FWIW the thread turns up on frontpage of lemmy.ml too. That is where I am and where I saw it.
I’m actually (probably stupid but) curious on what dictates something floating to the top. It doesn’t appear to be votes…? So what is it? Right now there are things with 5 votes above things with 25 and 40 votes. Why? Is there a time factor? Or last activity factor? I really am curious on how it works.
I haven’t actually had to touch the code of it at all, so can’t answer for how the development community is. I have heard “Pleroma is like Mastodon Lite”, and indeed if I look at server resources that seems to be correct. That is however also the only place where I find Pleroma lighter than Mastodon. IMHO Pleroma has an added feature set compared to Mastodon that make it more competent than Mastodon out of the box, and even more so if you have admin rights.
I really like the old-school front-end (Pleroma-fe) too, but if that is not to everyones liking there is also Soapbox front-end (slick one content column “theme”) and, of course, there is also a front-end (included in the default Pleroma install) called Masto-fe, which literally is the Mastodon frontend (though a fork from Glitch I believe).
The one thing the default front-end doesn’t do that Mastodon does is “lists”, i.e. being able to group your contacts into lists. That functionality is actually in Pleroma though, and accessible from masto-fe as well as from Soapbox, so for some reason they have chosen not to show it on the default pleroma-fe.
The pleroma-fe you need to “fetch new posts” manually though, which can be irritating at times and a blessing at other times. If I wish for the feed to “flow” I switch over to masto-fe and it updates itself. Swapping between pleroma-fe and masto-fe is as easy as clicking a link in either.
Apart from Pleroma having a larger default post character count compared to a default install of Mastodon, it also has built-in chat (which is on top of “direct message” and other privacy groupings).
Also, for those that like to “skin” or “theme” their things (I do) it has quite comprehensive settings for doing exactly that when it comes to the default pleroma-fe. As Pleroma has great interconnectivity with Mastodon, Friendica (who is the king of the connectivity hill) and Pixelfed etc I have been really quite pleased with Pleroma.
Having said all of that, Friendica is currently my “main” service. As the Fediverse services are “algorithm” free (i.e. chronological) one can easily miss good content, due to not watching the screen as it flows past. In Friendica you can group and filter with great flexibility, which can slow down the “news feed” quite a bit, to make it readable. Also, as Friendica properly supports threading you can select to bump messages to the top based on activity in a thread (it will also highlight which message is new, as it, just like Lemmy, is possible to give a reply in the “middle” of the flow (just like this reply). In Friendica one doesn’t miss in what context a given post is made, because it is all there. In Mastodon/Pleroma it can take quite some work to back-pedal a long thread.
I “came back” to the Fediverse not too long ago (fed up with Big Tech services) and started exploring the various ActivityPub services. I already had accounts on Mastodon and Diaspora. When looking in to self-hosting (as that would be the “ultimate federation”) I learnt that Mastodon required a server (in my case virtual) that I didn’t have the budget for. It simply wouldn’t compile on the small Digital Ocean instances and it ran like crap on the next one up too.
That made me look around for other alternatives. Today I have one instance of Pleroma running, which was dead easy to install as long as anyone has access to a sudo commandline. Literally copy/paste between windows and it was done.
I also have an instance of Friendica running. It was slightly more involved to install as I have a baseline of wanting to use HTTPS, Nginx etc (which wasn’t part of the standard instructions, though there is info out there to find), but it also went well. Both instances have been running for a couple of weeks, admittedly with only me as the sole user of either, but I follow a couple of hundred people on each service.
I have since learnt about Misskey, which I have been test driving on a public server and been quite impressed by how slick it feels. I shall see if I can bother setting up a server for that too, hehe.
Pixelfed I am using on a public instance so haven’t tried installing that. Have (just during last week) contemplated on if I should run various little services like Lemmy, Searx etc on one of my servers already up, as they don’t seem stressed out at all today. Haven’t investigated how resource hungry Lemmy or Searx are though.