Scaling Up Cooperation

We’ve been building step stones for the ActivityPub community to collaborate in good conditions. Now we can have a look back and see what we achieved as a group since last APConf, and think about ways to bring our cooperation capacity to a new level – including caveats.

This BoF proposes to focus on three aspects:

  1. What can we do to consolidate community use of the SocialHub?
  2. Achievements and ways to gather more funding to develop ActivityPub software.
  3. What alliances can we make to facilitate wide scale adoption of federated services?

The live session will happen in Room A: https://bbb.fosshost.org/b/mor-fee-7b4-2nh

Summary

1. What can we do to consolidate community use of the SocialHub?

We talked about the difficulty of having a single place for developing the Fediverse, since many interactions between developers happen through one-on-one conversations and result in public implementations. Nevertheless the limitations of the Fediverse flow or chat venues make it difficult to build collective memory and facilitate onboarding.

Using Discourse features such as updating the first post of a topic, using quoting and wikis to go beyond linear forum usage perception, and instead build knowledge so that newcomers can jump in straight without having to go through dozens of comments requires education.

Action Item

We decided to use @pukkamustard’s proposal of Fediverse Enhancement Proposal (FEP) as a starting point during the #hackathon to test-drive a collective process to build a proposal related to the collaboration with @cjsLibrary of Non-Tech and Technical Works.

2. Achievements and ways to gather more funding to develop ActivityPub software.

We discussed ActivityPub-related funding, especially the NGI0 Discovery funding scheme and planned to apply for CommonsPub and eventually the ActivityPub Test Suite if there’s interest. NGI0 funding is low-threshold, low-overhead milestones-based funding for free software for research & innovation in the domains of search & discovery, and privacy-enhancing technologies.

The topic has a list of funded ActivityPub software…

Action item

@how will create an NGI0-dedicated topic to help with onboarding and keep people up to date. → Next Generation Internet

3. What alliances can we make to facilitate wide scale adoption of federated services?

We briefly mentioned the SOLID community, keeping an eye on it as ActivityPub and SOLID have converging concerns. We reviewed a number of service hosting actors like https://in.fra.red and https://libreho.st/ (such as FOSShost) who can become allies in deploying instances. Then we discussed the relationship between ActivityPub and activists, suggesting that AP is a much needed tool in social movements.

Action item

No action item here, except following up discussion in the Intermapping session.

2 Likes

Something that I’d be interested in hearing opinions on and discussing is a collaborative way of publishing documents describing extensions, best-practices and other information - maybe something like a Fediverse Enhancement Proposals (FEP).

Other communities have similar documentation processes, e.g.: Python’s PEP, NixOS RFCs, Scheme Request for Implementation, Dat Enhancement Proposals.

This may allow a more community-based way of working towards standardization and documenting current best-practices. Things that might fit into such a process might be the recent proposal for synchronizing followers documenting the usage of WebFinger, and NodeInfo or working out a scheme for federated authenticaiton.

Recent work that goes very much in that direction include @cjs’s Library, efforts such as LitePub and ideas discussed at last years APConf regarding vocabulary extensions.

4 Likes

I would be very interested in working with @cjs on some level of integration between the Fedilibrary and the #fediversity.

Of course, this session would be a great opportunity to flesh out a proposal for FEP processes.

1 Like

1. What can we do to consolidate community use of the SocialHub?

This is a wiki so we can prepare the BoF. A dedicated pad will be used during the live session to take notes and report them here later on, or you can use replies.

Better Onboarding

Consolidate Documentation / Support

Specification Work

Better Integration with the Fediverse

ActivityPub Support in Discourse

There were some discussions and proposals on the Discourse Meta related to ActivityPub. The Discourse team even got a grant to get started but had to postpone…

ActivityPub Announce Support for New Topics

The minimal step would be to announce new topics on the Fediverse. It should not be too difficult: sunjan proposed using RSS feeds to achieve this step.

Allow Login from the Fediverse

This is a bit more complicated since Discourse’s anti-spam system is strongly related to the user account. I suggest we could stage Fediverse users in the same way it works for email users who never registered. Fediverse accounts would then be able to respond topics they’ve been invited to. Otherwise they’d have to confirm their local Discourse account using their email and then their Fediverse login would simply be another way of authenticating to Discourse. Although it sounds simple, it may be much more complicated than I anticipate and may be the reason why the team decided to postpone the work. That said, more eyes on the problem might bring interesting solutions that both allow Fediverse users to participate and Discourse anti-spam and trust level systems to work as expected.

2. Achievements and ways to gather more funding to develop ActivityPub software.

This is a wiki so we can prepare the BoF. A dedicated pad will be used during the live session to take notes and report them here later on, or you can use replies.

ActivityPub-related Funding

Feel free to add to the table

15 ActivityPub projects were funded so far (PixelFed received 2 grants) through NGI0 Discovery, and there’s still an opportunity to get some funding: next deadline is December 1st 2020.

Sources of Funding

@Sebastian made a couple of lists of sources of funding:


3. What alliances can we make to facilitate wide scale adoption of federated services?

This is a wiki so we can prepare the BoF. A dedicated pad will be used during the live session to take notes and report them here later on, or you can use replies.

This is a wiki where we can prepare for the Webinar with the European Commission and AP Community Add any candidates for collaboration below.

Activists

Developer Communities

Communities

ISPs / Service providers