I really like how #ActivityPub ecosystem evolves organically as more applications turn on federation features. Latest example is #Prismo with a summary of achievements here: https://prismo.news/posts/83
This post also exactly portraits how confused I am becoming in defining the relationships and #UX across this constellation of apps, re-hashing parts of the same content within different contexts.
This is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Is this a new form of social media competition?
@maloki Agreed. Symbiosis and competition are certainly 2 important factors at play in any ecosystem.
@xuv Yeah it's going to be kinda weird I think. But in the longer term I think this may turn out really well because it means we are finally getting away from these old platform based models of relations and exchange. So, what now looks like a Fedi clone of an existing commercial service may start to polymorph into something(s) that look and act very different in a few months or years.
@xuv Your question about UI is pretty interesting. Do you think there's a case to be made for some kind of general purpose Fedi clients?
@KnowPresent I don't know what is best. I find the subject super exiting. But I'm never sure at this point what is the best solution. ActivityPub (AP) normally allows separation of Frontend from Backend. The protocol can be used for client-to-server (C2S) communication or for server-to-server (S2S). It seems that most dev at the moment work on the S2S part and implement custom solutions for C2S. If we had C2S using AP, we could use any of the frontend to connect to any of the backend ./..
@KnowPresent ../.. But is that something we want?
I like this idea that the social graph is built into the ActivityPub protocol, but that the different apps, with their custom C2S solutions, interpret that graph from a unique perspective. Pixelfed encourages good photo sharing. Plume and Write.as encourage long form articles. Prismo encourages link share and ranking. Mastodon is the impulsive general shout-out.
It's really intriguing...
What's your take?
@xuv My take is a bit half baked... but I guess I'm not really settled on these interfaces being the end game. They are (or were) all clones of existing commercial platforms which were designed to optimize "engagement". The "social graph" is also based on a really naive, static, binary understanding of social life (cooked up by privileged 19-year-old white boys). I understand that interface is important but I wonder if it's so important to cook up whole front and back ends for DCent copy web2.0?
@KnowPresent Agreed. That's one bigger step back. I haven't fully analyzed the AP protocol. It does seems to permit other forms of interaction such as this one: https://castling.club/ Not a big revolution. But it opens up possibilities.
So if there was a direction for research, I would plug into those niche AP apps that offer one thing, but do it well.
The copy of the commercial social web is a necessary step to get those AP libraries written, tested and running in prod.
@xuv I don't mean to be pessimistic. I actually like and respect most of these projects. But I think that, while Mastodon (& Pleroma) started as birdsite clones, they really started going strong when they realized that their greatness is in how they are _different_ from the birb. I suspect that people will also realize that you can steal ideas from insta, medium, reddit, etc, etc. and make really cool hybrid stuff. And since APub is just a protocol, it will enable lots of diverse interfaces.
@KnowPresent I see what you mean. I think we hear a lot about those that promise to take on the big boys by delivering a similar experience. But I see an equal amount of less popular apps being created that do things differently. There are also at least 3 wordpress plugins implementing AP in their own way at the moment.
@xuv @KnowPresent Yes the excitement of filtering when Mastodon surfaced largely, with #tootradio by example, has not generated yet very visible other usages of the AP. But it can take years for such deviant and welcomed social projects take place, maybe? The standard is quite legible https://www.w3.org/TR/activitypub/ and the authors have made effort to even illustrate some parts. Authors that are of course under the pressure of forcing social relationship into a crude machine standard. The post of one of the authors about the "Create" step is explicit about that struggle https://tsyesika.se/posts/ap-why-creates/
@KnowPresent @xuv Maybe we can imagine a kind of remote workshop with participants (students - digital natives?) from Germany, NY, Brussels? And we use #AP through different tools? Maybe by using several dedicated #ActivityPub tools/instances that we can hack? Something to plan for February (haha, i insert my own academic planning availability here)?
Currently we're having AP themed homebrewserver.club meetings to better understand how it all works and what is possible.
Scantly documented via the mailinglist: https://email@example.com/thread/GAAXBCMTG5TAOPYWCA347RJEVMX6ED4K/
Next meeting is 13/11 in case someone wants to join remotely ;)
@rra great. I'll make every effort to be there. Can you link me to a page that would tell me ways to connect? I've used xmpp but not familiar with how it works in a group chat context
you'd first have to make an account on a server in the federation.
You can do so via: https://conversejs.org/fullscreen.html#converse/register
This is an xmpp webclient so it should be cross platform.
Here is a list of servers with public registration:
once you're logged in, where it says groupchats on the left, press the + to add a new groupchat.
For the groupchat address use:
I'll also be keeping an eye out on:
@rra @xuv @crickxson @KnowPresent Hey! As a follow up on this thread... We're currently in this homebrewserver.club meeting, with active chatting about ActivityPub in the xmpp groupchat (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also some action on the pad that we used for previous sessions (pad.vvvvvvaria.org/ap). In case you would like to jump in and join the conversation! :)
@crickxson Thanks for sharing this link, it was really helpful to read and see how activities are placed so central in understanding ActivityPub!
Server run by the main developers of the project It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!