SocialHub Community and Fediverse Futures

Hi there,

I’m mod at SocialHub, the community where we focus on evolving fedi standards. I also co-maintain ActivityPub watchlists that are input to the Fediverse Party website.

There’s something I’d like to bring up in this fine community. I’ve been actively promoting fediverse in numerous ways, especially advocating the technology side of things and trying to attract a more diverse group of members to join the SocialHub besides hardcore devs.

One thing in this stuck out to me, and that is that, while we are passionate for a common cause - a healthy Fediverse where people are United in Diversity - there’s so much fragmentation. Individual projects going it alone, inventing their own path forwards, while our common technology foundation languishes. The open standards on which we depend are hardly evolving.

It’s true that progress is still made - witness the great stuff has achieved - but new knowledge and insights gleaned aren’t broadly shared, nor recorded. Fediverse development consists mostly of ad-hoc communication, and reverse-engineering from other codebases, making onboarding for new devs a hard experience.

Imho this greatly hampers fedi evolution and endangers its future. And with that so too are federated projects in peril. On the other hand greater collaboration on our common base is a win-win for all.

At first glance there looks to be a ton of useful information in this forum wrt general federation issues. How can we better share this with other projects? How do you look at the issues I addressed? Can we find ways to achieve closer collaboration between this community and the SocialHub?

For some inspiration I leave you with an analogy of how I look into the kind of collaboration we need: We are building Spiral Island, and we must build it together :blush:


All political systems look great on paper, but their fatal flaw is that all are based on the assumption that those in power have no lust for power. Given that, they ALL eventually fail.

I think this tangentially applies to the Fediverse as well. I hate to be the negative Nancy here, but it is the nature of humans to place self-interest over communal benefit. It may take a while, but it always happens. This “common cause” you allude to is nothing more than an illusion.

It’s not surprising considering we factory farm ourselves to be good little drones in modern society. We seem to be perfectly happy with these shackles around our ankles. As much as I love the idea of federation, I really don’t think it’s long for this world. People will always think they can do better, and when the herd doesn’t fall in line with their ego’s wishes, they’ll break off and establish their own kingdom. Federation was DOA from day one. It’s just taking longer for most to notice the corpse in the corner.

It doesn’t really matter, though. By the time the majority notice, another utopia will be promised, and the herd will migrate to the new pasture, completely unaware that the wolves are already stalking the periphery.

That’s the only “inspiration” I can muster at this point.

But this is really fatalistic reasoning. We might as well give up then, give away the reigns of our life and live under authoritarian rule. Sure there are negative trends, but there’s also a lot on the positive side should one be open towards perceiving it.

On the fediverse there’s also a common cause, because we enjoy being on it together. So there’s a self-interest there too. This is even more true for the people that create federated projects. It is great to work on an own project and be really absorbed by that work, but it stands on a common technology and standards that are key to its success.

Finally I don’t see utopia’s being promised. We are working on something that exists today, runs in production, and offers 4-5 million people a home online to engage with others. That’s success right there for me. Fediverse doesn’t have to be an all-pervasive thing like Twitter or FB with billions of people on it.

Given that success, I’d like us to retain it, and make it more elaborate and fun by tapping into the potential we haven’t explored yet.

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Hi i am new to i am also unsure if fedi fediverse and social hub. I am interested in connecting through conversation and vibe with what it seems your doing. Would you fill me in and get me up to speed with what your referencing?


The issue is that all federated projects do their own thing with regards to the Fediverse. They use the open ActivityPub and ActivityStreams for that, that were developed to allow interoperability such as the Fediverse (somewhat) provides.

But these standards are still immature. They contain holes that need to be filled. There’s a win-win for any project to help fill them in. Next versions of the standards, as well as common extensions need to be released. Unfortunately there’s no one really willing to help with this effort, and so the evolution of the Fediverse languishes.

This means three things:

  1. Extending federation-based features is inproductive. Have to (re)invent them or learn & adapt from other codebases.
  2. No single project will benefit from the full potential of the technology. It remains untapped.
  3. Technology base remains weak and fragile, and there’s high risk it will be passed and replaced with the next shiny thing.

An example of the way that individual projects - here in a proposal to @matt - tackle things is in:

Lemmy is NOT the reference implementation of Groups! It is just one possible implementation. And it may differ from the next impl. and the next and the next. Until we have 100 flavours of Group implementation and zero interoperability overall.

That is because the Groups implementation discussions were never finished. Nothing was standardized, no agreement reached. There was insufficient interest to further open standards.

If all projects thinking about Groups support had interacted with SocialHub to share their insights, and had they written or improved Fediverse Enhancement Proposals, then the situation would much improve and there would be reference implementations, instead of ad-hoc development.