVerry

Microformats I would like in remixable #indieweb classrooms

2 min read

Spent some time today going through and thinkign about what the minimal mark up would be for remixable course repositories:

 Thinking something like:


The h-learning micromat is for making up online classrooms or learning materials:

  • p-module used if a lesson or activity is part of a bigger module
  • p-lesson used if in an activity is part of a bigger lesson
  • p-goal Goal of the learning activity
  • p-objectives measurable outcomes of a lesson
  • p-steps the procudeures a learner or teacher will use
  • p- assessment how will the objectives be measured
  • p-criteria what criteria will be used to measure success
  • p-evidence what will the learner demonstrate to prove criteria have been met.

So a possible lesson page might be:

<h3 class="p-module">My Unit</h3>

<h4 class="p-lesson">Lesson one</h4>

<p class="p-goal">The goal of this lesson is to build yoru first website</p>

   <ul class="p-objective">

      <li>Find a shared host</li>

      <li>Launch a website</li>

      <li>Publish about me page</li>


<div class="p-steps">

    <h4> The Plan </h4>

      <ul >

         <li>step one</li>

         <li>step two</li>



<p class="p-assessment>This will be assessed during a project showcase your peers will score you using a rubric.</p>

<p class="p-criteria> Your website will be judged on x, y, z</p>

<p class="p-evidence>Evidence may include x,yz,</p>

Not sure if any of this would work but it seems simple to ask. Not sure who you ask to make it happen but that is probably even easier.


Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry

I went to sketch my notes on the smallest #openbadges idea using #indieweb stuff and ended up sketching the MicroPub and MicroSub LMS I want

1 min read

I got carried away and what I am saying may not be technically correct but I belive it to be technically possible.

Greg McVerry

Possible Interview Questions

1 min read

Going with a semi-structured interview protocol

How long have you been an WordPress user?

What drew you to try out plug-ins on WordPress?

How would you rate your understandings of the technlogies that make it all work?

Do you know what plug-ins you usee?

To the best of your recollection try to recall your set up process.

What is the best part of using WordPress plug-ins?

What do you believe we should change to make it easier for WordPress users to utilize plug-ins?



Greg McVerry

#OER and #indieweb

1 min read

Not sure if anyone else is thinking about how compatible technologies can help and but here is a great California grant opportunity.

Greg McVerry

My Next #indieweb task

2 min read

So I got my blogs (well the ones I use a lot) updated and running smoothly. I was looking for my next project and I have decided I am going to focus on streamlining my course workflow and also utilizing microformats when makring up my courses.

Here's my problem. I try to host all my courses in html/css. It makes remixing and sharing so much easier than locking htem behind a unverisity silo. I then also try and mantain these on GitHub.

Things quickly fall out of sync. My syllabus, my course site, and my repos are never the same.

Here is my solution: Create a system where I can update a course module template and this will immediatley update both my website and my syllabus.

Be really cool if I could do this right from my repo. If not I can just sftp into my sites to update.

I really want to to do this because I am intrigued by altmetrics. A solution like that has been a dream of our study group.

Quick punchlist:

  • Update frameworks. Syllabus uses Skelteon and classes use Bootstrap. Probably make them both Bootstrap,
  • Change all the font awesome icons to 5.0.
  • Figure out when using microformats if there are already conventions used in and learning spaces.
  • Finalize my instructional design for my modules. I am really close but this work will be important for next steps.
  • Figure out best way to serve up the modules in html. Here I am at the edge of my knowledge. Should be fun.

Greg McVerry

Trying to Create Wordpress Filters

1 min read

I have been playing a bit with indigineous as an experiment.


Corrently it is set to publish to my wordpress site. Trying to create a filter so only the post-kind "article" shpws up on my main blog theme on the wordpress site.


Been trying different variations of this in functions.php


function myfeed_request($qv) {
    if (isset($qv['feed']) && !isset($qv['post_kind']))
        $qv['post_kind'] = array('article', );
    return $qv;
add_filter('request', 'myfeed_request');

It doesn't work I will keep trying.

