Malcolm Blaney

I Haza Website You Can Haz One Too

By Malcolm Blaney on
Hi there, just letting you know I've moved my blog to mblaney.xyz/blog. Please follow me there! Here's a copy of a post I published there earlier today:


I wrote a post back in July called IndieWeb Goals, which hoped to have more updates soon.... and here we are in November!

Oh well I don't feel too bad about that. I had a new project in mind and I wanted to build it in stages, but it sort of needed everything working at the same time so I just got to work on it instead. That project is now online at I Haza Website:



I would love it if you checked it out! The idea behind it is that I was putting all this work into my IndieWeb tools, but not making them accessible to anyone else. Now working on your own tools is fine, I don't believe there should be any expectation to make things for everyone. But I found myself thinking, what if I could? There have been questions about whether the barrier to entry in the IndieWeb is too high, and I know lots of people are taking on that challenge but I wanted to have a go at working on that myself.

That's when I found myself falling down a rabbit hole to create a website that make websites. So I'm quite happy that it's only November. 😉 I have just finished building my own website at mblaney.xyz, and am now writing here instead of my old blog at unicyclic.com/mal.

My old website, unicyclic.com, remains an important part of my IndieWeb setup, but I have finally come around to the idea that everyone should have their own domain. Multi-user domains like unicyclic.com or anything in the Fediverse miss out on something important, which is that we each need to be in control of our own identity on the web, no matter where our website is hosted. I think this is only going to become more important as the IndieWeb gains momentum.

So back to this latest project. It works by pointing a domain name at an IP address it provides, and then verifying your email. Once that happens I've made adding a website to the server as automated as possible, I really didn't want to make too much extra work for myself if someone else wants to use it. (And I hope they do!)

This was the bulk of the work I've done over the last few months, the deploy process for Dobrado now requires just a few clicks and after that updates are automatic. That means if I want to make improvements or bug fixes to my own website, the easiest way to do that is to roll out a new update, which all websites will now get at the same time. It also means all hosted websites are fully featured, encrypted by default, and come pre-configured to do everything you would expect on the IndieWeb. I'm pretty happy to have all that working and think it's a great place to continue IndieWeb development from.

The hardest part was that I use my reader every day, and I really didn't want to run a feed parsing and caching service on every new website. I could've continued to log in to unicyclic.com as my reader, but I think that would've meant switching back and forth between websites all the time. So the logical step was to add a Microsub client to Dobrado, since it was already a Microsub server. Now each website created by i.haza.website gets configured as a client, with unicyclic.com working as a shared server. The access token required for this is automatically created when the website is set up, so it's all working by the time you log in.

So if you know someone who's keen to get involved in the IndieWeb but not sure how to get started, feel free to share this with them. I've tried to make the sign up process as simple as I could, but please use the contact form if you have any feedback.

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This is a great talk by Rasmus, especially the last few minutes where he talks about projects being more important than the tools we use. He's a humble guy and doesn't mention they wouldn't be possible without people like him... still appreciate meeting him 15 years ago at linux.conf when he offered to break people's sites using an exploit tool he had written. 😅



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A changing of the guard

By Malcolm Blaney on
I'm pretty shocked by the recent actions of people considered the leaders of the Free Software and Free Culture movements. Joi Ito was enough, but the response from Lawrence Lessig was sad, out of touch and disappointing.

Now we have RMS jumping into the conversation, just when another unkind and thoughtless voice was exactly what was required. If these people can't condemn the actions of their colleagues why are they even speaking? They might not be able to hear the hurt they are piling on to an already terrible history, but the rest of us can.

It took me many years to join the FSF as a member, even though I have considered myself a supporter of Free Software for as long as I have written code. I've only been a member for a year, but today I emailed the FSF to cancel my membership. This makes me very sad as I really believe in the Free Software movement, but I refuse to contribute to an organisation that supports RMS and the views he is currently sharing.

There needs to be a changing of the guard in these organisations, there is obviously too much history here in allowing systemic abuse to continue unnoticed or tolerated. But let's not look for new leaders among the old ones that have failed us. I hope whatever change comes, we find better representation for those who have been hurt by the current structures. Let's also look to new models where leaders aren't required for a group of people to find a voice.
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Came home from 3 weeks of holidays to discover my little coffee trees covered in ripe berries! Collected more in one day than I have in the last 2 years. 😁


3 photos

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