You understand, I have been waiting for a Twitter competitor since the moment Cavolo-led twitter starting strangling its developers. I gave $$ to app.net. I tried.

So when I look sideways, it's because I'm worried.

mastadon appears to be building timelines in realtime. Following a user adds them retroactively to your timeline.

That is -not- gonna scale well...

Let's talk about scaling. This is, roughly, incremental re-architecture to meet current and projected load. It usually means increased complexity over time, whether it's just "stick a cache in front of this" or "we now need work queues & workers & many μservices.

The code might be open-source, but the operations cannot be. (npm, home of OS maniacs, in practice doesn't OS its services because they would be meaningless sans AWS, a CDN, & a lot of glue.)

Risks and challenges: not negativity, but asking what happens next.

Federation: I understand why people burned by centralized networks love it. In practice it is not a concept non-nerds either understand or want. It's an implementation detail.

Non-universal names are a bug not a feature to most people.

Centralization has usability benefits.

So expect convergence on this shard & confusion when it falls over.

I have many questions about scaling. This thing is a rails app per shard, which means Twitter's early scaling problems lurk.

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