Subject: Scope for a possible new SocialWeb (AP/AS2) W3C Working Group charter
Over the past week or so, there’s been some great discussion (both at TPAC and on the fediverse) about whether to work with W3C to charter a new Working Group (for example, for spec maintenance and errata purposes, although other scopes have been discussed as well).
I’d like to assure some of the concerned community members that a Working Group is not an end in and of itself. It’s just a tool (admittedly, a heavyweight and powerful one) to accomplish the goals of the community. And so, it makes sense to discuss and vote on specific scopes to a potential WG charter, and only kick off the process if there’s agreement on those scopes.
Here’s my example scope proposal, to start the discussion:
The SocialCG and the Fediverse community propose chartering a W3C Working Group for the purposes of specification maintenance of the ActivityPub and ActivityStreams 2 specifications.
Integrating the errata and fixes that have accumulated to the AP/AS2 specs.
Minor normative changes or clarifications to those specs that document extensive implementation experience, and have strong agreement in the community group.
Out of WG scope (but remain in-scope for CG and FEPs):
Another, possibly too radical, suggestion on a path forward would be:
Release a variation of ActivityPub called “ActivityPub the Federation Protocol”
This would remove the stuff only meant for Client to Server and require the Sections 6 and 7 to speak of outgoing and incoming messages. So this would be a major undertaking. One should probably avoid making big changes for a first version though. – In particular, the hard testing / implementation requirement from my earlier post, might be needed to be relaxed –
The advantage is that this would lead to a specification document better representing what actually happens in the Fediverse.
I’m not sure this is what you mean, but I disagree with the approach of competing implementations among which a ‘winner’ would be ‘picked’ by the Working Group. First, because I envision cooperation among implementers, even if they experiment with various approaches. Second, there may not be a single ‘best’ approach to pick. Then, I do not think a WG of “people representing their employer” is the best venue for picking up implementations coming from the grassroots, where the protocols aim to defeat centralization created by those employers.
Yes, I do not see people here backing down nor compromising on diversity any time soon.
Identity and portability in Fediverse are complicated. I’ve been working on these things for quite some time and I still don’t know which approach is better.
I agree with you on cooperation vs competition and that there might be more than one “winner”.