@Gargron I read this comment yesterday that I think is pretty interesting:

> The best answer to the UX issue of "where do I sign up?" is to make it so that asking the question makes no sense at all.

Right now, the single biggest barrier to having a "decentralized" Mastodon is that Mastodon is not *designed* in a decentralized way. Each Mastodon instance is actually a separate website, where both data and community are centralized within that site and its domain.

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@trwnh What that comment hints at is distribution, not decentralization. Like having a global state with different access points, like those blockchain networks.

@Gargron I don't think it needs to be necessarily like blockchain, but you could have a distributed database of posts, yeah. Relays could be Groups, with their own moderation and community. More IRC-like or Usenet-like replication. But the first step would be location-independent addressing. Where you sign up becomes part of your identity, in a way that is not easily changeable.

@trwnh I don't know how you could change something so fundamental now.

@Gargron well it's really hard and also getting harder the more it isn't there. i'm pretty convinced that tying everything to domain names is a mistake that needs to be solved as soon as possible. activitypub ID shouldn't be the source of identity, it should be dereferenced to something else. two copies of identical data shouldn't be different just because they're on different computers.

@Gargron assuming a loosely semver scheme where mastodon 3 isn't fully backwards-comptible and contains network-level changes: you would need to start generating globally unique IDs and signing them with the actor public key, then let that change propagate through the network, then add UI in 3.0.0 to allow migration between servers. this is only possible with content addressing, because it's extremely expensive to regenerate IDs on thousands/millions of objects.

@trwnh @Gargron this stops being federation and starts being 'mesh social network'. What you want is a completely different type of social network and by design the fediverse is a bunch of nation-states, for better or worse.

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since im soapboxing already:

Id honestly prefer allowing instances to decouple their local timeline and 'subscribe' to other local timelines, so that multiple instances could share one 'community' timeline. Preferably this could also be done at the per-user level where individual users could subscribe to certain timelines (with some moderation features ofc). Not sure how feasible in the AP spec this would be tho.

@oct2pus @Gargron data can still federate out of the "mastodon network" entirely as well, so it's still federation. on a user level no one should care how it works as long as they can continue to make posts and follow others. nowhere in the AP spec does it require absolute authority to the domain name; it simply requires that IDs be https uris on the domain namespace.

the problem is that every single implementation stops right there and assumes location = identity. they never fully dereference

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