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      I’m glad to see they’re making progress, but sad at the same time because Mastodon chooses again and again to not improve their ActivityPub spec compliance. This makes it that all servers that want to be part of the wider fediverse must support the Mastodon specific quirks.

      Also I can’t take Eugen seriously any more after he unironically modified his byline to CEO of Mastodon.

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        You can’t take a person seriously because of a byline despite him doing all this actual, visible work?

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          That’s the kind of toxic behavior getting the Mastodon team down.

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            I’m sorry you feel that way, I think you’re projecting a little. My comment stems from the ridiculousness of naming yourself the CEO of an incorporated entity of one. There were so many more reasonable titles to use but I guess my imposter syndrome might be higher than Eugen’s.

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              naming yourself the CEO of an incorporated entity of one

              Mastodon gGmbH is at least 11 people, going by their about page: https://joinmastodon.org/about

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                OK, I guess I’m a little behind with the news. :) Thank you for the link.

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                  You are, but he’s been using that title for years and years, back before there was anyone else IIRC.

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              Calling yourself “CEO of [RANDOM THING]” is a part of current online culture. If you don’t get that, you’re officially an old.

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              Come to think of it, one of the biggest difference between pre-Musk Twitter and the fediverse is that the latter has a very low tolerance for humor and whimsy.

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          I can take Eugen seriously as a developer and still cringe when he calls himself a CEO, especially combined with decision making that’s putting focus on things which make his company a Microsoft level bad of a neighbour for the other members of the Fediverse.

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            Mastodon, like many other FOSS projects, has a resource problem. If Mastodon has quirks in its protocol, it’s probably because nobody was willing to work on it yet, with the difficulty raised by backwards compatibility concerns. For example, many of the features that people want are already in the backlog, like quoted posts. They’ll be available when someone contributes an implementation. If you care about those quirks, PRs are probably appreciated.

            The comparison with Microsoft is inappropriate, because Microsoft was/is a multinational with unlimited resources and a monopoly, and their incompatibilities were on purpose, in order to destroy standards.

            If we don’t pay or contribute to a FOSS project directly, it’s a good idea to avoid the entitlement complex that users of free stuff usually have. And we should at least reward people with kindness for their contributions.

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              Someone the other day mentioned the concept of the “purity spiral” in (leftist, Western) politics[1],[2], where any attempt to settle policy is derailed by members of the community vying for more attention to their specific causes. As a result, nothing is actually done, and the people on the Left are perceived as head-in-the-sky dreamers only concerned with things “normal people” don’t worry about.

              I think about this a lot when it comes to FLOSS projects.

              [1] https://twitter.com/BriannaWu/status/1701952220101591341 - if there’s a stable, working Nitter instance, please let me know about it.

              [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purity_spiral - note that this page bears hallmarks of being stealth edited or created by political opponents of the Left.

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                As of right now nitter.net is stable

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              If you care about those quirks, PRs are probably appreciated.

              Alex, with all due respect, I am working already on a project which even though it’s not the size of Mastodon is still quite a significant piece of code. Excuse me if I’m not willing to invest hours to bring my RoR knowledge up to date and fix issues which (in my biased and humble opinion) should be at the top of the backlog for Mastodon. Which now, as the top dog implementing that implemented a specification, has the responsibility of doing it correctly, because otherwise there are a lot of unwanted consequences in the rest of the ecosystem.

              And I do not consider myself entitled as a user. Unless you consider the open document community that gets annoyed at how Microsoft implements the standard as entitled. My comparison with them was not unwarranted because Mastodon now is doing to ActivityPub what Microsoft did to other technologies in the past with their EEE, and what everyone was crying about Facebook was about to do with the creation of Threads.

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        I’m sad I’ve missed #Fediforum this round but I am doing my best to stay in the loop around the broader Fediverse and ActivityPub initiatives. I’d be happy to chat about specifics of compliance etc and how it might apply to Mastodon where needed. (I’m on the core team and work on developer relations and third party apps etc). This cycle saw a lot of work around user experience and so on to try to make things more smooth for newcomers to the platform and to the Fediverse; it’s a small team, and we really need to balance features vs core platform vs spec support.

        Eugen is the CEO of Mastodon gGmbH - the not-for-profit that exists to keep the project running - so I’m not clear on why that’s a challenge.

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          I can’t speak for mariusor, but personally, it’s kinda cringe to call yourself the CEO of Mastodon. Even if you are the CEO of Mastodon gGmbH.

