Mastodon

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Mastodon is an open source implementation of a federated social network with several running instances that is compatible with GNU social.

Features

(this section is a stub, please expand!)

Feature summary:

Specific feature details:

Profile

(stub)

Mastodon profiles show various information:

31188527-0f1a014a-a8ea-11e7-8893-0cc97c68526e.png

Mastodon’s h-feed support is better than their Atom support!

E.g. screenshot when trying to follow:

mastodon-follow-url.jpg

And display of an item from a Mastodon h-feed:

mastodon-post-in-monocle.jpg


Notifications

(stub)

Mastodon has a notifications page that shows various items such as when others react to your posts:

31188595-47530aca-a8ea-11e7-9a34-498935f47cb0.png

IndieWeb Examples

IndieWeb sites using Mastodon and/or interacting with Mastodon posts on other servers!

(stub section - please add === Yourself === with permalinks to different/interesting examples and dates of when first started interacting in those ways!)

Aaron Parecki

Aaron Parecki added initial support for ActivityPub around 2018-07-04 in order to be able to receive likes and comments, and reply to Mastodon users.

As of 2018-07-23, Aaron Parecki has about 64 followers from various ActivityPub profiles, and has a few posts that have received a mix of replies from Mastodon and other ActivityPub users.

IndieWeb Support

Building Blocks

IndieWeb Building Blocks that Mastodon supports:

To Be Proposed

These are ideas/suggestions for Mastodon to support more indieweb building blocks. Feel free to file them in https://github.com/Gargron/mastodon/issues and then move them (and their issue link) to the Requests section below.

  • WebSub support. Given Mastodon's h-feed support, WebSub support would be great for realtime notifications of updates from Mastodon profiles.
  • ...

Requests

  • ...

Rejected

Please consider rejections as opportunities to listen for feedback on how to improve indieweb building blocks, and always respond politely. It's a good thing when people spend their own time to analyze these requests and provide their reasons for rejection.

  • 2018-04-03: Webmention sending support was surveyed (most were for it), but rejected (2018-04-03) for a set of privacy concerns that are worth addressing or at least having answers for. E.g. "It's a privacy violation that people aren't expecting", is no more true for sending Webmentions than sending referrer headers, or allowing search engine indexing — all of which could be gated on the same site/user preference.
  • 2017-04-21: Subscribe to Atom feeds directly [1]
    • Update: "I do not plan on supporting Atom feeds that don't have Webfinger and Salmon (i.e. non-interactive, non-user feeds)"
  • ...

If you want to re-request a rejected feature, please at a minimum:

  • document the list of specific reasons for rejection of a feature
  • somehow fix or address (via documentation etc.) the reasons for rejection, i.e. here on the wiki, or by updating the spec for the rejected feature.
  • wait some amount of time before re-requesting. case-by-case judgment call. i.e. if you're able to quickly address all the problems noted, follow-up with a thank you for the feedback and link to where you have addressed the problems. otherwise consider waiting at least a few months, perhaps even a year before re-requesting. In either case, make it very clear what changes have occurred that make the feature request worthy of reconsideration.

Issues

Current

See Mastodon Github Issues:

Resolved

Resolved or apparently resolved past issues.

One Primary Instance

Resolution: Apparently resolved as there is a growing number of Mastodon instances (and the "primary" instances is now closed to new signups). See:

Issue:

One danger, that projects like Mastodon face, is when they are used as a service by more than one user, any downtime will affect multiple users. For instance, on the morning of Nov 11, 2016 the mastodon.social instance was down briefly and displayed a generic server error.

In this regard, promoting "mastodon.social" the site in particular as an alternative to Twitter (e.g. see tweets encouraging "join me on mastodon.social") merely encourage users to go from one silo, to a perhaps more open source-based and more open standards supporting silo, yet still dependent on another central org.

As a contrast, if each user were to run their own Mastodon instance, one instance going down would not affect multiple users in this fashion. Second best would be if users who choose not to run on their own servers were instead encouraged get together with someone that does, which again, would limit the exposure of when one instance goes down. But when such users all join a single server (e.g. the mastodon.social site itself) or any platform with similar architecture, they will suffer from this single point of failure in design.

Update (and one way to resolve this!) As of 2017-04-04 (or earlier?) mastodon.social is no longer accepting sign-ups and directing people to sign-up elsewhere: https://mastodon.social/about

"Due to exceptionally high traffic, registrations on this instance are closed until quality of service can be assured for existing users. Choose one of the various other public instances to sign up!"

POSSE

Federating Directly with Mastodon

Some in the IndieWeb community are working on bridging the gap between the Fediverse and the IndieWeb efforts, some of these include Advanced plugins/extensions/software which shouldn't require a Mastodon account on an instance as they make your site behave like a standalone instance of Mastodon:

  • Ryan Barrett has released Bridgy Fed which allows one to let their own website federate directly into Mastodon and other networks in various ways. Released in October 2017, it's still under development.
  •  Matthias Pfefferle has a WordPress OStatus plugin which supports a variety of post kinds on Mastodon; it includes a handful of sub-plugins (Webfinger, Salmon, Activity Streams, etc.) to get everything working. Some of the pieces are out of date in October 2017, but are being upgraded over time.
  • Aaron Parecki implemented the bare minimum of the ActivityPub spec to be able to comment on Mastodon posts and receive comments, as well as to be able to be followed by Mastodon users. To follow Mastodon users, he follows their profile pages which contain Microformats markup. To receive comments, incoming "Inbox" notifications are discarded and are forwarded on via Webmention instead, which works since Mastodon permalinks contain good Microformats for parsing the reply.

Tools

Downtime

On 2016-05-02 at 7:05 am IST. D180CDI.png

Articles

See Also