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IndieBlocks Quirks

Beside the expected bug or two, IndieBlocks currently displays a number of “quirks.”

Like, whenever I start a new “Note” (the Custom Post Type), it’s prefilled with some blocks.

There’s a Context block, followed by a Group block with a Paragraph block in it. The Group block has a preset e-content class.

The latter is precisely the reason for this so-called block template; it saves me from having to dive in and add this class myself. (“Why would I do this and not just let my theme add an e-content class to the entire note?” Well, there’s certain, albeit small, benefits to having the Context block live outside of the post’s “core content.”)

But, of course, if all I wanted to do is jot down a quick, plain-text note (i.e., not a reply or bookmark or anything), then this block template is simply in the way. I have to “select all” and “delete” all blocks before I can start typing away.

One solution would be to offer users a number of block patterns instead, which they can then add themselves.

You could also argue, on the other hand, that most IndieWeb folk rarely use WordPress’s editor at all, for notes at least, and often choose to publish through Micropub instead.

Other “quirky” behavior has to do with the nature of Custom Post Types.

Custom Post Types, by default, have perhaps more in common with pages than with “regular” posts. In fact, depending on your use case, a taxonomy-based approach may make more sense. (CPTs, by default, don’t come with highly configurable permalinks, or date-based archives, and so on—although I am planning to still implement some of these things for Notes and Likes. CPTs do, however, get their own feeds.)

One advantage: I personally—and I’m not the only one–like having my “microblog” separate from the main, “regular” blog.

I also really like not having to explicitly categorize my short-form posts, but rather have my posts’ content (through the Context block or custom HTML) imply an “IndieWeb post type.” (That’s why IndieBlocks does not add any “Reply,” or “Bookmark,” and so on, CPTs.)

I should’ve perhaps named “Notes” something else, like “Microblog,” to avoid confusion with, uh, actual notes. Aargh.

Also, it is entirely possible to use the Note CPT for “likes.” The only reason I provide a separate “Like” Post Type is because some people, myself included, rather keep them separate from, well, everything else. (The next version of the plugin will allow to separately enable each CPT.)

And last but not least: the plugin’s called IndieBlocks not just because of its (somewhat limited, still) support for WordPress’s block editor, but also because it provides, or will provide, several “IndieWeb building bricks.” (Namely, everything microformats, but I’m still considering integrating Webmention as well.)


  1. Jan Boddez on

    Why I use CPTs, then, and not taxonomies? I have previously used Post Formats, and found it hard to—inside WP Admin—find things in that big […]

    Via, in reply to IndieBlocks Quirks.