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Is there any plan to join the fediverse and implement activitypub for lobsters? What’s your opinion on this tech stack, do you think it’s more of a hipster meme or the next generation of distributed social network? And the if we say no to this feature, what’s the reason of the rejection?

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    Please don’t. Let’s keep lobsters as standalone as possible.

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      I used to agree, but I think these days Lobsters really needs some fresh air. It’s getting a bit stuffy in here, though I’m not sure ActivityPub is the answer.

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        IMO the risk is too high that that would lead to some kind of an Etermal September-situation. The invite-tree is one of the strengths of this site. And knowing the fediverse, I rather wouldn’t not have a lot of people who use be integrated into Lobsters.

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          Why not preserve our invite tree structure? Most fediverse web clients distinguish between federated & local timelines, so if you don’t like outsiders you can just stick to your home & local timeline & turn off notifications for remote users, so you’ll never see comment threads made by non-lobste.rs users.

          If all else fails, just make federation go one way – publish all the content by lobste.rs users to all federating nodes, but reject all incoming data. This is basically the same as what we already do (i.e., have publicly visible comments but allow only invited users to post), except that it’ll make it a little bit easier for other people to spin off separate conversations about threads here (which is great because about 80% of the fediverse finds lobste.rs toxic & wants to avoid direct confrontation with folks here).

          There’s already a huge overlap between lobste.rs and the technical side of the fediverse, & where such an overlap does not exist, it’s largely by choice (invited users who didn’t join lobste.rs, former lobste.rs users who have left, folks who could get an invite but have decided to avoid us).

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            about 80% of the fediverse finds lobste.rs toxic & wants to avoid direct confrontation with folks here

            Without wanting to derail the rest of this thread and out of an open curiosity, are you aware of public discussions of lobste.rs that get at that? I’d be interested in understanding the perspective. Googling along the lines of “lobste.rs considered toxic” mostly returns food safety results ;)

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              I don’t have one offhand. The general sentiment seems to be “lobste.rs is not as much better than HN as it claims to be, and is aimed mostly at the same audience”. Some folks have specific complaints about the moderation here, or about particular kinds of kneejerk reactions that have become ritual.

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                They’re not wrong…

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                  Yeah, I don’t think the complaints are unfounded. They don’t keep me off the site. When I’m really pissed, I go over to the fediverse to complain :)

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              If all else fails, just make federation go one way – publish all the content by lobste.rs users to all federating nodes, but reject all incoming data.

              This sounds like someone who is interested should set up an RSS -> ActivityPub gateway and solve the problem that way.

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                They exist, but do not publish (for instance) comment content. Ultimately, RSS is going to reproduce some truncated version of content plus a link to the site itself (which will be pointless for people who want to discuss things). Why not let people join the discussion organically, and then simply block everybody by default in order to maintain the current standards of comment quality?

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                  Why not let people join the discussion organically, and then simply block everybody by default in order to maintain the current standards of comment quality?

                  I’m sure if someone will put in the time and effort to develop ActivityPub support it would be welcomed.

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                I personally think that federation should be all or nothing. That’s one of the things that have always annoyed me about the (Blue) Fediverse, that federation doesn’t seem to be it’s primary objective, and it’s split between local/global. When discissions are only partially visible, the quality usuaully decreases. What you describe might just as well be implemented by some third-party service that allows federated services to comment on misc sites.

                which is great because about 80% of the fediverse finds lobste.rs toxic & wants to avoid direct confrontation with folks here

                That’s one part of the fediverse I’d also like to avoid, mainly because of off-topic derailing and their imported twitter culture. The other part would be Gab/FreeSpeachExtreemists, that would probably just cause more drama.

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              What do you mean by stuffy?

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                Perhaps homogeneous is a better word here. The topics discussed here seem to be caught in a narrow band of software thought, and the same opinions seem to be repeated regularly and garner upvotes. At times it feels like I can just choose words to place in the title of a post to garner a community reaction. (And out of academic interest, I’ve been doing some analysis on this, and so far my results are no surprise, certain topics get much more upvotes or engagement than others.)

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            Why do we need to justify a no? I don’t see any compelling reason to support activitypub.

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              ActivityPub never really fixed most of the big problems that previous attempts at federation caused:

              • Since user identities are tied to domain names, people can’t easily migrate between hosts.

              • Since the spec punts on spam protection, weird heuristics and ad-hoc policies are the norm.

              • Since it doesn’t have a very nailed-down spec, you can post messages that appear to work but get destroyed by the other ends’ hosting provider, making it unreliable.

              • Since it’s based on duplicating the same data across multiple web servers, if I link to a toot on my instance and you want to reply to it, you have to rewrite the URL for your instance to get the interactivity tools to come up.

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                To be fair, lobste.rs itself doesn’t (and doesn’t attempt to) solve any of these problems (some of which are really webstack problems), so this isn’t an argument against federation:

                • my lobste.rs account doesn’t federate with (or even connect to) my laarc.io account
                • what counts as spam here is basically whatever pushcx doesn’t like that day (and arbitrarily-chosen ranking weights are applied to tags)
                • behavior changes periodically whenever the devs want (and though there’s often a thread about it, it’s not like the whole userbase is actually voting on & collectively choosing positions)
                • our comments are stored centrally on lobste.rs, which provides no transclusion API so any non-lobste.rs user must either duplicate context when replying or somehow get an account

                This isn’t to say that federating is a good idea, or that these aren’t problems – only that we already have all of them.

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                What would Activitypub integration look like to you?

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                  There have been a few meta threads talking about it and generally we’re open to using it to export info without allowing posting. There was one attempt at implementation that stalled and no one else has volunteered to do the work. If you’d like to do it, check out what’s already been done and drop by the chat to discuss any implementation details.

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                    In my opinion ActivityPub is unnecessarily complex. I have built basic ActivityPub support into my blog, but all this signing of posts and the push mechanism is much more complex than RSS, ATOM or JSON Feed.

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                      You know the lobsters code is out there available to build this? IMHO it’s a bit of a hipster fad, but you’re more than welcome to put in some effort.