EC -- Workshop 2021-04-29

Continuing the discussion from EC - NGI0 Liaison – Webinars and Workshop April 2021:

Preparing the wokshop

  • Access server
  • Set up server

Access server

In order to participate in the workshop it would be useful that attendants provide a public SSH key in advance (e.g., the from running ssh-keygen -t ed25519.

Please send a private message to @how. Number of keys received: 2

SSH configuration:

# demo
     CheckHostIP       yes
     Port              22
     User              workshop
     IdentityFile      ~/.ssh/id_ed25519
     LogLevel          info

Set up server

@how provisioned a machine for the workshop.

One idea would be to make this happen during the workshop so that attendees can see for themselves how fast it can be.

workshop@demo:~$ cat README

Welcome to the ActivityPub workshop!

By the end of the workshop, the following sites should be running:

To follow the installations, please type:

tmux attach

More at EC -- Workshop 2021-04-29


Back when considering the workshop I thought about leaving some room for Nix-packagers that packaged fediverse solutions (including Mastodon). I reached out, but did not get a response so far, will check again. For the purpose of the workshop, I would suggest to leave some room near the end to discuss how the NixOS foundation is helping (fediverse)projects with their availability by packaging their software in Nix, which has several advantages on top of other package managers. Will look uup an overview tonight if I can or tomorrow.

I could probably provision a NixOS VM but I will need someone else to run the workshop because I’m unfamiliar with it.

Would be great, indeed we would need someone familiar enough with NixOS to be able to give a quick rundown of how a PeerTube/Mastodon package (or service) would be able to be deployed. Will ask around and keep you updated. Let’s stick with the original plan for now.

Demo’ing ActivityPub implementations

Are there any developers here who want to showcase their software during the workshop?

I see two ways:

  1. Using the workshop machine, install the software and make it run, explaining along as questions arise.
  2. Using your own infrastructure, interact with the services that will be installed.

Installing Software

So we’re asked to install Peertube and Mastodon. I’m willing to showcase the Peertube install, and someone from the @mastodon team could showcase the Mastodon install.[1]

We’ll be using tmux in order to share the screen on the machine, and probably this shared screen will be shared on the BBB using some screencasting software. (Can we do both BBB screensharing and screencasting?)

One feature I’m interested in testing is Peertube’s Live Streaming. What do you think @peertube?

Preparations to be made

People willing to conduct the workshop (installs…) should be ready with all what’s needed to go from a brand new machine to a running service: configurations, certificates, troubleshooting will all happen live.

The aim is to spend about 30 minutes on an install from scratch so we can explore things altogether. Of course, having a group slows things down considerably, so we could split the tmux with a team installing Peertube, another one installing Mastodon, etc.

Only people who share their SSH key in advance can of course take part in this experiment.

Can someone ping participants in the previous seminars who joined the SocialHub so they are aware of this topic?

  1. that would help me figure out what went wrong in the upgrade from 3.2.1 to 3.3.0 that it still shows the old version but seems to otherwise work. ↩︎


Let’s keep it fun like playing in the snow …


So, again highlighting the fact that @datatitian can demo immers as he said 18d ago in reply to

It is really awesome and also administration might deserve a federated 3D with positional audio and virtual worlds …

That could be interesting…

So if I recall the rc3 experience, we could have a common space and split the groups to follow install of the various instances, and then we could use these instances and see the federated result straight in the virtual world.

It sounds a bit of a short notice to make this happen in two days. What do you think @datatitian?

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I don’t think this would require any prep on our end - sounds like just the standard features. Since that rc3 demo, I’ve also integrated the inbox & outbox into the chat panel so you could spin up the other service, address a message to the attendees, and then they would see it appear in their chat.

How many attendees are we expecting? There are limitations to the number concurrent users before performance declines


If the attendance is like the webinars, I’d say around 50 ( @how ? )

If we’re splitting 50 into two groups, that should be fine. Over 30 in one space is where the client experience usually starts to degrade. We can also have more “spectators” in the space (in the space but without an avatar/voice presence) and/or livestream it as a backup option

I would expect less presence during the workshop because it will be technical. We can definitely limit “actors” to 30 or less. The original plan is to use SSH to connect with tmux to the demo server console and install a couple (or more) applications, and screenshare this with BBB.

Since I don’t expect a lot of people, but still would like that the audience can follow the action and discuss, we may try something either sending audio/video to the BBB or not use the BBB at all and livestream over Peertube maybe?

In all cases, it would be an opportunity for several software teams here to demo their software and interact with your system through the Fediverse in a live session. Could prove funny as a walk in the snow.

Also because of the short notice I would expect more people on the livestream than on the system.

There’s one caveat to take care of: many of the attendees usually connect through a VPN. We had issues using and we had to use @erik’s instance at U-Delft instead. So we must ensure Immers works with the VPN.

I will ask Jean-Luc again, he tried once before and said “it lands well in a page asking for registration”, but I don’t know this guarantees actually joining a room would work. Will let you know.

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@datatitian it seems to be working for sound but as soon as I try sharing the camera the UI kind of freezes, I can still talk and chat, but the camera image is frozen with the buttons. We’re trying at Qualified Secret Cosmos | Immers Space

Hmmm, works now… ?? Seems to work with the VPN.

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@how - the server is back up with upgraded capacity. I’m back in the same room

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Cool, we tested sharing screen. Works fine. Found a bug too, as usual. :wink:

A friend who works at European Parliament says has has had trouble getting the audio & webcam sharing working on the Hubs platform from inside their network - is there any possibility of getting one of our guests to login for a test run in advance? (or is that who the third preson in the room was when we met earlier?)

One thing I am wondering about here…

On the one hand it would be really exciting to showcase something as innovative as Immers Space. But on the other hand we are making a first step in this workshop to people who are very familiar with Facebook and Twitter, and are just venturing to dip their toes into new technology.

We got very, very important feedback at the last webinar:

  • That (non-technical) outsiders don’t understand AP/Fediverse very well, or at all, despite all information that is out there. That we need to provide a much better story to “sell” the idea of the Fediverse.
  • That people refer to “Mastodon” instead of fedi, because the project is most polished and productized. And then they still find it complex, even with its resemblance to Twitter.

Immers Space is a step well-beyond traditional social media. To me it makes sense to address it in a follow-up event about Innovation and Future or something, unless maybe demo’d briefly in birds-eye overview at the end of the workshop.

Remember, our audience are people working in very formal organizations, invoking channels for very professional uses, atm. There was also mention in the webinar that they are not used or able to handle the more 2-directional dialog the fediverse would be excellent for (they are used to just broadcast their message out).

The integration of diverse, independent apps and how they interop together is the strongest case to highlight. In our last prep talk Jean-Luc Dorel mentioned the apps that receive most attention from EU/EC side currently: openEngiadina, PeerTube, Solid, Nextcloud, XWiki, Wordpress, Kazarma (and - mentioned earlier - Drupal).

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Hey Arnold,

please note: It is just open to everyone -
or as Amy wrote multiple times now also about the W3C Social CG
“All welcome!”
Please, again, do not try to restrict the community.

pukkamustard talked about openEngiadina last webinar.
From my view, the EU can’t use peertube cause all their content is multilanguage and has subtitles often also when livestreaming, for parliament events always.
Solid and Nextcloud were free to read the announcement.
Again, everyone welcome.
Cristina from XWiki had a Talk.
I can contact the wordpress author too, we made a podcast together but it is a bit short note …