Federation with IndieWeb

There has been only a small amount of talk about this previously, but I wanted to bring up discussion of Federation with IndieWeb. This includes all the installs of Known, Micro.blog, and a number of other smaller sites (some 2300). There are several pieces to this.

Currently (as far as i can tell), the minimum requirements for following people are listed here What is necessary for Mastodon to be able to fetch my profile and a list of posts from my blog? · Issue #1441 · tootsuite/mastodon · GitHub
I think it would be useful to allow multiple options for these. h-feeds are pretty well established across all the independent social media sites, so it would be great to be able to use this instead of atom/activitystreams.

Instead of webfinger depend only on existence of an h-card on the url provided. This part would take some working out to figure out how to properly reference the user. My personal preference would be to allow a blank username, so @ben.thatmustbe.me for example, or @@ben.thatmustbe.me.

Require either a salmon endpoint or a webmention endpoint. Webmention is much simpler of a spec and so it has a significant preference for many of the developers.

Along with the last item, we would want to actually send and receive webmentions to actually reply to others and get replies back.

Thoughts on this? How can we take it in smaller steps?

(originally posted at http://btmb.me/s/Kn)

In the long run, Mastodon is pretty committed to adopting ActivityPub, as I understand the development priorities. It’s been pretty complicated, and I don’t think anyone on the dev team has a lot of stomach for trying to maintain a bunch of different protocols—it’s not an application that’s designed to be implemented in a protocol agnostic way, which is both useful for development and user expectations, but does make supporting multiple protocols pretty hard. Once we have AP support solidly landed and working that might change, but at this point that’s pretty far off.

I can’t find the minutes right now, but we talked about IndieWeb/AP compatibility at last week’s SocialCG meeting—do you think that’s a good path to pursue as far as indieweb and mastodon compatibility goes?

I don’t think its an either or kind of situation. Committed to adopting ActivityPub is great, but there are pretty easy, minor building blocks that could be added in the interim that would take very little in terms of additional coding.

Webmention sending comes to mind as a very easy one on the list. Receiving could certainly be a bit more complex, but that would certainly be a big first step since Mastodon already publishes mf2 (like most of the independent social media does).