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.

  • @lemm1ngsOP
    13 years ago

    I like what you are saying with openid but without caching or duplication the network scales poorly and content can go missing.

    • @Ferk
      3 years ago

      Each server can cache its own requests rather than every server having to also cache requests meant for other servers. Basically it shouldn’t be any different from how normal internet browsing scales, since it’s just that (you basically browse different sites through a consistent API interface) but with some extra standards being enforced so the identity can be shared.

      Content can go missing, yes. Same as how content can go missing in the regular web. That’s a consequence of requiring less duplication. Whether that’s a problem or not might depend on each usecase. Some might actually prefer that deleted content has less of a chance to stay around or have less latency when propagating changes.

      The proposal was based on the premise that “the point” is to have “intimate communities”, “like clubs”, “allowing people to have their own rules and customization”. My point was that these aren’t necessarily things that are justifying federation. I’m actually trying to get to the bottom of what is it that actually makes federation better vs doing the same thing stablishing some standards, without federating between the servers that host the content.

      I think for a service like messaging or email where communication is less public the benefits of federation are much clearer. But for reddit-like websites I’m not so sure if the advantage is that big.

      If the purpose of going federated is to distribute the data to have redundancy then you also have protocols like I2P and DAT that a website can be built on top of and be fully distributed. But again, P2P is hard and you won’t find the same level of reliability than with a trusty http server… so if you do go that direction of wanting redundancy then I guess I can see federation as a good compromise. But for the other features, you can probably do better and get more flexibility with a modular architecture where each aspect is a separate independent and swappable module (authentication, client UI, even the search engine to discover communities could be a third party service without the need for community hosting servers to overcomplicate themselves with server-to-server communication), allowing people to host their own modules as they wish while still consuming/publishing the same content in servers that could be more lightweight than federated nodes.