Lemmy Federation Alpha Version

We are happy to announce that we have finished the initial version of our ActivityPub implementation. At the moment, it can only federate a limited set of data, like communities, users and posts, but not comments or votes. So this initial version is mainly interesting for those who are familiar with the ActivityPub protocol, and those who would like to contribute to Lemmy.

These are our test instances, Be aware that they are not permanent, and we might wipe the data at any time. Federation uses a whitelist for now, until we are confident that the implementation is secure.

If you are interested in contributing to the development, check out this issue and the dev instructions. Please use the issue tracker to report bugs, so that we can keep everything organized.

We also want to give a huge thanks to Aode, whose ActivityStreams library and advice have helped us immensely.

If you like what we are doing, please consider donating towards Lemmy development. Besides Liberapay and Patreon, we are also on OpenCollective now. Donations are a big help for us, because they allow us to spend more time to work on Lemmy, instead of selling our labour to a company just to pay for rent and other necessities.

Edit: federation instructions / docs here.

Dessalines
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admin
creator
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101Y

Edit: We have working posts, comments, votes, and deletes federating now :thumbs up:

@cheese
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51Y

So, what is this place? I just found it from a reddit link that showed up in my feed. It seems like a nice place so far, but I have no idea what the “fedeverse” all about, or how stuff is “federated”. I might not be posting this in the right place, but I’m still trying to get to grips with this place.

@ajz
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81Y

Here is a nice map of the Fediverse : https://fediverse.party/

@cheese
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11Y

Cool, thanks! I didn’t realise there were that many websites lol

@AgreeableLandscape
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6
edit-2
1Y

The fediverse is a decentralized social network comprised of independent servers (called instances) that can talk to each other. When you’re registered on one fediverse site, you can see and interact with users and content on many other fediverse sites, depending who your instance connects to and who is blocked, also what other platforms the service you’re using is intercompatible with (think the differences between Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, all of which have “clone” platforms on the fediverse that you can just download the source code for and host on your own server). Each instance can focus on a specific niche or topic, or they can be general purpose, and all of them can make their own rules (though the toxic or offensive ones tend to be blocked by many or maybe even most other nodes in the network). The main problem the fediverse tries to solve is problem of a single point of control. For example, Reddit’s administrators have absolute control over the site, which means they can do anything they want on it, often with the main intent being profit. The Fediverse aims to spread that control over many people by allowing independently controlled servers to communicate with each other, so if instance’s administrators does something atrocious, people can simply move away from that instance and even block it from communicating with their own instances. Is it perfect? No. Does it still have a lot of problems? Yes. But in my opinion, it’s better than traditional social media platforms where a single for-profit company controls everything.

Lemmy isn’t a fediverse platform yet, but federation is being actively developed. It’s designed to be a Reddit-style forum with nested comments and independent communities. You can basically think of it as a Reddit clone that plans on becoming decentralized. Such a platform is currently missing from the fediverse, which is why Lemmy exists.

@cheese
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41Y

Ah, I really like that idea. I get so annoyed when Reddit admins do what they want, even when the userbase itself has said multiple times they don’t want that, just for the sake of profit. Spreading it all out for more people to run it seems like a much better idea, so, like you said, if something bad happens, we could just leave it and move on. Thanks for all the help!

Dessalines
mod
admin
creator
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41Y

We’re still working on federation, but just think of it as a reddit alternative for now. Fediverse explainer.

@AgreeableLandscape
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5
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1Y

It’s been a long road

Getting from there to here

It’s been a long time

But the fediverse is finally near

Good job, devs!

@ajz
mod
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51Y

clap, clap, clap ! great news, thank you !

@qarmah
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31Y

so if i create communities there is a possibility of it getting wiped?

Dessalines
mod
admin
creator
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31Y

On the federation test instances, yes. Not here tho.

@oriond
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41Y

Congratulations!!!

@Cream
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21Y

Thanks for all the hard work you put in.

Does it mean that, if I’m on Mastodan, I’ll get Lemmy posts in my feed?

Dessalines
mod
admin
creator
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41Y

No probs :smiling face:

Currently no, because lemmy is focused on following federated communities (like reddit), whereas mastodon is about following federated users (like twitter).

Eventually we will probably add user following, but first we’re going to lemmy fully federating with other lemmy instances.

@fruechtchen
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31Y

As far as i understand: no. lemmy uses a whitelist, and only the above mentioned lemmy instances federate with each other.

Also, i think the first step is that instances can federate with themselves. To enable mastodon/pleroma/friendica users to comment on lemmy posts, this requires another level of integration, which is still a bit far away.

Also, currently, there is no implementation of federation of communities to hashtags, i think. Because in the general fediverse, there exists no equivalent to community, hashtags being the most interesting thing to bridge to imho.

@nutomic
admin
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21Y

Here you can see a federated post:

https://ds9.lemmy.ml/post/1

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
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1
edit-2
1Y

I made a post on enterprise but can’t seem to see it on ds9 or voyager. Is there a problem with the federation process or am I doing it wrong?

@nutomic
admin
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31Y

Posts only get federated if someone is subscribed to the community where they were made. You can force fetch a post, community or user by entering its url in the search on another instance. I did that and now the post is visible on all instances.

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
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21Y

Is there a reason for not federating posts made before the user subscribes?

@nutomic
admin
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21Y

Well that would mean fetching all the posts, comments, users and communities from all instances we know about, and thats a lot of data. Chances are that the local users dont even care about that, and if they do, they can always trigger a manual fetch.

Mastodon works in the same way. One problem is that small instances dont see much content, but that can be solved with relays.

@iesha_256
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11Y

How can I test this, I’m not able to post on the test instances.

Dessalines
mod
admin
creator
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21Y

I just created a user and posted on one of em, it should be working okay.

@nutomic
admin
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11Y

You have to register a new account, did you do that?

@iesha_256
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21Y

Will you be able to post cross-instance later?

@nutomic
admin
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11Y

Yes.

Serge Tarkovski
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11Y

It says registration is closed. Tried on the first two of the list.

@nutomic
admin
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21Y

When did you try it? We forgot to open registrations when we posted the announcement, but now all of them have registrations open.

Serge Tarkovski
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21Y

Maybe right immediately after the announcement, let me try again.

Serge Tarkovski
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11Y

Works now. Seems I can’t subscribe to a federated community, only to a local one. How can I explore communities of a remote server? Or can I at least subscribe using a direct community address, such as enterprise.lemmy.ml/news?

@nutomic
admin
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2
edit-2
1Y

You can subscribe, but its not handled by the UI yet. So you dont know if you are subscribed or not without checking the logs or db.

You can trigger a fetch for remote content by entering the url in the search. This also needs to be made more obvious.

This is why its an alpha ;)

@developred
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8M

deleted by creator

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