FBXL Social

If you've been waiting for Bluesky to ship federation to check it out, it's now live.


It's actually a better federation implementation than Mastodon in at least a couple ways:

1. you can see the whole network even if you are on a single-user instance, so no missing replies!

2. you can actually seamlessly move your account keeping your name and posts!!

Also, custom algorithms are great, and what I had hoped Mastodon would be.

I'm at https://bsky.app/profile/filippo.abyssdomain.expert 🦋

It's kinda sad when a better technical solution doesn't overcome preconceptions and assumptions.

You're much more in control of your data on AT than in ActivityPub, but people think the latter is more federated.

For example, if the previous instance operator doesn't let you, you can't move your Mastodon account to another instance!

Just like the Go module ecosystem is basically the only (major) decentralized one, but people think of it as Google controlled because of the Modules Mirror.

@filippo I think it remains to be seen just how much success people will have moving their data off an uncooperative PDS. As far as I know, the official answer to that is you can restore from a backup.

@tedu It's hard to make the experience smoother than that, right? Also moving your website or newsletter to a new provider requires having a backup to restore.

@filippo sure, but you can do that here too. Take a dump of your mastodon data, run honk import, you're up and running. Possible for several years now.

I don't think bluesky is a bad design, but I think the devs do a lot of sleight of hand comparing AT to AP wherein they claim something isn't possible, but they've solved it, but truth is it's basically identical. They mix and match AP behaviors and mastodon quirks.

For whatever path dependent reason, the mastodon network settled on sharing domain names, but this very easily could have been vhosting with full migration potential. That can still work. It is not a intractable difference between AT and AP. Etc.

(Sorry if you didn't want to get into it. You seemed interested.)

@tedu @filippo "basically identical" does some very heavy lifting here.

Posts in AP are not content-addressed, so importing a dump of your mastodon data creates a parallel set of posts, and every single previous link to your posts breaks. If you want to preserve those links (as is currently how the account migration process implemented in Mastodon works), you have to leave those posts behind, entirely under the control of the server you are trying to leave.

@str4d @filippo aye, you do need to own the link. I think it's unfortunate that so many people choose not to, but it is a choice.


> run honk import, you're up and running

You mean if you own the domain name, right?

That's fair, account portability is less about AT vs AP, and more about Bluesky vs Mastodon, but I think differences in predominant impl also matter.

Whether you get to see the whole network though is pretty core to the protocol. I suppose AP relays could be more of a thing? I did toy with the idea of making a relay that consumes the public feed of large instances.

(Nono, I'm enjoying this chat!)

@filippo yeah, people here are super fearful of the all seeing eye hoovering up their posts, so there's no one super relay. But smaller relays are quite successful I think. Just today some people were talking about a relay for all the instances in Pennsylvania. This is exactly the curated discovery that's supposedly impossible here.

You will get no argument from me that predominant implementation matters a lot, and I think mastodon has shown no interest in addressing some problems, but as someone who would like to see things fixed, I care that people know where the problems lie.

How is it a choice?

@Hyolobrika when you sign up for someone else's server, you're choosing to cede your links to them. I didn't want mastodon.social to own my posts, so I chose not to create an account there. I'm not sure people are particularly well informed about making this choice, and indeed one of the big complaints about mastodon is the whole choosing a server aspect, but it's not like twitter or any other site where you have no choice.

@tedu @filippo

Hi Tedu, i'd like to know more about this importing feature of honk.
As far as i know just another project tried to import mastodon old posts, without backdating.

Can i run an honk instance just for the sake of importing/searching old personal posts from previous mastodon instances i was in ? Would links and reference to people still work if i decide to reboost one ?

(starting to think about my twitter archives also)


@luca the posts are backdated, but will appear as new if another instance discovers them (you boost them, etc.). It's basically like you've always been here, but nobody noticed until now. If you want to try it, I'd recommend a test subdomain first to see the results.

(If you have the same domain, it actually is possible to keep the url structure, but it's complicated.)

But compared to ATProto, you have less of a choice because switching is less seemless. As was @str4d's point.
It's all relative.