ActivityPub Experimentation: Towards AP v2

ActivityPub has helped spawn a diverse set of software, while also leaving fertile ground for further improvements in the protocol. It seems like the grassroots community has done an excellent job of identifying problems. A great deal of energy by end-users and developers alike has been spent pointing out problematic patterns of software-enabled harassment, the lack of privacy and security protections, the lack of software tooling for community-building, identifying the line where software doesn’t solve people-problems, and many many others.

Why in 2 years has there been no major momentum towards an ActivityPub evolution? This has already been identified by the community: inherent with the grassroots nature of the community is the simple fact that any Fediverse software’s high user count grants that software’s developer/organization high influence in enacting, or avoiding, change on behalf of the Fediverse community.

There are two concrete problems that the BoF could address. There is the “meta” problem of how to get the community organized just enough to identify a path towards consensus, yet doing so without developing institutions since they stifle voices. Then, there is the “execution” problem where, once the community has a procedure to build consensus on a “yes, let’s adopt this” change, how do they entice software developers to build this out in new or existing applications.