Initiative: ActivityPub "Step On Board" Integration Guide

Funded organization?

More updates from fedidevs chat:

@aschrijver: Expect a slick and well-organized developer hub to be launched somewhere in the next stages of Threads roadmap (think like React or GraphQL).

@j12t: Yes, and one thing we could be doing … if we decided to, and got a good plan together … is to pre-empt that by setting up a community-controlled hub like that, funded (in part) by the commercial entities including Meta that have an interest in such a thing. I think that could be “sold” to them, if planned out very well. Anybody interested?

And my response:

Funding helps for people to do the chores and stick to them. The tricky part is that it also changes the dynamics and organization/governance requirements. There’s a clash of cultures here that will also intensify once more corporate entries follow. One one hand there’s the “idealists”, people firmly in the Free Software / Free Culture movement, from where the Fediverse has grown to what it currently is. Then there’s the “pragmatists”, similarly well-intended for the most part, but any efforts should earn a living (be financially sustainable first of all), and then the next group is the enterpreneurial types who see profit.

The latter two groups do not understand why the idealists make it so tough on themselves with their principles. Be wilfully unsustainable. They think that concessions are in order. The idealists OTOH are afraid to do that. They are wary of pragmatists as these often turn enterpreneurial profit-seekers, and become participants in an economic system that does provide financial sustainability, but is utterly broken otherwise.

I am saying nothing new here, of course. Just indicating where the big challenges are in such proposal. Like in “funded (in part) by the commercial entities including Meta”.

Along with corporate entries there’ll be another trend. And that is the emergence of NGO’s, non-profits and maybe for-profits that, based on a sound business model, generate good salaries for staff and employees, on a mission to improve the Fediverse. It need not be bad that this happens, but it is a culture shift. It is not grassroots organization anymore. And in this trend also we’ll find more and more organizations that cater to commercial interests for the benefit of their own workforce first and foremost.

Now I’m not saying this is good or bad, just saying this is likely to happen. I am somewhere in this spectrum, nearest to the idealists but also frustrated how we weakens our position and (holistic) sustainability outlook. And interested in thinking how we might improve with least amount of concessions.


But a question to me would be if I’d like to see such entepreneurial initiative be at the heart of the Fediverse. I don’t know really, but am sceptical. But anyway… it may come to that given current playing field.

I am however a BIG proponent that we create such a structure where the various ‘hives of activity’ / developer hubs are decentralized themselves, and each contribute to the Fediverse in their own field, concerned about their own domain and use cases. Those hubs can be organized any way they want.

Going from that notion and objective a good Integration Guide and solid foundation to build upon shouldn’t need to be an enterpreneurial initiative. The various hubs each have an interest that that foundation is in proper order. If there’s a need for funding such initiative might find it in the R&I grants that are available. Such as @how who sent a proposal to RIPE.

I think it’s important that people who spend time in this field get paid for their work. Not only software development is work. Community, documentation, outreach work must be recognized properly. But asking “Mata” and other surveillance capitalists for sponsorship is crazy .

Maybe ask the governments around the world to tax them properly, then redistribute this tax money to fund public digital infrastructure. That may be a better approach.

When people who make the Fediverse make tools that capitalists do not make — cannot make, indeed —, then we know that people can organize and not just be abused.

A little reminder from OFFDEM


I had a call with @eprodrom on Friday and told about my view on stuff, purely scoped AS/AP…

  • “Standards movement” should stand on its own feet.
  • Should provide a clear path to dev community.
  • A “minimum core” MUST-implement + Extension mechanism SHOULD-implement.
  • That guarantees Open Ecosystem and decentralized devhubs / projects evolving the fedi.
  • Should not lean too much on what Mastodon is doing. It is hampering progress.
  • Should not involve itself with ‘reverse-spec’ing’ all the tech debt & protocol decay.
  • Instead should allow a way for each devhub / project to do that themselves. Including Mastodon.
  • Probably involving something like discoverable “Compliance Profiles”.
  • Where you can figure out FEP’s and other extensions, find their specs (vocabs + behavior).
  • Quality of extension specs is up to each decentralized devhub / project. Org structure too.
  • “Standards movement” structure: (WG?) → CG → SocialHub → FEP.
  • WG, if at all needed, minimal charter to provide the above: minimally complete, clarity, guidance.