Twitter / Bluesky 

After two years of intensive work, extensive source code for #Bluesky has been heaved over the wall. When Muskopolis bought the company they must have thought "oh shit, we better show some kind of progress - however minimal - otherwise we'll all be fired when the new management arrives".

I'm not very familiar with Typescript, but I've reviewed the code and it's fairly easy to see what they're doing.

In a nutshell it's a reinvention of SOLID, but without the linked data and RDF fluff and specialised on microblogging. Identity uses DIDs, which are typically blockchain based unless they're PeerDID. The best that can be said for this is that at least they didn't roll their own identity system. There are no permissions/capabilities on feeds, but this is only demo grade code.

With a lot more coding, could something like this eventually rival ActivityPub? Perhaps. But I am inclined to think that basing the system on DIDs is a non-starter.

Twitter / Bluesky 

@bob

> With a lot more coding, could something like this eventually rival ActivityPub? Perhaps.

I'm thinking of this and how people react to Bluesky in general, and picture engineers at Philips sarcastically remark among themselves:

"Could something like VHS eventually rival Betamax? Perhaps" *snicker*

The analogy is off. We're not at Betamax level. There are parts missing. Parts that in Bluesky they identified as high prio cases to tackle 1st. Though maybe not in best way.

Twitter / Bluesky 

@humanetech @bob I'm pretty ill-read on identitie systems but my impression was that DIDs open up the potential for verifiable credentials (w3.org/TR/vc-data-model/), ie trustworthy/checkable cross-fediverse blue-ticks.

Twitter / Bluesky 

@nicol @bob

That is true. A whole range of related specs up to Self Sovereign Identity. I stopped following it really, due to all the blockchain stuff in it, and don't have a good overview of what's happening.

identity.foundation/

weboftrust.info/specs.html

github.com/WebOfTrustInfo

Twitter / Bluesky 

@humanetech @nicol @bob The blockchain bandwagon has rolled enough over the last 10+ years that I'm at the point now where I actively would not trust something based on a blockchain, even if it used negligible electricity. The people around it and that whole ecosystem are extremely sketchy.

Twitter / Bluesky 

@bob @humanetech I think while DIDs were driven by the needs of blockchained wallets/transactions, they're not dependent on them so work with any decentralised tech, ie ActivityPub/Solid/etc.

As Mastodon lets me verify my relationship to a URL, it's hard to think of other verification/KYC without cost. If Bluesky's 'DID Consortium' endgame is people/corps paying to verify/'own' their IDs, I can't see a reason third party services couldn't offer the same for ActivityPub users.

Twitter / Bluesky 

@nicol @bob @humanetech I don't know what the DID Consortium endgame is. Is it aiming to be some kind of identity gatekeeper?

Twitter / Bluesky 

@bob @nicol

I don't know either. I mean the things these specifications try to solve I'm behind. But I'd rather wait until something rolls out of all these efforts that looks like it sound, broadly accepted, and finds widespread adoption.

Maybe @rhiaro could shine more light on the direction all this is going?

re: Twitter / Bluesky 

@humanetech @nicol first I heard about it, got any links?

re: Twitter / Bluesky 

@rhiaro @humanetech @nicol

The announcement came together with the news that The Elon wants money for "state actors" or organisations.

From 1 article
“Bluesky joined a field already occupied by several decentralized networking protocols, including ActivityPub, which powers the Mastodon platform. But its researchers have stressed that they’re trying to learn from and build on these efforts, not simply replicate them. ADX is a long-awaited step forward — and a chance to see if that promise holds up.”
theverge.com/2022/5/4/23057473

re: Twitter / Bluesky 

@sl007 @rhiaro @humanetech @nicol “we can sign content by the user's key” – I don’t like the sound of that at all. So they’re going to hold the private keys. (Of course.) I mean, this is likely going to be the worst possible right-libertarian and corporate implementation of such a thing given who’s behind it. Not sure why we even still give billionaires the benefit of the doubt. No billionaire or trillion-dollar corporation is your friend.

@aral @sl007 @rhiaro @humanetech @nicol It's worth looking at who the initial team is. They made a pretty straight forward announcement that they are now 100% independent of twitter as well and set up a PBC to show it.

@aral @sl007 @rhiaro @humanetech @nicol yeah that seems a bit shady they say here they just were funded 13 million but don't say from whomst

twitter.com/bluesky/status/151

Follow

@liaizon @aral @sl007 @rhiaro @nicol

Yeah..

