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I've been hearing a lot of (mostly negative) rumblings about #BlueSky and I've been trying to find out what all the noise is about.

What I'm struggling to understand is why they felt the need to reinvent the wheel by creating the #AT protocol. What does it supposedly do that #ActivityPub does not?

I don't really see a way to see this as anything other than an attempt to be deliberately incompatible for some reason.

Most of what I've been able to find online is either from tech media which glosses over all the relevant technical details, or from BlueSky's official statements which don't seem to answer it either.

I'm waiting to see factual comparisons instead of "OMG CORPORATIONS" responses. The ActivityPub protocol is poorly specified and the moderation protocol is server-based and poorly implemented. We'll see how bluesky compares, but given the very slow progress of activitypub, I'm not holding my breath.

> I'm waiting to see factual comparisons instead of "OMG CORPORATIONS" responses

Agreed.

> The ActivityPub protocol is poorly specified

Can you explain what you mean by this?

> the moderation protocol is server-based

Unless I misunderstand what you mean here, this is a feature, not a bug.

@me

This entry was edited (10 months ago)

@strypey I abandoned writing an ActivityPub client when I realized that the the Activity vocabulary was so poorly defined. https://www.w3.org/TR/activitystreams-vocabulary/#dfn-article Things like "Article", "Note", "Document", "Page", and "Event" are not well thought out, and can be misinterpreted by another server who is unable to display it. Moreover, there are a lot of security problems in rich content that cause servers to remove things like

  • in content, resulting in unfaithful display for readers.

@tragiccommons
> I abandoned writing an ActivityPub client when I realized that the the Activity vocabulary was so poorly defined

Sounds like your perspective is similar to this?

https://overengineer.dev/blog/2019/01/13/activitypub-final-thoughts-one-year-later.html

My understanding is that improvements to the AP and AS specs are under discussion, and as with any open standard, detailed feedback is welcome. This is one place to find out more:

https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks/c/activitypub/5

@me

@strypey Yup, Dennis nails it on the head on both the lack of interoperability and the dominance of ideology rather than functionality.

I joined socialhub a while ago and I've found it pretty useless in addressing these issues. It's probably symptomatic that it still has a link to APConf2020 in the header. I thought about putting some effort into ActivityPub but found the whole environment ambivalent or even hostile to progress on these issues.

I see #ActivityPub and #bluesky and #nostr and others going the way of messaging - with very minimal interoperability. Sort of like email without MIME or even SMTP. As such I expect them to have limited impact in the next couple of years.

On top of all this, there is shockingly little attention paid to user experience. That stems in part from the ideology. That's the core reason why few of my friends have joined ActivityPub, and why I decided to devote my attention elsewhere. I prefer writing code that meets the needs of humans.

@tragiccommons
> Dennis nails it on the head on both the lack of interoperability

Ironic that Diaspora is the only fediverse app that doesn't federate with anything but itself. Except for a couple of AP apps, whose devs reverse-engineered its bespoke and barely-documented variant of OStatus.

> the dominance of ideology rather than functionality

... is precisely why Diaspora, despite once being a pioneer in the space, has been eclipsed in both adoption and functionality by AP apps.

@me

@tragiccommons
> I joined socialhub a while ago and I've found it pretty useless in addressing these issues. It's probably symptomatic that it still has a link to APConf2020 in the header

Well, some of us have been a bit preoccupied since then. There was this global disease outbreak you might have seen in the news? SH has been a bit of a ghost town since that conference, but it's starting to get active again.

@me

@tragiccommons
> I see #ActivityPub and #bluesky and #nostr and others going the way of messaging - with very minimal interoperability

Where Dennis goes wrong IMHO is seeing this as a bad thing. For him, interop is a binary; two apps are either 100% feature-compatible, or interop is pointless. Yet whenever a newbie from Titter learns they can follow a PeerTube channel from their Mastodon account, or follow a WriteFreely blog, or RSVP to a Mobilizon event, they get really excited.

@me

@tragiccommons
> there is shockingly little attention paid to user experience

Let's be fair, poor UX is a perennial problem in Free Software UI. It's hardly unique to the fediverse. Some AP apps do a better job of UI than others, but it's fair to say there's plenty of work to be done across the full offering. Some of that work needs to be done at the protocol level, which is why the FEP process is being developed :

https://codeberg.org/fediverse/fep

@me

@krysanify It's not β€œtrue" as of now. Federation and hosting your own server are being worked on. I do wish they finalized these before inviting people to a single instance but the hype is working for them, which is also important.

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