(This is a continuation of Discussing onboarding for developers which veered into technical discussion)
Onboarding new devs to AP/Fediverse is a weak spot that is hampering the evolution (speed) of the ecosystem. Information is super-fragmented and many of the complexities are not readily obvious. Starting new projects is an adventure for the brave.
There are efforts to improve this, but time-constraints of experts and - in general - lack of appetite to do the work involved, means this process is very slow.
What can we do to change this?
- Set up a good-enough organization to start with
- Devise a process to make crowdsourcing of dev-docs easy
I continuously witness would-be AP devs struggling. The newbie experience to AP is not good. On the fedi itself I see people asking questions, and they don’t know about the existence of SocialHub or the Feneas forums. Devs literally have to look everywhere to get their info together, delve into various codebases, reverse engineer for their own use case. Want to implement C2S? A lucky person finds @yvolk issue #499 to analyse. OAuth2? Webfinger? NodeInfo? Plan some days to do your spikes…
Much of the knowledge remains stuck in github issues, matrix chat rooms, or even in this forum like with e.g. the Groups implementation (still ongoing, but will the results be summarized somewhere?).
Ongoing developments regarding the future of the specs are even harder to come by. Extensibility, shards, capabilities, encryption, forgefed, etc. etc. Seems to me that lots of the discussion is not easy to come by for the (casually) interested, unless one dedicates to become deeply involved.
What is needed is a one-stop-shop to drill-down into all of this. A place that is maintained and up-to-date. A hard thing, because there is lotsa work involved.
On SocialHub @nedjo started the Guide for new ActivityPub implementers wiki post (to which I make occasional updates) which is slated to become part (presumably) of fediverse.rocks once/if this site gets an overhaul. ActivityPub Rocks has best SEO for ‘ActivityPub’ search term (#1 on DDG, #4 on Google) and it is a pity that the site looks so… bare.
I recently started helping out with improving the fediverse wiki (research area for fediverse.party). Fediverse Party has best SEO for ‘Fediverse’ search term (# 1 on DDG and Google) and is great for fediverse end-users with their nice UX and all. I opened an issue proposing for fediverse.party to also target developers and extend the site accordingly.
Either of these two, or both, could be top-level homes for AP/Fediverse developers.
I am not an ActivityPub expert (but a big fediverse advocate, and very concerned humanetech proponent). I am sure y’all have concrete plans already, better ideas than me, and I’d love to hear your opinions and ideas