A user on a Hubzilla instance who I'm connected to had a problem with Hz posts not being federated to d* pods after an update of their instance. The problem was caused mainly by the version leap from integrated federation-enforcing code towards external apps-for-networks-that-don't-play-well-with-Hz-protocols. Accordingly, things broke as long as these apps were not available, installed or activated. Naturally, one would post to the support community and describe the problem. That's what this user did. Side note: Hz has a support forum, d* doesn't support forums at all.
Diaspora doesn't federate with anything, the other platforms federate with it/them[?]...
(Mike Macgirvin, as seen in some comment thread recently. I forgot where exactly.)
So, I've seen this problem's description from my d* stream only because and therefore after
the issue had been solved, but I wasn't sure about that at this point. It got solved by helpful co-Hubzillians in a comment thread of another help-seeking post, where noone complained and noone blamed this user for not knowing. The topic itself was intriguing for me. For that reason I wrote a (hopefully not too) comprehensive comment to help out with my findings. I wrote all that from my d* pod, just as a reminder.
Sure enough, I didn't see from my limited d* perspective what other people, coming from Friendica or Hubzilla, added to the comment thread. And most probably vice versa. Then I tried to double-check whether I might trick broken federation by clicking on the "permalink" symbol, just to find yet another issue: Long-version Hubzilla permalinks are broken on diaspora* and it's a known bug.
Let me explain and come back to my initial topic afterwards:
In case you (as in: d* users) didn't know: By clicking on the little chain lock link symbol next to the "date posted" in a d* stream one can open the long-format permalink to a post that has made its way to your pod and stream. For posts created on Hubzilla, this will result in a "404 - not found", sported by the/your d* pod, while the short version (from clicking on the date/time combo itself) works, but only on this very d* pod, e.g.
What I learned so far:
- one could use the long permalink version (with the so-called GUID) on every single d* pod as long as the first section corresponds with the pod they're on, i.e. just replace
https://dspr.io/ by your own pod-URL
- long permalinks will work as a public link even if the reader is not logged into any hub (as long as the post was public. Maybe even if not, haven't tested.)
- short "perma"link will only work on this very pod internally.
Therefore I investigated whether this is a matter of instance/pod or platform. Here are the different link schemes:
https://dspr.io/posts/xxxx5xxxx10xxx15xxx20xxx25xxxx31 diaspora*: 31 digits
https://dspr.io/posts/xxxx5xx8-xxx4-xxx4-xxx4-xxxx5xxxxx12 Friendica: 5 groups, with a total of 36 digits/characters
https://dspr.io/posts/xxxx5xxxx10xxx15xxx20xxx25xxx30xxx35xxx40xxx45xxx50xxx55xxx60xxx@[subdomain].[domain].[tld] Hubzilla: 63 digits plus user ID
I've tested several posts I've found in my d* stream from different people on different pods and instances, with the result that only Hz GUIDs didn't work. What would be your initial conclusion?
If you're like me: "It must be Hubzilla's fault", right?
Now we're slowly approaching the main topic again. Not only does Hz sport communities, their developer team is incredibly responsive as well. I've seen Mike Macgirvin join discussions on literally every Zot-related platform I am aware of, always helpful, always outcome-oriented. I do not know (as in: have seen their profiles) of each single team member, but Mike's presence is remarkable, and just the opposite of a statement he made over at gnusocial:
Fediverse developers can be an incredibly toxic mob. I've found they are often more polite if you talk to them using their own software.
Should I file an issue then? Sure, if it's helpful..? I searched for "perma" over at Hz's issue tracker
and found this: https://framagit.org/hubzilla/core/issues/1214
Hubzilla, Diaspora & permalink
[...]The Hubzilla permalinks generate an 404 error from a Diaspora account[...]
