The greatest challenge for Mastodon now that it’s getting mainstream attention is to figure out how to resist “embrace and privatise”.
Tomorrow Google announces Gastodon. What do you do to stop it becoming Gmail?
1. Push for instances of one
2. In order to make instances of one viable, simplify the complexity of the app itself: the lighter it is, the less dependencies, the easier it is to host. Installation should be no more difficult than sudo apt install mastodon
@aral The software called Mastodon is protected from EEE (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) abuse by the AGPLv3 license. Any changes made to Mastodon must follow the same license and must be made public.
ActivityPub OTOH, is susceptible to the EEE strategy. First some MegaCorpX will make an ActivityPub-based social network and gather a lot of users. Then they will add more features than there are in the spec. The third step is to stop federating with other ActivityPub instances.
e.g. Slack vs. IRC
@njoseph @aral I agree it's a risk. You can't really copyleft on a protocol level though (well you can the text, but that doesn't affect implementations) and it's the protocol level where EEE happens. Not sure what can be done about it but be vigilant from past lessons (Slack as you said, GMail, also GChat vs XMPP, etc)
@dredmorbius @cwebber @njoseph @aral constraining protocols isn't possible using only #copyright (and every #free / #libre license, #copyleft or not, from @fsf or not, is based on copyright law to some extent). Fortunately, for example, in AGPL-3.0-or-later, it has provisions to allow software #patents to be used by licensee only in that copy and adaptations, thus #ActivityPub can be secured from EEE with a patent?
We do need a new and better standards organization, but I think we also need standards, so I'm ok with ActivityPub using W3C for now.
Who's capable of setting up a new and better standards org? Is anybody working on it? I've worked with several, and e.g. ISO is not it and apparently IETF ain't either.
> Going it alone remains an option
Do you think the ecosystem that is now developing around ActivityPub is a negative?
I understand that it will make it a more tempting target for profiteers, but anything that gets any traction is too.
We can always retreat to Scuttlebutt...
Ihaven't specifically been following the ActivityPub situation closely enoughto address its status or who should be the governing standards body.
I'm actively exploring issues of protocols, development, adoption, etc.
Just to be clear of my self-assessed strengths & weaknesses.
@adfeno @dredmorbius @cwebber @njoseph @aral @fsf Patents are just leg irons for our society. They give power to the powerful. They provide a legal way to crunch start-ups before they get dangerous to the monopolies. (FYI: I hate patents 😬 )
Luckily it's too late to file a patent for#ActivityPub. You can't file a patent for something that is already published.