I absolutely love the explosion of tech creativity that brought onto the world.

Turns out having a single well-defined protocol with multiple implementations lets people Do Fun Things. <3

A bit over 8 years I posed a question about finding a common protocol to the Federated Social Web W3C mailing list:

The thread offers a decent snapshot of why people felt this "single protocol" approach is impossible.

Happy ActivityPub was able to prove them wrong!

@rysiek It used to be that if you wanted to bring a new service to the Internet, you published an RFC for a protocol. Now, you release a myriad of not-quite identical apps for a myriad of walled gardens. Other people's avarice ruins everything.

@mike @rysiek

Hi Mike, at #SocialHub community we try to change this and encourage anyone to join and focus on a 'stronger together' way of moving forwards.

There is a process to have Fediverse Enhancement Proposals or FEP's for common extensions, but the process is certainly not yet well-oiled.

Separate apps and projects going their own way are definitely a problem we need to overcome for a healthy #fediverse future.

While I wasn't around the fedverse/federation at that time, through the recounting of others, I can see how it's come a long way.

And while a common protocol has brought about an explosion of creativity in this space, there's still a long way to go and a lot of consensus to build.

Looking forward to see what the next 8 years brings about.

Seems this statement from one of the replies  still rings true:


Smoothing over "policy differences" is something that cannot be achieved
by mandating a protocol (unless these are part of the protocol
definition). It would require enumeration of the issues involved and a
concerted effort to come up with an acceptable policy base. Then you can
start talking about protocols.

@xavavu see, ActivityPub and the fediverse went the other way. First there was a (good) protocol, and then the policy issues started being ironed out across instances. Some wanted CWs, some wanted auto-hiding NSFW content, some decided to defederate from some others.

And that's great! That means this is a living ecosystem, that changes and improves over time, without the need of being designed perfectly from the get-go.

That's the fallacy of that statement. Policy is harder, protocol creates the space.

@rysiek Facinating read, thanks for sharing.

"Every time we get more fragmented, Mark Zuckerberg kills a puppy in delight"

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