Exactly what I was looking for! ... But wait, that issue is still open, although it's 6 months old..? Oh well. But wait, there's more, this is not the end of my story, not by far --- thank you for your patience, by the way, please bear with me
And again, I'd like to make this point clear: the following is absolutely not meant to be offensive, nor would I want to point out a single person. Every developer of whatever fediverse platform has my honest respect, not only for working on their project(s) in their spare time. I wish I could participate more, I wish I had the knowledge to do so.
Jun 8th, 2018 - The person who filed the issue to the Hz issue tracker did so as well on diaspora*'s GitHub repository, As you can read from the framagit comment, that was a duplicate. He/she got redirected to a slightly older issue from May 15th, 2018 which you can find here
. A common procedure. That timeline reads as follows:
- May 15th - initial comment with description and suggestions.
- same day - 6 comments later the 3 participants (author plus 2 project maintainers) agree on a way how it is possible to fix it. They have immediately and open-heartedly stated that GUID permalinks from Hz don't work, but used to do so. Some background info is shared, including remarks about coding philosophies and guidelines.
- Jun 8th - nothing visible has happened so far. The duplicate reference is documented.
- Sep 4th - a team member adds labels: "bug" (for the first time) and "weird" (I love that one!). 3 1/2 months have passed.
- Oct 4th - Some change has been merged, declaredly having fixed the issue. Issue is closed, because the fix has been approved.
- Oct 5th thru Oct 8th - this is where it gets confusing for me, but interesting as well: A bump, some pull requests and, if you're still not tired of following all the cross referencing links, the attempt of a willing-to-help person to "spam" the maintainers with his solution for organizing pull requests. He gets answered elaborately. Appropriately? Please make up your own mind and think of what Mike said.
- Oct 5th - somehow something didn't work, the ticket is open again, still not fixed.
- Dec 31st (today) - Another 2 1/2 months passed. The issue is 7 1/2 months old, still open although seemingly quite easy to fix.
Some questions arise to me:Did GUID permalinks ever work for Hubzilla?
--- The statements differ. If they did, at some point some d* developer has broken it. If not, why would this platform need to produce as many links prone to 404 status as there are posts on a pod? For web crawlers, this is just a nightmare and it takes no wonder why decentralized networks technically only(!), as seen from a search engine's view
have mendable reputation.Why did it take over 3 months to label the issue a "(weird) bug"?
--- Was there no structure to the issue list before? Of course, labels alone won't make for a well-organized work flow, there are many different and efficient ways to approach a growing list of todos and priorities. Well, someone finally felt the need of labelling it.The issue had been worked on, got marked fixed and closed. Why the withdrawal?
--- This is where it gets opaque, but maybe it's just me not reading the documentation thoroughly enough. I hope it's legit to apprehend that there is a massive problem concerning capacity, availability and of course time.A link that isn't producible is a link not shareable...
--- which makes d* sort of a "closed" network, doesn't it? I didn't join MeWe for that reason (amongst others).
From what I have learned about development-related people over at diaspora*, they're focused but open-minded, they know how they're doing things and why. Besides a whole lot of time they put pride in their work. Unfortunately it looks like there are not enough of them..?
This means for me as a user
that I most probably can or should not count on major improvements in functionality, at least not very soon. There are several more issues I personally see in the d* concept, but it took me a while to find out. To put these in here as well would be overkill. Diaspora* really shines when it comes to simplicity but ease of use is not my main priority.
My verdict: Hubzilla has --by far-- much more potential than diaspora*. The team behind Hz appears to be very present, numerically adequate and striving for constant improvement. With all the extra features Hz has built-in in contrast to d* it's the one platform I can think of self-hosting it, d* won't offer incentive enough to do so right now.
If you (like me) want diaspora* to become an even better platform, the platform needs your help.
If you (unlike me) are a skilled Ruby, JSON, you name it wizard, please consider participating, the platform deserves your support.
And if you really have read this post completely: thank you! I hope I didn't stress your patience too much -- it was your
decision to spend your time this way, I've warned you!
This was very probably my last post for 2018. I would appreciate your feedback nevertheless.
Happy New Year!