W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-fedsocweb@w3.org > May 2013

Re: Federation protocols

From: Mikael Nordfeldth <mmn@hethane.se>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 09:05:45 +0200
To: <public-fedsocweb@w3.org>
Message-ID: <344e32e7065be044a9ea8b3e8eed8182@hethane.se>
2013-05-30 20:26 skrev Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak:
> Hi there,
> I'm #NewHere, to use a popular cliche on federated social networks. I 
> am an
> active user of Diaspora, Friendica and StatusNet (soon to be converted 
> to
> pump.io).

Greetings, you're very welcome!

> What I feel we need is a single, extensible, well-defined protocol, or 
> suite
> of protocols, that we can build a single, compatible, interoperable 
> federated
> social network upon.

When speaking to Simon of Buddycloud, http://buddycloud.com/, last 
FOSDEM, he sort of persuaded me into thinking there is no actual need 
for a single, well-defined protocol. It's made me accept that there are 
always kinks in how things should be interpreted in a social environment 
- what is a friend/contact/group/list/tag/grouptag for YOU?
(my personal self-persuading argument is that it's more like the 
evolution of anything - no genetic implementation is guaranteed to live 

> Right now we have OStatus, Diaspora's protocol, DFRN (used by 
> Friendica) and
> the protocols that are used by Red, tent.io and pump.io, that I am not 
> even
> sure are properly defined anywhere.

What I believe is important is what you stressed above, the proper 
definitions (btw, pump.io API is on 
https://github.com/e14n/pump.io/blob/master/API.md ). Not just in API 
specs or protocol RFCs, but in actual implementations and libraries. If 
we want StatusNet to talk to Diaspora and then bounce that off to 
pump.io and Friendica/Red instances, these software must exist in a 
plugin-able form for others to use. That's what I believe is the hard 
part today, making an effort in "someone elses" codebase to support 
"one's own" implementation.

Other than that, of course, there is the requirement of some global 
unique id which can somehow let the web know which protocols are 
supported and preferred. Which today seems to be email-like identifiers 
which get looked up with Webfinger, so that's not really a problem.

Mikael Nordfeldth
Xmpp/mail: mmn@hethane.se
Received on Friday, 31 May 2013 07:06:10 UTC

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