The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the Catskills

I spent some time in the last few days watching the second season of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I’ve always enjoyed period pieces, especially 20th century ones. This is set in 1959.
I can’t pretend I was a Jew in New York in the 1950s…my parents were though, although certainly not the economic level of the characters in the show. There are things I question. I’m sure I’m not the only member of an ethnicity who thinks that they did not quite get my culture right.
In the second season, the title character and her family go to Steiner’s Mountain Resort in the Catskills. The actual scene was filmed at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House in Deposit, NY. I’ve been through Deposit, although not familiar with this place.
Summers like the one pictured on the show were common, as the city was hot, air conditioning wasn’t really a thing, and flying was a much more costly affair than it is today. There were hundreds of Jewish resorts in Sullivan, Orange, and Ulster Counties.
The Concord Hotel, a setting on the show, and apparently close to where Steiner’s is supposed to be, is a place that I am familiar with, having been a guest there as a kid. I remember spending time at the Stevensville Hotel, and when it closed, the Brown’s Hotel, and only recall one time at the Concord. I also spent time at Kutscher’s.
The show tries to recapture the idea of it. By the 80s and 90s when I experienced these hotels, it was a very different time, but the things featured on the show brought back some memories. By today, that part of history is all gone. I still go up to Sullivan County, and I’ve driven or walked past the remnants of old Catskills resorts.
I would have liked to experience it in its heyday.

State of the Indieweb in WordPress

Every year, at the Indieweb Summit, we have the State of the Indieweb(it’s the year of the Reader, by the way). The head of the WordPress project gives his State of the Word. I even watched the Governor of my State give his State of the state.
As I go through my 2018 Year in Review, I wanted to cover the State of WordPress as it relates to the Indieweb, cover where we are and were I hope we are going.
While the Block Based Editor, aka Gutenberg, had no direct effect on WordPress and its Indieweb usage, it has had a serious effect on developing for WordPress and will continue to do so in the future.
We’ve had several community members who have opted to move off of WordPress. But we continue to, because of the market presence of the product, attract new people. So, concerns aside about the future of the WordPress project, it makes sense for the community to continue to evolve.

  • ¬†IndieAuth Endpoint for WordPress
  • Micropub Endpoint Rewritten to use WordPress REST API
  • Weather for Simple Location
  • New Weather, Location, and Map Providers for Simple Location
  • Refbacks
  • Parse This, a post-processing and parsing library for WordPress split out and updated, now set to be used in a Microsub server
  • Yarns Microsub in beta
  • Support for syndication built into Syndication Links
  • Redesign of the UIs for Simple Location and Post Kinds
  • New code to allow the registration of custom post kinds
  • Attempt to store microformats in mf2 json and convert to jf2
  • New Widgets
  • Basic support for receiving Vouches added to Webmentions…though disabled by default
  • Template improvements to Semantic Linkbacks to improve the settings page and new property support
  • Additional Microformats 2/Indieweb Plugin friendly themes.

This is only a short list of things that came to mind when I read through the various changelogs.
All of these items reflect the coming together and polishing of a complete Indieweb experience. As we move into the end of the first month of 2019, here is what I personally am hoping to see.

  • The release of Yarns Microsub
  • At least one of the two theme conversions I worked on being released in the WordPress Theme Directory, giving us another option for individuals who better integration
  • Redesign, improvement, and enhancement of the Facepiles in Semantic Linkbacks.
  • Look at the future of Webmention and Semantic Linkbacks. Every year, there is talk of why they aren’t merged. This is partly to do with the storage design. It may be time to standardize the storage.
  • Improve MF2 Feed to generate a compliant feed for times when the theme cannot be modified to encourage more interaction
  • Improve documentation

While I’m not hoping for it, in the longterm, whether or not we should pivot to accept a block editor world for the Indieweb plugins is a matter for debate.
The alternative is to leave the block editor for article posting and add a UI into Post Kinds to allow for simple note and like posting in the admin. Or use Micropub exclusively.
But, we will all continue to plug along. What are you looking to get out of having a WordPress site and adopting the principles of the Indieweb community this year?

2018 Year in Review: Travel

Continuing the year in review update, I traveled 50,483 miles according to Google. Someday, I hope to store more of this data locally.
I visited Germany for the first time and took a second month-long sojourn in the Phillipines. I’m not counting the layover in Hong Kong as I didn’t leave the airport.
In the U.S., visited Seattle for the first time, as well as my third trip to the Indieweb Summit in Portland.
I did a quick trip to Orlando for the Parkeology Challenge, as well as spending some time with my family in South Florida.
I’m curious what 2019 will bring.

2018 Year in Review: Driving

Doing a series of Year in Review posts…in this first post, I am going over my Driving Year in Review. This is courtesy of Automatic. Automatic makes a device that hooks into your car’s diagnostic port. I have the Classic version, which pairs with your phone over bluetooth. I’m not sure how long they’ll continue to support it as they discontinued my device some years ago.
According to their stats, in 2018…

  • 15.4 Days behind the wheel
  • 9254 Miles Driven
  • Longest trip was 127 miles
  • Average 1.4 hours per weekday
  • Average fuel economy 27.6 mpg

I spent the month of August out of the country, so I only used the car 11 months of the year.

Leaving the WordPress Project

I’ve decided to leave the WordPress project. Not leave being a user of WordPress. but being part of the WordPress project as a contributor.
A few years ago, there was a call for Component Maintainers, and I asked what a Component Maintainer would have to do. I never quite got an answer, other than, “You are now a component maintainer.” So, for a few years, I tried to be the Pingbacks and Trackbacks component maintainer.
There is only one problem with trying to guide a WordPress component. Someone other than you has to care. Namely, anyone guiding the project overall. I’m not a Core Committer. I’m not involved with anyone in a leadership position. So, I would periodically try to get interest, but none came. So, this week, I decided to tender my resignation. I couldn’t find anyone to tender it to, so I had to do it in chat to ask to be removed.
This is something I think of emblematic of the way the WordPress project has worked for me. You can open a ticket, put a patch in, get no guidance, wait 3 years, and then be told your simple patch is being punted because no one who has commit privileges cares enough to review it. Does not really make me feel like newcomers have support. In defense of this, the project is so big and used by so many it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Pingbacks and Trackbacks are a subcomponent of Comments. Comments in general have not gotten much attention of late. There hasn’t been a comment component meeting in ages, or any major feature work in this area.
But, after years of not making any progress, the other reason I’m pulling back is the direction the WordPress project is going on. For two years, the project has had development of anything not related to the Gutenberg editor pretty much frozen.
At the 2018 State of the Word, it was announced that Phase 2 would turn the Navigation menus, Widgets, and other Theme Content areas to Gutenberg blocks. Phase 3, in 2020, will focus on collaboration and workflows. and Phase 4 on multilingual sites.
I was hopeful when it was implied that the feature freeze was over and that, regardless of having a focus and a goal, other improvements could now get some energy. But, I fear after two years of Gutenberg sucking the oxygen out of everything else, that will take a long time.
I nearly resigned before, when I was contacted and told that all component maintainers should be putting their efforts toward Gutenberg or Gutenberg related matters.
So, I’ve tried Gutenberg. I’ve written some posts with it on sites. I’m not going to knock it and say that it is horrible. I think it has some positives and negatives. But it is indicative of where WordPress is going and what audience it is looking for.
I’m just hoping the project doesn’t change so much that I decide I want to stop using the software entirely. I’ve invested a lot in extending WordPress. But I can’t try to be involved in that direction when it is not the way I want to go.