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Posting to the indieweb from your phone

Using the indieweb easily from my phone has been
hobby horse
of mine
for a while now. A few of us
brainstormed the indieweb’s next big thing
over the weekend, and one idea that caught my eye was an “offline first”
mobile client that’s fully functional without connectivity and syncs to your
site when it is connected. This is a small but growing pattern among modern
mobile apps, and it’s great.

We could build this as a native mobile app or library, maybe using an
existing mobile
platform, but the indieweb community
prefers the mobile web to native apps.
So, let’s consider it a challenge!

Here’s a hand-wavy straw man design for a self-contained, browser-based
mobile micropub client on top of HTML5 and
localStorage, which
all modern mobile browsers support:

  • You load it in your phone’s browser, then save it so it’s usable offline.

  • When you’re connected, it fetches your site, crawls your
    feeds, and stores your posts locally. Maybe
    all of them, maybe just the most recent or another heuristic. Could use
    Web Workers
    (well supported) and/or
    Service Workers
    (less supported).

  • You can compose new posts and edit existing posts offline, using only

  • When you’re connected, it publishes your updates via micropub.

Note that due to the
same origin policy, your site
will need to set CORS headers (e.g.
Access-Control-Allow-Origin) to allow the client to download its data and post
to it via micropub.

Bonus features:

  • Easily post pictures, videos, links, and other content by sharing/sending them
    to the editor via deep linking (aka intents aka app links).

  • Download your site’s
    venue database,
    syndication targets, and other data
    to provide a better posting UX.

  • Register for web actions so you can use
    it to easily indie reply,
    like, etc.

  • Download your moderation queue, ie pending
    webmentions and native comments, and
    let you approve or reject them. (We don’t yet have a standard for this.)

There are plenty of example apps with good UXes for managing posts offline and
updating when connected: WordPress,
SimpleNote, Quip, and most
email and messaging clients, just to name a few. They’re worth studying for UI
ideas and techniques.

This isn’t an itch for me personally, since my
site already has a great mobile app, so I’m
probably not the right person to build it. I’d love to see it happen, though.
Who’s interested?

Also on IndieNews.

byRyan Barrett • posted archived copycurrent