It's remarkable to me that after years of research into graph-databases and specialized data structures (to model social relationships), Mastodon has succeeded with, uhh, Rails on top of Postgres. I love it.
@ashfurrow If humans can be sociable even within the confines of silos like the Book of Face, it makes sense that something with less friction will also work
@artsyhonker "Book of Face" now that's something straight out of Doctor Who 🤔
@ashfurrow Have you tried using it lately? It's slow and inconsistent, and impossible to find anything, and that's before the privacy concerns.
@artsyhonker I've only been on it to talk with my family, and avoid it otherwise.
@ashfurrow I use it rather grudgingly because as a self-employed composer with a pretty small niche that doesn't contain large numbers of technical users, I have to go where people can find me. It's... pretty unpleasant.
@ashfurrow (at least, for those of us willing to try it)
@ashfurrow in my opinion it succeed because of what Mastodon is and how it works not so much because of how the data is store and query. If we leave everything about Mastodon the same but swap postgrees with a graph data Mastodon would still be same. The invers is not true.
@gozes yes, that's exactly my point. But if we look to social media companies, they seem to think their problems are all technology-based instead of inherent in their product goals.
@ashfurrow agree. Sometimes I think it's because the top management is incapable of taking a hard look at what they are building and accept that they are gone of the path and work to fix that. Instead they look at what tech they can trow there money at that will automagiclly fix there problem
I think the simple data model makes it easier to understand hence more user friendly. I hate programs deciding for me what I think is important.
I love that Mastodon is simple and predictable. Once you learn it you know what it's going to do.
The more things change, the more they stay the same!
@ashfurrow when I look at mastodon as a blackbox, I see that what works is the data model. there are users and who they follow, it must mainly be a 2-level subscription mechanism. So it does not need the advantages a graph DB offers with deep relations, because the limit is preset at 2 levels. If it were to offer you liked this guy maybe you will also like that gal kind of suggestions, doing that and similar in postgress without a preset limit would be more taxing.
@Otuk sure, so let’s examine that a bit. My toot was that Mastodon was “successful” using only Postgres – so the user suggestion feature you mention sort of begs the question of “does a social network need that to be successful”, and the answer is apparently not.
It’s a super-interesting idea. I think that the use of traditional database/structures kind of reveals that traditional social networks (twitter circa 2010) are sufficient.
(I just woke up, hope that all makes sense!)
@ashfurrow How does it scale? I mean, all the media files and those messages :O
@arda it scales through federation – many instances scaling independently
@ashfurrow The federation approach also nicely circumvents some scaling challenges 😊
@kiview while also introducing others – more social ones. “How do you get a fediverse to update to the latest versions quickly”, for example.
@ashfurrow True and keeping downward compatibility in mind I assume.
@kiview right – all that stuff, and more. I think the fediverse’s biggest strengths (distribution of responsibility, purpose-built instances, many people working together) will also raise new challenges that existing social networks like Twitter never had to deal with. That’s gonna be a problem because, while Mastodon can rely on OSS technology built by those companies, it can’t rely on their solutions to these social problems.
@ashfurrow Regarding Mastodon I'm always reminded about diaspora*, with a very similar approach, but never getting enough traction to be relevant (at least from my short encounter with it). I think the Internet (and society) needs free and open alternatives for social networks, if these will be Mastodon or diaspora*, I'm not sure yet... A walled garden is too comfortable for the normal user I fear.
@kiview yeah, we will find out! The benefit of using open protocols is that we can build momentum. When whatever replaces Mastodon get built, it won’t start from scratch; it’ll start from where Mastodon left off.
Case in point: d* is a part of the fediverse, this instance federated with some d* users. Mastodon didn’t start from scratch, it picked up where d* left off ☺️
@ashfurrow Wow crazy, I didn't knew about this relation. Somewhere good to read up on this relationship?
@kiview I don’t know any resources unfortunately – it’s all built atop OStatus and ActivityPub, which would be good search terms 👍
@kiview let me know if you find anything!
@kiview which only reinforces, to me, the need to emphasize the humanity of everyone here. We need to remember that we are all people, doing our best, and that we can build something together that is far better than anything we could build by ourselves.
@ashfurrow true and still this is a super big challenge for most OSS projects as well (regarding interactions on GitHub). I see a general lack of empathy of users towards the software authors, which at one points also poisons the relationships of the authors towards the users and the community.
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