Getting instance features merged back into the mainline


#1

I’m interested in setting up my own instance, so I’ve been poking around, looking at how other instances are set up and run. There’s a few features that I would like to use for my own instance:

  • Instance whitelisting instead of blacklisting from awoo.space
  • Invite secrets from toot.cafe

I know I could cherry-pick the relevant commits into my own local Mastodon instance. I’ve even found the features in their relevant Github repositories (Whitelisting and Invite Secrets in case anyone is interested).

I’m curious as to why these features weren’t submitted back upstream. What would it take to get these changes merged back into the mainline tootsuite/mastodon repo so that they can be better supported by the community?


#2

that’s a great question! maybe @Gargron can answer!


#3

I believe I can answer some of these questions.

Whitelisting, from the awoo.space was one of the features which caused a fork in the first place.
As the wish is to make de-centralization easy, having whitelist instead of blacklist as a main feature would defeat that purpose. But I see now that it is mainly a setting, and a choice which an admin could make. May be worth revisiting if it could be merged into mainline.

As for Invite-secrets, I don’t know. Maybe ask @nolan if he knows.
I do know that there’s been some ideas floating around for making invite-only an easy feature, and I did have it in mind for Admin Love, but I do not know where it is at right now.


#4

Thanks for the reply @maloki! That was really helpful. I understand why you wouldn’t want whitelisting on by default, but making it a toggle would be very convenient for instances that would want to start out more defensive.

And if there’s thoughts about making invites easier 1.5, I’m excited to see what comes out of that. Thanks so much for all your hard work!


#5

Also, would it make sense for me to make Github issues for these features so that they’re easier to track? I glanced through them earlier and didn’t see copies of them.


#6

It would make sense yes.
I do not know what Gargron has to say in regards to these two though. But it is worth having them up there.


#7

(Sorry for the late reply.) Our invite secrets implementation on toot.cafe is a bit hacky (and it also has some small bugs), which is why I didn’t propose it to the main repo. Also what we really want is the ability for users to invite other users, and the password system was just the easiest way to do that.

For instance whitelisting, yes I would love to see that in the main repo, or at the very least have it easily-available to merge into an instance.

Maybe there can be a community solution to this? E.g. we can fork the Mastodon repo and create a README describing some of the interesting branches, with links to those branches so that admins can easily merge them in if they want. No need to have anything and everything in the main repo.

Think of it as a “Mastodon add-ons page for instance owners.” :smile: