Quiet is a luxury.
Started to help the kid with math homework tonight and realized I completely forgot how to do long division. 😳
Threw together a comparison of the four decentralized social protocols I know best: IndieWeb, ActivityPub, ATProto, Nostr. Obviously oversimplified, hopefully still useful! Preview below, click through for full table with links.
I tried to focus on how these protocols are currently deployed and used in the real world. For example, identity in ActivityPub is technically URL-based, but in practice the fediverse uses WebFinger
user@domain identifiers more or less universally, so the table reflects that.
Feedback is welcome!
What are the origins of social networking?
(I’m hoping not to rathole into definitions here, but for the sake of argument, let’s say social networking is somewhere between private conversations and one to many, institutional broadcast. It’s many to many, it includes relationships in some form, it’s asynchronous or has some persistence over time, and it’s public or at least broader than purely private closed groups.)
Hit a big milestone in AT Protocol development today: my PDS implementation arroba is successfully federating with the sandbox! That means its repo, MST, commit chain, sync protocol, and more are all working and interoperating. Took lots of work to get here, feels good to have it all come together.
Lots more to do before I have a fully working bridge to other protocols, mostly the corresponding client side: creating and resolving DIDs, creating and fetching records, querying Bluesky API for app-specific logic (likes, reposts, etc)…but still, glad to be this far.
Having spent a fair amount of time developing for all of them, my experience has been that most proprietary social network (“silo”) APIs are on the easy/low effort end of the spectrum, followed closely by the Bluesky API, webmention + microformats2, and Nostr, then a big jump up to ActivityPub at above average, then AT Protocol at the high end.
They all differ in many important ways beyond development effort, of course. Personally, I’m most excited about webmention + mf2, ATProto, and then ActivityPub, for all the obvious reasons. Still though.
(If not for all the NIPs, Nostr would be the easiest of all. Developing for Nostr is pretty simple, but the NIPs are so loose and terse and spread out that ramping up on them and grokking how they all fit together can feel chaotic, at least at first.)
8 yr old just now: “I washed my face and hair! Know why? It gives me fresh minds, fresh looks, and fresh ideas!”
I’m no music critic, but I think Imogen Heap‘s Hide and Seek may be one of the best popular music songs of all time. Right up there with American Pie, Hallelujah, Thriller, etc. Definitely the vocorder’s pièce de résistance, I don’t know if anyone else has taken that instrument quite so seriously before, or since.