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Bridging the IndieWeb Generation Gap

A week or two ago Kevin Marks pointed the IWC channel to a must-read talk called Inessential Weirdness in Open Source given by Sumana Harihareswa at OSCON this year. Weirdnesses are quirks of your project, community, or culture that might intimidate/discourage newcomers. Essential weirdnesses are foundational; without them, you’d be doing a different thing. Inessential weirdnesses are everything else, losing them might slow you down or make it less fun, but it wouldn’t change any fundamental aspect of the project. She makes a point of saying that inessential doesn’t mean unimportant or bad — your weird tools (ahem, git) help you get stuff done; jargon is useful shorthand; in-jokes are part of a group’s culture. I really like this framing. It gives us permission to defend the essential, even if some of it is off-putting to some people. And it gives some direction for where newcomers should start, and what can be hidden/saved for later. So inevitably my question is: what are IndieWebCamp’s weirdnesses? Folks, mostly Tantek, have done an amazing job defining the essential ones on the wiki under Different and Principles. Build stuff on the web, on a site you control. Have fun. Don’t worry too much about making it beautiful or well architected, polished, smart, or automated (unless those are the things you enjoy). Don’t just talk about building things, build things! Some inessential bits are plumbing and protocols: rel-me...