Adonay Felipe Nogueira is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

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

CC @Gargron

@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)

@cwebber @njoseph @aral The usual practice, even by the FSF, is to /not/ overly constrain protocol use: LGPL, BSD, MIT licences, no patent encumberances, etc.

Adonay Felipe Nogueira @adfeno

@dredmorbius @cwebber @njoseph @aral constraining protocols isn't possible using only (and every / license, 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 to be used by licensee only in that copy and adaptations, thus can be secured from EEE with a patent?

@adfeno @dredmorbius @njoseph @aral @fsf I really think patents are absolutely the wrong way to do it. BTW, the SocialWG and SocialCG both had/have policies to prevent its members from inserting submarine patents, and that's one reason we've done the process at the W3C as opposed to the IETF.

@cwebber @adfeno @dredmorbius @njoseph @aral @fsf Also remember that the W3C is the industry organisation of Google, etc. They don’t have a problem with the business model of the behemoths of the Web, all of which are their members and shape the future of the centralised web.

@aral @fsf @njoseph @dredmorbius @adfeno @cwebber

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.

@bhaugen @cwebber @adfeno @njoseph @fsf @aral Yeah. I'm not saying they're unacceptable, but pointing out the clear problems has utility.

Going it alone remains an option.

@dredmorbius @aral @fsf @njoseph @adfeno @cwebber

Pointing out the problems is necessary to define new and better.

@dredmorbius @aral @fsf @njoseph @adfeno @cwebber

> 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...

@dredmorbius @aral @fsf @njoseph @adfeno @cwebber

Shoot! I thought you were doing a situational assessment...

@bhaugen @cwebber @adfeno @njoseph @fsf @aral I know enough of the general landscape of networks, comms, (political) power, and history of the past 40 years of infotech, etc., to speak to that.

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.

@dredmorbius @aral @fsf @njoseph @adfeno @cwebber

Some of us are looking for either a new and better standards body, which seems unlikely, or who can create such a thing.

In the meantime, liking AP so far.

@adfeno @cwebber @njoseph @aral @fsf Right. More generally, some form of conformance testing and/or certification is required. Trademark or Servicemark may be used for these certs.

@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.