Updated wish list

Based on the discussion in the meeting last week, as well as in other FediForum sessions and other conversations, here’s a much expanded version of the “Fediverse technical Christmas wish list” (or such).

This can easily keep a horde of people in several distinct working groups busy for a few years :-) So we need to prioritize.

Does this group have a preferred tool for surveys of the members here? (If not, I can volunteer self-hosted Nextcloud “forms” which we just set up for FediForum attendees surveys anyway.)

(On the web at https://reb00ted.org/tech/20230405-fediverse-wishlist/ .)

Standards maintenance work on the core specifications

Fixes to the the core spec

According to reports, ActivityPub as-is is incompatible with common shared hosting environments (e.g. typical WordPress host), as it requires HTTP content negotiation.
Issues backlog
A design to reduce certain loads

Reduce protocol chattiness
(Not my area of expertise, so I don’t have details)
Decide on the future of ActivityPub Client-to-Server

Split the C2S spec from the S2S spec?
Standardize the Mastodon API instead?
Invest in convincing developers to implement it?
Significant extensions of the core specifications with a view on standardizing them

Improved security and privacy

Signed content
Private messages
A standardized way to express terms under which content is provided

As I understand it, Bob Wyman calls that a Rights Expression Language
This probably should start with a use case collection

A single-document basic [Fediverse] interop spec, ie.

when I have written code for everything it says, my code will interoperate in some basic fashion with all other software that has implemented this document
no need to consult or understand other implementations
may be quite basic, e.g. text content only, only a minimal set of activity types
enables implementors to have a “MVP”-style interop at lowest-possible engineering effort (including the time required to read/understand the specs!)
This could be done as a “minimal profile” of a stack that contains a subset of AP [ActivityPub], AS [ActivityStreams], and Webfinger
Other profiles for specific use cases

E.g. propagation of event / calendar invites / RSVPs
Documentation and test

A test suite for the minimal profile

suitable to add to automated test suites
over time, this test suite can grow beyond the minimal profile
Documented behavior of leading ActivityPub implementations

What subset of the spec does each implement
What extensions does it implement, and which are required
Document the “folk wisdom” how to interact with a given implementation, so not every new developer has to learn everything from scratch
Get out of “trial and error mode” when attempting to interoperate with another ActivityPub implementation
A branding program for products that have passed the test suite

As an implementor, you get to put the sticker on your product.
In particular, in the places in the product where users “connect” to other servers in the Fediverse, like “Visa” is displayed at the POS terminal
I believe this will become critical if/when larger orgs with potentially different value systems connect to the Fediverse
JSON-LD conformance

Tests to make sure implementations are JSON-LD conformant
User expectations and usability across the Fediverse

A set of web “intent buttons” for Like, Follow, Post, etc that work across sites

like they exist for centralized social media
as easy to use for the user
we can argue how this can be accomplished technically. I have opinions, but for this wish list, they are immaterial, as long as I get those buttons :-)
A design for search that meets the requirements of all relevant parties and points of view

This is probably far less a technical problem than one of successful communication
Best practices for content propagation

E.g. resolve the “It has 5 likes here but 10 over there” issue and related.
Improved identity management across the Fediverse

Easy-to-use single-sign-on across servers. Use case: I use several apps for different content types (like micro blog and video). Bonus: they all post from the same identifier
Easy-to-use persona management. Use case: I have a personal and a work account, bonus if they can be on the same server
Identifiers not tied to the domain name system
Attract more participants

Get major implementors involved (e.g. Mastodon)
Make the place where technical work is done welcome and the work pleasant

Received on Wednesday, 5 April 2023 22:53:11 UTC