Fediverse is going mainstream. To many people’s delight and to some people’s worry. Where is fedi going?
For developers in general these are good times. Countless projects are announced and the ecosystem is booming. The more the merrier, and what a fun time to be part of it, right?
However, for free software developers and those valuing the open standards, technology that is open and for everyone, there should be worry too. Half Silicon Valley “move fast and break things” types, and literal billionaires are on the fedi suddenly and asking: “How can I earn money fast?”
One thing they also all agree on… there’s much to be desired in terms of improving the protocol specs and there is no real steering body. This will not last long, as it now represents a business opportunity to grab hold of our ecosystem.
Against this backdrop I notice how few people of the existing developer community are actively hammering on the existence of the SocialHub and the Fediverse Enhancement Proposal process to these newcomers. Unless my small instance misses that activity, I hardly see mention of #SocialHub hashtag, or people dropping links to a FEP document, inviting others to write a FEP.
If you care about open standards and a Fediverse that is for everyone, please think what you can do to help keep that openness. Drop those links to ongoing discussions here, use your hashtags, and invite people to participate as new members of the SocialHub.
Yes, that is true. I think both domain name and site are managed by @cwebber.
The Forgejo project, soft fork of Gitea, was recently established and they are not only hosted on Codeberg, but Codeberg also manages their domain names and trademarks (they are an established non-profit). And in terms of organization multiple people have access to domain name registrar via a team that shares secrets.
We have a fediverse organization on Codeberg, and may something similar here. The activitypub.rocks site could be hosted on Codeberg Pages, and domain registrar access arranged in a similar fashion. While doing so, something similar might be done for the way this forum is hosted.
Hello, best thing could be to have multiple steering bodies and own ideas for semi-comercial businesses. That is why I try to organize a steering group in Berlin, Germany. This should include
a) communication with other groups (also related projects like ATProtocol, Matrix, diaspora*
b) develop strategies to develop fediverse/activtiyPub (Mastodon, PeerTube, PixelFed etc.)
c) develop ideas for further implementions (FediPay, FediSearch)
d) communication outside (e.g. for future groups)
e) helping to implement servers (technical support)
f) helping to use servers and manage communities
g) monitoring and evaluation
So it would be great to coordinate with other initiatives globally of this kind, may-be starting here
Florian from DevelopersFF-Germany gave me the hint to Arnolds project here. Yesterday I talked to Lambert Heller from Open Science Lab who is doing great research in this field with a staff of 20 in Hannover, Germany.
See links below:
Offtopic: I tried to reply to @erlend_sh up there:
activitypub.rocks could use a copy update to make the existence and purpose of SocialHub more explicit.
I get the answer from Discord: “An error occurred: We’re sorry, but new users are temporarily limited to 1 reply in the same topic.” - dont get it
Wanted to ask @erlend_sh - “How do I get the point here?”
In general I think having many decentralized and independent “hubs” dedicated to Fediverse evolution is a good thing. Though imho ideally these hubs should take time to position themselves in relation to what is already out there, so that:
It doesn’t lead to fragmentation, duplicate work, reinvention of wheels and communities that compete with other communities to attract members.
Encourages collaboration on specific areas, but also subsequent cross-pollination, sharing of knowledge and results with other community hubs.
An example is Microblogging… Here we have a group of projects that evolve this application domain, write and maintain interoperability specs, etc. All these projects have direct incentive to be active for The Podcast Index as they reap direct benefit from that.
Yet at the same time it would be most effective if they interacted here in SocialHub and with the FEP process, for cases where they want to introduce extensions to ActivityPub that go beyond Podcasting and are universal to any federated app. I.e. core protocol issues.
This is not my project The SocialHub has been the liaison of the W3C SocialCG for a number of years, and while the Community Group became less active, the SocialHub kept going. And now after The Muskening™ interest is growing to participate in the FEP process defined here, and we should keep that momentum going.
Seems to me that some core fediverse standards are currently essentially unmaintained, specifically Webfinger (IETF) and Activity* (W3C). We will have to figure out how they get back into maintained status, and who needs to nod to the group(s) and governance by which they are being maintained. There are several choices – like using the IETF and W3C processes to get working groups re-established, or setting up an entirely separate process (like the FEP) . Right now, as far as I can tell, the views on that are widely over the map.
One of the things I want to do at the upcoming https://fediforum.org/ is to get (hopefully) enough of the relevant people into the same session where this can be discussed.