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            Is this cringe for any reason other than that you dislike Mastodon as a piece of software? I’m not a huge fan of it either, but I think it’s fine in general for anyone who develops a piece of software to call themselves the CEO of it. Particularly if they also establish a legal entity for managing development of that software that they are literally the CEO of.

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              “Mastodon” is a network of Mastodon and Mastodon-compatible servers. I know technically it’s not, and it’s a specific microblogging platform somewhat compatible with the ActivityPub spec, but when I say “yeah, I’m on Mastodon” I mean “I’m on a Mastodon instance”, not that I’m running Mastodon’s latest release or using the official mastodon.social server. It’s like calling yourself the CEO of Linux.

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                “Mastodon” is a network of Mastodon and Mastodon-compatible servers.

                I don’t think that’s right. And that’s a real problem imho because there doesn’t seem to be a term for this, and I think it would be in both mastodon’s and the wider fediverse’s benefit if there was a clear, well defined name for this concept.

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                  That’s the use of Mastodon in common parlance. Of course we should say fediverse, or not-Twitter, or the generic “yeah, I’m on social media [serial killer moment]”, but the marketing of Mastodon (and Mastodon’s marketing) in the face of Twitter’s acquisition clarified thus: if you’re “on Mastodon”, you’re telling someone who doesn’t know their Mastodons from Pleromas that you use the not-Twitter thing they keep seeing online.

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                    This isn’t quite right either, since it’s a superset.

                    but the marketing of Mastodon (and Mastodon’s marketing) in the face of Twitter’s acquisition clarified thus: if you’re “on Mastodon”, you’re telling someone who doesn’t know their Mastodons from Pleromas that you use the not-Twitter thing they keep seeing online.

                    Yes but we can and should do better. Eventually those people will hit the taxonomy problem, so ignoring it is just delaying that, not preventing it.

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                      Maybe what’s needed is a modified version of Stallman’s GNU/Linux statement.

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                        I do like using verbiage to talk about the ActivityPub ecosystem that makes it clear that Mastodon isn’t the only possible software you can use for it, just a popular implementation. This is in some sense the opposite of what RMS was going for, where he wanted to emphasize the role that GNU software played in making a workable Unix-like OS even though it was and in possible to swap out the GNU user land for a non-GNU one without this looking all that different to the end user. Imagine if “GNU/Linux” had caught on as the dominant term, and someone insisted on just saying “Linux” because they cared a lot about non-GNU userspaces.

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                          Since I’m guilty of stating the problem without making an attempt to fix it, I’ll try. My contribution: the microverse, a portmanteau of microblogging and Fediverse, to describe the subset of the Fediverse responsible for micro blogging in a twitter style, ie mastodon, pleroma, their forks and others.

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                  I’ve seen people call it the “social web” so I’ve taken to using that. (“Fediverse” is a bit too awkward, I think.)

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                    As one Phil Fish quipped, it should’ve been The Federation.

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                It’s like calling yourself the CEO of Linux

                No, it isn’t Not at all.

                His company is literally named “Mastodon” and he literally is CEO of this entity. Come on, man.

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          See my comment here for some problems I encountered personally trying to make fediverse software compatible with Mastodon.

          I can dig up the github issues I’ve opened over time if you want me to, but you can probably find them yourself if you search for issues under my same username from here.

          If I could sum them up in one requirement:

          • Mastodon needs better compatibility with the ActivityStreams vocabulary (as it pertains to the dynamic nature of possible values for object properties), this includes the need to dereference properties that are referred just by their IRIs into full objects.
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        How bad are these quirks? Maybe the standard should be updated instead?

        Mastodon has got much more traction than OStatus and GNU Social had in the decade prior, so maybe we should let it drive the protocol forward?

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          I haven’t aggregated them yet in an official list, but on the top of my head:

          • When viewing a user that has never communicated with your server their old posts are not loaded automatically. Mastodon just shows what’s already federated with the your server (this also happens in threads that have replies your server didn’t receive). Instead they should download those posts either client side or server side. (I think this one is the biggest issue, and probably the one that’s talked more about by regular users)

          • When using webfinger if an actor queried as belonging to one domain, has an ID that belongs to another domain it will not be recognized as valid unless that domain also responds to a webfinger query. Ie: @marius@example.com -> https://federated.example.com/actors/marius requires that federated.example also supports webfinger. This is a problem for servers that only want to implement ActivityPub.

