In theory, #FLOSS is very much into the idea of open standards and interoperability. Looking at all the recent developments in this field, we also need to make sure we don't fall for the usual standardization trap: https://xkcd.com/927/
Just looking at #Matrix vs. #XMPP and #ActivityPub vs. #Diaspora federation. And a few others. At the *very* least, compatibility layers or interfaces always should be baked-in as first class citizens...
@z428 And though I agree a standards-creep may seem terrible, as long as there is possibility for interoperability I prefer the technology to be standardised, no matter how many you will give me.
@uniporn Generally: Of course, I'd also like to see technology standardized. But in most situations, I'm still looking at it from a user point of view (which is what I do have, most of the time): We're trying people to stay away from services like WhatsApp because we "don't want silos" - just to offer them (in example) #XMPP and #Matrix which are, in terms of interoperability, "flaky" and difficult to say the very least. 😉
@z428 You seem to be right there. So I think I will stay on that topic and focus on learning about the various standards and will try to come up with some way of fixing this issue.
@uniporn Oh well I guess I am by no means "right" on that. Just few opinions I gained after looking at things for like the last two decades. Some things seem to repeat again and again... 😐
@z428 One major thing I remember is the fact that the amount of coding people has doubled every 5 or 2 years, if I recall correct, which leads to the situation that at any given point in time half the IT has less than that experience. Therefor there are to few seeing the mistakes being redone.
@z428 One thing I frequently see forgotten on the Fediverse is that webfeeds exists, it's trivial to implement and consume (though not as much as it could be, can't everyone switch to Atom feeds please?), it's more than enough for many projects, and compatibility layers are built in across the fediverse.
If it's all you need you should you use it.
@z428 xmpp is a great standard imo and doesn't get the amount of praise it deserves.
BTW, XKCD #927 got pulled out a *lot* during the activitypub standardization process, including by people in the SocialWG. Hard to know when the right time introducing a new standard is appropriate... I think given the fractured state of the federated social web we did the right thing re: ActivityPub though
@cwebber @strypey I agree with everything you wrote. Yes, I also see XKCD 927 appear frequently and a bit over-simplified from a technical point of view. My point, however, is: *This* might be exactly how these standardization events these days look from an outside point of view. And I'm worried about that, mostly because, for the last two decades, "we" (as a #FLOSS community) never missed a chance to claim that "open standards" are beneficial for people to free themselves from the ...
@cwebber @strypey ... shackles of proprietary data silos, to achieve sustainability and interoperability. Reality, I'm afraid, does look a bit different right now. Which isn't good. Most of these issues seem indeed of political rather than technical nature, but it generally does shed no really good light on all these standardization efforts if, apparently, it's easier and more efficient to gather a critical mass of people behind a "new" standardization approach rather than changing ...
@cwebber @strypey ... and updating an existing standard. Not really sure what to do about that, though, also because I am not completely sure what causes these problems. For #XMPP (which I've been involved with ever since the late 1990s), I have a clear idea: There seems to be quite a critical mass of people who are ready and willing to defend "their" idea of the standard against virtually each and every feature or enhancement request *they* don't see as necessary, including end user ...
@cwebber @strypey ... requirements (such as discoverability of contacts vs. federation/privacy, or providing a reasonable up-to-date common client/server feature baseline vs. offering a *very* bare-bone protocol that is "extensible to serve every purpuse you can imagine"). Not even talking about #XMPP PubSub (which I always loved but which has been ditched as "unneccessary bloat" by some XMPP client guys I know personally - which could have built a reasonable "social network" even before ...
@cwebber @strypey ... Twitter or Facebook were a thing. Same for WhatsApp: They initially took the #XMPP standard but had their product idea and its requirements as priority in mind, doing things some of the XMPP crowd surely wouldn't have liked. Guess who won this race. 😐 From that point of view, I still hope that the #FLOSS and #OpenStandards community at some point will realize that maybe we have to change and focus in order to *really* come up to that promise of making open standards ...
@z428 I love #XKCD 927, but it vastly over-simplifies that protocols are intensely *political*. You could say that parliaments and elections are protocols for interoperability between political parties. In both cases, the ways the protocols are written can be heavily biases towards one party or another, and this is one reason why standards processes are so fraught, and standards proliferation happens.
@z428 the Matrix folks started off trying to implement XMPP, and they also experimented with IRC, and came to the conclusion that it was worth defining a new standard, so they could use modern, web native tools (eg JSON instead of XML?):
@z428 AP vs. Diaspora is more an accident of history. Diaspora forked the OStatus standard to add things like private messages, which AP supports. All the apps that support Diaspora federation are also implementing AP. Once that happens, and Diaspora s the only app that can't communicate with the #fediverse, I suspect they'll come around ;-) Or they'll be the tech equivalent of a Marxist party agitating inside a liberal democracy where all the other parties use the election protocol ;-)
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