@aschrijver thank you for this proposal and your support in pushing the @discourse team to adopt ActivityPub. As with everything, the Discourse team is not monolithic and has some people more interested in ActivityPub support than others. But I suspect this drive is second to the business incentives of Discourse. Before inviting @riking, as he requested a business use-case to be convinced, I’d like to help shaping one up. I can invite @merefield and other people at The Pavilion who demonstrated interest.
My idea would probably revolve around maintaining a “main” Discourse identity (e.g., my own self-hosted instance that I use daily) and use this to connect to other instances (as a “staged user” if I don’t want to fully participate, but still be able to reply to existing topics, like I would by email) so I can follow public topics. This can be pitched as a minimal use-case to enable remote participation equivalent to email, but using ActivityPub instead. On my “main” instance, I could received notifications from remote actor topics as I subscribe to them. In other words:
- a plugin would implement ActivityPub for public topics, giving them an Inbox/Outbox pair that other ActivityPub actors can suscribe to.
- A topic would announce new comments as Notes
- Subscribers would receive a private message mentioning the announce.
Already this minimal implementation would enable ActivtyPub staged users following the email staged users, and reply_by_activitypub could offer a next step. For the first iteration, only topic-publish-notes, subscribe-to-stage-user, and subscribe-receives-notifications would be within scope.
Now, this does not make for a solid business use-case, but it can help start the conversation.