          • Mastodon does not respect the Json-LD capabilities of most of the properties of the ActivityPub vocabulary (ie, properties can be one of: a URL, an array of URLs, a full Object, an array of Objects) so when servers send valid payloads that contain a list of elements in one of the properties that Mastodon hardcoded as either an object or a URL, it silently fails.

          • Related to the above: Mastodon doesn’t dereference the URLs if a property of an object that it expects to be an object is actually an URL, therefore it’s like the property is empty.

          • Mastodon does not recognize HTTP-Signatures that are produced with other types of keys than SHA256. This makes that servers who want to use smaller keys (eg, Ed25519) can’t communicate with it.

          • A big one that I forgot about: Mastodon uses URL #fragments for guaranteeing ID uniqueness for objects, which is not correct according to the URL standard, and triggers errors in servers that don’t behave the same way.

          (For some of these I have opened tickets, for some I gave up because they usually get dismissed as not important, not possible, or some other excuse)

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          There are a few things that will need community consensus, because Mastodon doesn’t implement them yet (or does, but not well). Though I think the community should get involved even if the CEO of Mastodon was willing to own everything.

          A couple of examples that come to mind are account-and-posts migration, and reply tracking (as JWZ recently pointed out).

          I’m not aware of any group starting to work on these, but I wish there was.

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            Another thing JWZ pointed out was the “link preview DOS” that seems to have been being raised for years without any progress towards a solution (because every time someone proposes the sensible “originator fills in the link preview”, people chime in with “But what if it LIES?” as if that wasn’t something servers could already do.)

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          I’m suspicious of the censorship-friendly politics of Eugen and many other Mastodon contributors, and I don’t want them driving ActicityPub as a protocol in a way that would make it easier rather than harder for server admins to control what content their users can see. That said yeah it might well be the case that Mastodon’s quirks exist for a good reason and the standard should be updated to reflect what Mastodon does.

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            I don’t want them driving ActicityPub as a protocol in a way that would make it easier rather than harder for server admins to control what content their users can see.

            I don’t understand this thinking I’ve come across before in regard to ActivityPub/Mastodon. If you don’t like a server’s moderation style, you can move to a different one. I see it as a feature rather than a bug - let users who wish to be in a walled garden be in their echo chamber, and if you don’t want to be in such echo chamber then move to another instance that doesn’t have these rules.

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            I don’t understand this mindset. You sign up to a server (and almost all are free to use) and then you adhere to the rules of that server/community.

            It’s the same here. We use a service that we neither own nor control. The moderators are free to do what they do. The same applies to mastodon servers.

            If a server operator does not want certain stuff on their server and you disagree then move to another server or run one yourself (or get one that is managed for you).

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              I don’t understand this mindset.

              I understand it. It’s very common to conflate moderation with censorship because everyone agrees censorship is bad, so it’s a lot easier to get people on your side by claiming you’re being censored when actually you’re just being moderated; cf https://xkcd.com/1357/

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            ActivityPub as a protocol has nothing to say about “censorship”. The vocabulary it’s based on has some elements that can be used to construct a moderation system, but that’s very bare bones. All the pro-censorship/moderation things that you see on Mastodon (block lists, CWs, etc) are mostly coming from the community, not Eugen.

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            Censoring what exactly?

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        Also I can’t take Eugen seriously any more after he unironically modified his byline to CEO of Mastodon.

        He is the CEO of the Mastodon gGmbH in Germany. https://joinmastodon.org/de/about#impressum

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          Sure, I wasn’t debating the truth of the statement, but the ridiculousness of being CEO of an incorporated entity of oneeleven.

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            He is the Geschäftsführer of the gGmbH, which is the official German title and that is translated to CEO in an international setting. CEO does not imply a fortune 500 company, it just means he is the boss. The company seems to have enough income to support 11 people. That is quite an achievement for an OpenSource company. I do not understand this endless negativity towards people that have a little bit of success.

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      I’m so excited for search! Is it fully enabled anywhere yet? My instance (tech.lgbt) doesn’t have it yet. mastodon.social has what looks like a search UI enabled but nothing comes back under “posts”.

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        Search is opt in, so those who don’t opt into it, will not be sarchable. It will take quite some time till you can find stuff. Many people (myself included) will not turn it on.

        As for .social: iirc the new search needs to rebuild its index.Thats gonna take a while on an instance as large as that, I reckon.