> Twitter's funding of Bluesky is not subject to any conditions except one: that Bluesky is to research and develop technologies that enable open and decentralized public conversation.

Which says nothing. May just be the angel funding of Jack, with what he had in his wallet at the time of the meeting. Intending to pounce later, once the big VC is on board.

· · Web · 2 · 0 · 3

@humanetech @liaizon @sl007 @rhiaro @nicol Seriously, we’re smarter than this now, right? We don’t just fall for the next thing that’s aimed at staving off regulation, do we?

Oh, look, this billionaire is acting against his own interests (statistically, he’s a he) ← never a thing, ever.

@aral

Wow wow, you keep tagging me, ha ha. I am critical in all toots about this whole shebang. Think the others there just as much :D

@aral and even if they were 100% independent I wouldn't want them to adopt AP, just for the attention that would raise in the corporate world.

I said a bunch of times: "Fediverse is managing to get interesting.. for exploitation. Yet not getting stronger to withstand a corporate onslaught".

@humanetech Email was federated. Then gmail happened.

I’m clearly not sick of saying it yet (for some reason) but we need systems that cannot be captured and enclosed. Where economies of scale don’t make sense. And those are systems where we don’t have servers of 1-1,000,000 but servers of 1 (which are just always-on relay nodes in an otherwise peer to peer network). That’s the small web vision. And we desperately need it to exist. (Well, I do, at least.)

@aral @humanetech Devising systems which cannot be enclosed is probably not possible - rather like having systems with perfect security - but we can write systems in a manner that it is not aligned with BigTech business models and goals. They would then need to do a very large amount of work to extract value from the commons.

A stealing from the commons scenario might be that they take your small tech and host a billion of them in the cloud, calling it "the Google small tech cloud", or similar, and log everything for metadata.

@aral @humanetech

My intuition is that it's more likely to achieve a healthy outcome for participants to build a planet-scale federation from 10,000 million account instances than to build it from single account instances. (I'm new to #fediverse not federation FWIW.) ❤️ 💔

Then again the fact anyone can run a single account instance right now is pretty cool.

cf. social.wildeboer.net/@jwildebo

@aral @humanetech

For me, the one thing that really makes gmail practically indispensable is that it handles the spam filtering very well.

Keeping spam filters up to date and effective on a personal email client or server was an arms race, and a real chore.

I hardly get any truly legit email now. It's mostly just "the interesting junk mail" versus the "the annoying junk mail", but I feel like I need a 1st-contact email, still.

@TerryHancock @aral @humanetech I still run my own mailserver (mailcow), but I also use a commercial spam filtering service with it. It costs nothing compared having to maintain it all myself.

@aral @humanetech "I never got that email you sent. You didn't send it from gmail, did you? That doesn't even go to my spam folder, it just gets blocked by the firewall. Yeah, if you could use literally anything else, that'd be great."

@aral @humanetech True - but regarding Email itself - spam also happened and the consequence of that is that it's really hard to self-host an e-mail server today because IP addresses are blocked for anti-spam reason on the ISP level. That's why I believe peer-to-peer has a better future for home-servers.

@aral @humanetech

A few days ago I was asking for something very related: as we have personal or family domains in email, I'd like to have the same domain identity for the fediverse.
So what is a simple way to do that? Do we need a personal Mastodon (or any fedi service) small server based on our own domain?

If that is the case, which ones are light enough for a handful of users in a shared server?
This may be very useful to advance your vision... (along with groups in Mastodon).

@humanetech (and view replies like a group conversation. It’s not that I’m tagging you. I’m just not untagging you.) :)

@humanetech @liaizon @sl007 @rhiaro @nicol I’ll tell you what they’re going to do: They’re going to integrate some sort of cryptocurrency into it. And likely tie your actual identity to it. Basically, I don’t intend to wait and find out and neither should you. Keep working on alternatives. Don’t let this make you complacent.

@aral @liaizon @sl007 @rhiaro @nicol

Think none of us mentioned needed reminding of that, ha ha 😂

But I boosted to spread the word ;p

@aral @humanetech @liaizon @sl007 @rhiaro @nicol

I believe they received startup funding from Twitter. I chatted with Golda Velez and she wanted to stress they were separate.

But yes, no reason for fediverse devs to stop what they're doing. Pull whatever seems valuable and discard the rest seems reasonable.

@derek @humanetech @liaizon @sl007 @rhiaro @nicol Indeed. We love this in the tech world. Who pays you? Elon? Ah, so you work for Elon? No, no, we’re 100% independent.

Ah… it’s actually quite sweet when you think about it :)

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