A hand-drawn, jolly-looking 'WHIM' logo.
“It puts the ‘Hi!’ in Webmention.” (A draft project logo by the author.)

I have released Whim, a command-line program for any Unix-based OS (including Linux and macOS) that can send, receive, and display webmentions: those multi-purpose messages between websites whose potential to transform the web has fascinated me for years.

I intend to have Whim replace the experimental (and half-baked) Webmention support that Plerd — the software that powers Fogknife, and a few other blogs here and there — has contained since 2018. Until then, Whim supports Webmention for my personal website, jmac.org — including receipt and display of the webmentions on Whim’s own homepage. A nice bit of eating my own cooking!

My thanks go out to Adam Herzog and Brian Wisti for their encouraging assistance as early code reviewers and contributors. Whim is, of course, a free and open-source project, one that I hope to continue working on for the rest of 2020, with the goal of friendly stability and a semblance of utility to a userbase not limited to myself. I welcome all questions, comments, and requests about it, from those simply curious about the concept to those trying to actually use the thing.

An aside: This project follows Sweat as part of my ongoing exploration of the command line, which I’ve used for decades but have never really wrote programs for until only the last couple of years. It feels real good to finally add my own contributions in the tradition of this ancient and vital interface, whose unchanging nature I have come to appreciate more than ever in times like these.

As a supporting work, I have also published a Webmention resource page. It provides introductory material, live examples, and resources around the web to help one get familiar with this technology.

I’ve long felt the lack of any single, easy-to-read starting point for learning about Webmention. Chris Aldrich’s article in A List Apart has served as the closest thing for a couple of years, but I have always wished I could share more of a quick-access “resource springboard” than that deep, magazine-style feature. So, I finally pulled one together, linking to Aldrich’s piece and many others besides, organized by category and topped with a few introductory paragraphs of my own devising.

I hope that both of these works help spark more interest in Webmention — or, at the very least, help explain to concerned friends and family why I’ve obsessed over it for so long.

This article was also posted to IndieNews, and to the “indieweb” section of Indieweb.xyz.

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