My Brief and Sloppy Affair with Indiewebring

Wow, that was some rabbit hole I went down last night.

Background:  About a week or so ago I tried to join the Indie Web Ring.  But I just got error messages.  Nothing explaining why my site caused errors, just the error message.  This caused some frustration on my part since I had nearly the entire suite of Indieweb plugins installed, I was sending and receiving webmentions, was it Wordpress, plugins, SemPress or something on the web ring’s end?  (Thanks here to Greg McVerry for offering to help diagnose problem.)

I decided to procrastinate.  In the meantime I found a validator and was getting mixed signals: my webmentions were good but maybe problems with identity but no solid diagnosis.

Then the IndieAuthor plugin updated several times and I suspected that maybe my identity problems might get better.  Worth a try.

Now: So last night I tried to join the Indie Web Ring again.  It worked!  I was informed I was in, given a code.  Plus I got cool emoji identifiers:  I had to squint but I was pretty sure it was a castle and a - something.  I finally figured out I could highlight emoji, rightclick, search and Duckduckgo told me what they were: a castle (yes!) and an 8 pointed asterisk (cool, not a snowflake).

Right. Now to paste said code into a widget.  WARNING: Either WordPress or SemPress theme, really, really, does not like emoji.  I locked up that widget tighter than a drum.  I couldn’t even delete the emoji laden ring code.  Bad Things were happening.  I deleted the widget.

Found alternative code using hexadecimal equivalents for WordPress.  Decided to stay away from widgets.  Found header/footer plugin. Install on WP.  Hex code, does not crash. Won’t validate on webring site because I have to customize it to identify my site.  Search for hexadecimal code for castle and 8 pointed asterisk (not snowflake). There are forty bazillion emoji. Can find Unicode but no Hex.  Find Unicode to Hex converter. No clue how to use it.  Help for the converter sends me to Github.  Sigh.  Not sure of syntax to put two emoji Hex codes together even if I had found them.

Now I have a choice: I’m in a footer NOT a goddamn widget, do I try the original emoji laden ring code, that crashed the widget, in the footer and risk locking up the entire WP install if WP does not like it or do something else?  Computer starts pinging: battery critical.  “Pull up! Pull up.”  That’s it, it A Sign.  There’s a time to attack and a time to retreat.  Beaten by Wordpress it was time to retreat and rebuild.  The whole blog is not worth risking for a webring.

Affair over, torn apart by mutual incompatibility.  But I’ll always remember, last night, the neat castle and the eight pointed asterisk (not snowflake.)

Brad Enslen @bradenslen

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