Discovery is a variety of methods for finding content, websites, communities, or people to follow on the web including search, directories, recommendation engines, tags, or other serendipitous methods.
or alternately a more developer-centric definition:
- 1 User-centric definition
- 2 Developer-centric definition
- 2.1 Profile Info
- 2.2 Separate Contact Page
- 2.3 Updates
- 2.4 Post Information
- 2.5 POSSE copies
- 2.6 Original post
- 2.7 Real Time Updates
- 2.8 Public Keys
- 2.9 Help or About
- 2.10 Legacy Discovery
- 2.11 See Also
IndieWebCamp Related Sessions
- Indie algorithm / Indiefilter was a session at IndieWeb Summit 2018.
- Related to definition one:
- who to follow
- recommendation engine
- indie map
On the IndieWeb, you are your URL and your URL is you. With a well-designed IndieWeb site, as humans we can discover all the information you choose to share about yourself.
This page is for documenting and brainstorming ways to discover that same information automatically by following a combination of semantic markup and algorithms.
Typical IndieWeb sites have profile and often contact information right there on the home page.
Best publishing practice: mark it all up with hCard, especially your hyperlinks to other profiles with class="u-url url" and rel="me". This will create a representative hCard which can then be used by other sites.
Examples in the wild:
Best parsing practice: when given an indieweb URL that represents a person, parse it for a representative hCard and use that hCard for information about that person. Details:
Separate Contact Page
Some IndieWeb sites have contact information on a separate page from the home page, but linked from the home page. While such links may be obvious to humans, e.g. with text labels like "Contact" or "About", it's not at all obvious to parsers where to find more information.
Examples of sites with separate contact/about pages:
- http://adactio.com/ - contact information at: http://adactio.com/contact/
- http://voxpelli.com/ - about information at: http://voxpelli.com/about (linked to with rel-me from front page)
- https://kartikprabhu.com/ - about information at: https://kartikprabhu.com/about (linked with rel-me from homepage)
- https://jacky.wtf/ - contact information at https://jacky.wtf/contact/
- With a new 'rel' value, e.g. rel="contact-info", parsers could discover such links, follow them, and then parse the destination for a representative hCard.
Most IndieWeb sites have updates on their home page, a stream of updates as it were, for example:
Best parsing practice: parse the given URL for hAtom (and preferably microformats2 h-entry).
Others have a simple introduction/contact page as their home page, and provide updates at another URL, for example:
- ... old adactio.com
- ... any current examples? Maybe folks that have only an IndieWeb contact home page and then link to a separate page for their blog?
- With a new 'rel' value, e.g. rel="updates", parsers could discover links to separate "journal", "updates", "notes", "stream" pages and then parse those for hAtom and h-entry.
To discover information about a post on a post permalink page:
- Parse the page for h-entry and retrieve post name, summary, URL, contents, and author accordingly.
Summary: (see main authorship page for full algorithm)
- If the author is also an h-card, parse that for more information about the author such as name, photo, logo, URL, etc.
- If there is no p-author, then look for a rel-author link.
- Follow it, and retrieve the representative h-card from the destination for author information
Assuming a post permalink page, see:
- If the h-entry has a
dt-publishedproperty, use that.
- This is the only thing that's been implemented. Here are some fallbacks:
- else the following sources may be used to infer it (brainstorming)
- Check the URL path. If the start (? or somewhere near the start?) of the URL path of the permalink is:
/YYYY/MM/DD/= publication date ISO YYYY-MM-DD
- Sites using this: aaronparecki.com
/YYYY/DDD/= publication date ISO Ordinal YYYY-DDD
- Sites using this: tantek.com
To find the POSSE copies of an original post, on that original post's permalink page:
- Look for rel=syndication links
- Treat their destinations as POSSE'd copies of the original post
To find an original post from a POSSE'd copy, on that POSSE'd copy's permalink page:
- Follow original-post-discovery
Real Time Updates
... rel=hub ... on link to PuSH hub for your updates.
For an improved Salmon key-discovery flow (that is, not using DRY-violating XRD files and web-breaking email-like identifiers), we need to expose public keys somehow.
- http://microformats.org/wiki/existing-rel-values#HTML5_link_type_extensions (specifically the
- Examples of how people are exposing their public key in the wild
Public key exchange was also discussed at the IndieWeb dinner on November 1st, 2013, in the context of this in-person using QR codes. Potentially the QR code could simply be a URL pointing to the user's website, where a public key could be extracted from microformat encoding.
Help or About
HTML has the rel="help" value, but it's not clear that it conveys the "about" kind of resources you link to.
- Tom Morris has documented the IndieWeb support on his site on a separate page.
There are bunch of legacy discovery methods that are worth documenting, in case you want to interoperate with legacy systems that depend on them.
... rel=alternate ... type=...+xml ...
We should deprecate separate feeds as:
- Separate feeds are not technically necessary (hAtom or h-entry on visible HTML works just fine).
- Separate feeds violate the DRY principle