The Anarcat

The Anarcat at

actually, let's talk about this explicitly - can i talk to folks here? what about mastodon? or diaspora?

shouldn't we aim to interoperate all that stuff? it seems really unreasonable to have (what) 5 different standards for this stuff...

we'll never win this way.

gregor herrmann shared this.

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Well, it means you'll be able to follow and talk to people on those networks once both the network and any of those other networks who is willing, upgrade to the common protocol.

That's still in the future.

JanKusanagi @i at 2017-04-07T14:16:44Z

ActivityPub isn't aiming to be a standard that "bridges" interoperability across all existing instances without any work. It's a standard that people will either have to port to or bridge to. It's heaviliy informed by other standards, and we worked hard to get feedback from other groups... a number of decisions in ActivityPub happened due to feedback from talking to Friendica and Diaspora devs, for instance. And of course we've been working with linked data people.

ActivityPub is well informed, but it isn't magic pixie dust where it automatically makes interop happen. Recently I've been studying a lot of lisp history; that's also a place where many languages diverged. There is no magical route. Common Lisp was an effort to try to bring interoperability amongst the various lisps, and I think is probably the most successful language interop effort of all time; in that case, much of the code that existed did work with realtively little porting, but code did need to be ported. The good news is though, you can write lisp code today that applies to a large number of lisp implementations which have adapted the Common Lisp language... and those are the only languages in which lisp interoperability is easy. But of course there are a lot of lisps which don't do that, and even my favorite (scheme) is not common lisp interoperable, and barely interoperable between its own implementations.

Will ActivityPub be the Common Lisp of the federation world? It would be great if it were. We could even build tools that will allow interop to be easier through bridging. But the best routes will happen due to porting. We've tried to be as informed as possible by all the federation implementations out there, but it hasn't been easy... even getting people to review and be part of the process was a large portion of what I did early on. But we studied all the major standards that were out there.

I'm not sure what answer you're looking for though. I don't know what result we will get. If ActivityPub could be to federation standards to what Common Lisp was to lisps in the 1980s, there may be hope for the federated web. I don't have a crystal ball to know... all I have is our efforts.

Christopher Allan Webber at 2017-04-07T14:18:17Z

ostfriesenmärz, Charles Stanhope, Jason Self likes this.

somehow the comparison with lisp makes the prospects of real federation really dim. :) let's hope we succeed in converting everyone to the standard!

The Anarcat at 2017-04-07T14:31:20Z

Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

From a simple user point of view it is easy to cheer for an effort to unify the scattered landscape of free social web services. But it it still a mistery in what direction to cheer to! will probably support AP, but what about others. What degrees of "support" can be expected? What is the result of putting an AP layer ontop of whatever else you are using? What if it isn't meant to be used as a brige but people end up using it like that? How easy will it be to blame bad user experience (messages get lost, nested replying fails, ...) on bad implementation of AP instead of a flaw of AP?

How realistic is it to hope for interoperability if there isn't even one 100% AP reference implementation?

As a user I'd like to cheer - but given that mess it is hard to see towards what direction. To me this looks more like a fun tool for developers with great ideas, less like the of tomorrow.

mray INACTIVE at 2017-04-07T15:41:57Z