• @rysiek
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    72 years ago

    I was in those socialcg meetings. What was agreed upon didn’t always make it into the protocol because mastodon devs had an outsized influence, and so even when the majority voted on certain things the chair went with what the Mastodon devs wanted.

    Ah, thank you for that context. I was not on these meetings, but I did follow the e-mail conversations in the fedsocweb working group. And I vividly remember the protocol measuring contest that any suggestion of finding a common ground and choosing/designing a common protocol for the 50+ different, incompatible decentralized social media protocols devolved into very quickly.

    At the same time, I was on Diaspora; and on StatusNet, which was all-but killed by Evan developing a yet another incompatible protocol PumpIO and just migrating the biggest StatusNet instance to it, thus tearing the heart out of broader StatusNet. The Network Effect worked against tiny, incompatible, decentralized social networks, and so we were all stuck in walled gardens.

    Then comes ActivityPub and suddenly a dozen or so different decentralized social media projects talk the same language. The Network Effect starts working in our favour. That’s a big deal!

    So that’s the lens I see ActivityPub through. Not saying AP is perfect. But it’s a large step in a good direction.

    Done is better than perfect, I guess.

    • @singpolyma@lemmy.ml
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      12 years ago

      ActivityPub is the standardization of the ActivityPump (aka PumpIO) protocol, so all this came from that massive fuck you Even threw at the community. Set us back years, but we’re starting to see progress again these days I think, a little.

      • @rysiek
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        2 years ago

        Well, progress is often not linear, or even monotonic.

    • @electrodynamica@mander.xyz
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      2 years ago

      But do they really talk to each other? They share Note objects at best. That’s to say nothing about how most still don’t really support urls as actors, and instead fall back on webfinger, which is deliberately not part of AP proper. And even then masto only supports alphanumeric names, so most new software copies that limitation to remain compatible, along with many other masto limitations. You are right about the lowest common denominator though.

      • @rysiek
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        2 years ago

        But do they really talk to each other?

        Compared to, say, 9 years ago? When Diaspora would not federate with StatusNet, and Friendica would try to implement both of their protocols to try to create some form of interoperability between the two? With pump.io, tent.io, and Red doing things differently, and all this fragmenting the decentralized federated social media scene to a point of complete irrelevance?

        When to the question I had asked on the public-fedsocweb mailing list about how maybe, you know, there should be some effort to get different projects to speak the same protocol, the answers ranged from “not going to happen” through suggesting Bitcoin integration and claiming all these networks are too different to mentioning Usenet and NNTP.

        Today, thanks to ActivityPub (as imperfect as it is), from my Mastodon account I can follow PeerTube channels, WriteAs blogs, Mobilizon events, participate in threads like this one here on Lemmy, follow photostories on Pixelfed, and talk to people who have accounts on Friendica, Pleroma, MissKey, and who knows what other type of instances.

        So yes, very clearly they do talk to each other, and very clearly this is already making a difference. Frankly I am flabberghasted this needs to be spelled out explicitly.

        Of course, Diaspora still cannot federate with anyone else. But this is their choice. We now finally have a single huge network of different yet compatible (on a basic but important level) instances, so when a user asks “where should I move off of Twitter or Facebook”, different decentralized social networks need not fight among themselves to convince them to move to them specifically.

        Instead of competing, a large number of federated social networking projects are cooperating, and surfing the Network effect together.

        This is makes a lot of difference.

        • @electrodynamica@mander.xyz
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          12 years ago

          I haven’t yet followed your links but there are some things that came to mind from the comment text.

          Mostly just that one of the reasons I liked both friendica and Red (who share a common author), was precisely the agnosticism toward protocol. The platforms do what they can within the confines of each protocol, and simultaneously support as many as they can.

          There was a dearth of development resources on friendica when the founder left but it didn’t take long for the community to pitch in and catch up.

          At least, that’s the way I remember things.

          • @rysiek
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            52 years ago

            Oh, absolutely. I love the “yes, we will implement every single protocol we figure out how to, if we find the resources and time” approach. In fact, I advocated that very approach a lot some years ago.

            But that only gets us so far — we end up with a network where a lot of federated social networks federate with Friendica/Red, but not with one another. That’s less than ideal.

            So I much prefer a situation where we finally get a single protocol a lot of software implements, so that interoperability can be had in any direction. And that’s what ActivityPub brought to the table, finally.