Genuine inquiry . Maybe I am not experienced enough with the various federated platforms but I am an avid user of matrix, and have dabbled in lemmy. From what I have seen is federation is on the path to decentralization but not fully there. It creates fiefdom, little kingdoms . Great yes you may find one that suites you better, but users now can end up isolated to their island, switch island sure but now you are isolated for the previous island and maybe others. Its stupid. On matrix you need to know the other island(server) to even find its rooms(communities). Some rooms block users from one server while others block users of other servers. You either have to run multiple accounts or accept the limits. Add in you are at the mercy of your home server, you can lose your account have it immitated, and more. The performance is horrible not sure why, but content is slow to update and spread. Matrix has the problem because of its design most people are on the server and so the point of federation is largely lost. They are moving to p2p where it seems the solutions for federation now dont apply.

Anyway why is federation not stupid? Are these problems only with Matrix? Cause I look at lemmy and it seems far worse.

    9 months ago

    I think a lot of these criticisms are pretty fair in terms of user experience, but I’m more optimistic about federated services.

    On matrix you need to know the other server to even find its communities

    Can you think of a good alternative that doesn’t fall victim to the issues of centralization? e.g. All communities are registered with a community index – but doesn’t that community index have a responsibility to hide hateful communities?

    (I think distributed, curated community lists could work here – which could be a feature where you can see the communities / rooms / magazines another user is publically subscribed to.)

    little kingdoms

    I think this is a real concern, more than people are giving you credit. I lost my account this week – it’s unclear if the admins could have prevented this (I bet I would do a worse job!), but it’s a situation of bad stewardship / “lordship” :) There is also the issue of political defederation.

    I think the answer here is self-hosting, which I think solves all the issues you mention (let me know if I’m wrong). Self-hosting is not free in money, time, or knowledge – the PC side of me wants to say that this makes it not a viable solution for people in need. But another side of me thinks that - at some point - there is a cost to using a service that needs to be paid: either pay in self-hosting, or pay by serfdom.

    performance is horrible

    Can you be specific? I know Matrix folks are working on sliding sync to manage some big performance issues.

    I think performance will never be 1:1 to a VC-funded, centralized tech company, but I don’t think federation inevitably means “horrible” performance (but maybe someone with more technical knowledge can weigh in).

      79 months ago

      I appreciate an actual insightful answer. I feel like most people speaking for or against federated systems don’t understand what it is they’re even talking about… So an absolute breath of fresh air.

      I’d say the worst thing about the fediverse is people talking about it rabidly but stupidly. The number of posts demanding defederation between instances because of the XSS vulnerability was mind blowing. People with no clue what was going on but only one lever to pull just wanting to pull it. Crazy.