Greg McVerry

What exactly is #indieweb and how can we talk about it?

4 min read

Across the numerous indieweb channels people have started to talk about how to discuss indieweb as the community and tools evolve into versions 2, 3, 4. Folks refer to these more as generations rather than traditional version conventions used in software development.

The basic gist of the problem to me boiled down to mission, audience, and purpose.

First and foremost the community is guided by a  set of principles. You can read those here.  Not suprisingly  these principles jhave much in common with open source communities like Mozilla and our manifestoDrupal and Wordpress community leaders and members share much of this ethos. Domain's of Own's Own is basically the in education circles.

Is the community different? Same? Both?

While I got some pushback I noted that the what makes the different is the adherence to specific protocolos to  support the Publish on Your Own Site and Syndicate Elsewhere (POSSE) philosophy.

It is that philosophy that I can introduce to new users. That's my elevator pitch.

The implementation of POSSE  usually involves some combination of MicroPub,an API standard; Microsub, a newer standard that manages subscriptions; Microformats, an html extension that allow sitse to publish a standard API other sites can consume; and webmentions, which is a standard that allows you to track mentions of a link across the web.

While none or all of these tools are required to make a site "indieweb" having a focus on human readable (versus machine readable stuff that focuses JSON-LD for example) mark-ups and semantics is a major focus of . It is a pluralistic user-centric approach to the web.

Putting the users in control of their data, on their own site, and connecting to others through open standards and inter-operability. Sounds like a web I want.

As stated, and most did not agree with me, that the community is very united behind these APIs, standards, and mark-up techniques. In fact it is this loyalty that makes the community different than other "open web" communitities.

The problem moving forward: communicating this to non-technical readers. I mean, I barely understand the last few paragraphs I wrote.


As Eddie noted the challenge we were discussing was,  "trying to figure out a way to explain if a Micropub/Microsub client can work with a given service without using protocol names that can be confused for Gen 3/4 users"

Here were some ideas I had. These are just mine and do not reflect the opinions of others:

  • For individual blogs I suggested a badge (one exists) that people can add to their blogs after running their site through a validator. This just helps with overall mission and branding while providing scaffolded support for new community members.
  • I would suggest the language around, "This site  is indieweb powered...again more market penetration language) by tools to support the principles of our community. Different APIs and protocols allow us to publish on our own site, share our work across many networks, and collect mentions of our work across the social web.
  • For folks like Swerty who have released a client into the wild (an awesome aAndroid app called indigenous currently in Alpha) there needs to be langauge about compatibility. I think here you need to mention specific protocols since different sites may use different idieweb tools. Maybe something like This app is indieweb compatible. It will publish to any indiweb powered site by using MicroPub and it also supports webmentions. No need for a validation tool. If the product doesn't work no one will use it.


Greg McVerry

Giving up the CMS would have to be #HigherEd first step into #IndieWeb

1 min read

Most universities in have their general web strategy all wrong. The "canonical url" should be light weight. A predictable and accessible navigation with fewest pages  possible that render HTML from databases that faculty populate (Yes classic garbage in, garbage out, but that is a supervision problem and not a technical one).

Faculty and departments shouldn't run web pages. Leads to self imposed disinformation,  and university websites running hundreds and hundreds of pages long get more and more useless for students and perspectives.

Keep your main website light. Maybe headless, no CMS.

Then develop common stylesheets that have some basic things folks might use like tables, cards, call out boxes, etc . Make a few template pages. Or use a CMS. It doesn't matter. These subdomains are not the official record. Allow faculty and departments to then run subdomains with the explicit policy you link to the main website when discussing stuff like programs, faculty, etc.

Heck maybe you could even make some of the APIs available to clubs on campus or Computer Science and see what kind of apps students could build or discoveries they could find in the data.