cross-posted from: https://discuss.online/post/5484255

February 22, 2024 Bluesky writes:

Up until now, every user on the network used a Bluesky PDS (Personal Data Server) to host their data. We’ve already federated our own data hosting on the backend, both to help operationally scale our service, and to prove out the technical underpinnings of an openly federated network. But today we’re opening up federation for anyone else to begin connecting with the network.

The PDS, in many ways, fulfills a simple role: it hosts your account and gives you the ability to log in, it holds the signing keys for your data, and it keeps your data online and highly available. Unlike a Mastodon instance, it does not need to function as a full-fledged social media service. We wanted to make atproto data hosting—like web hosting—into a fairly simple commoditized service. The PDS’s role has been limited in scope to achieve this goal. By limiting the scope, the role of a PDS in maintaining an open and fluid data network has become all the more powerful.

We’ve packaged the PDS into a friendly distribution with an installer script that handles much of the complexity of setting up a PDS. After you set up your PDS and join the PDS Admins Discord to submit a request for your PDS to be added to the network, your PDS’s data will get routed to other services in the network (like feed generators and the Bluesky Appview) through our Relay, the firehose provider. Check out our Federation Overview for more information on how data flows through the atproto network.

Read Early Access Federation for Self-Hosters

    • @ericjmoreyOP
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      52 months ago

      It’s unclear if that’s temporary (But I can’t imagine them manually adding self-hosted accounts forever).

        • @ericjmoreyOP
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          2 months ago

          I get the skepticism. I’m not all that optimistic about Bluesky myself, but they clearly already made an original thing and other “techbros” have made original things many times.

          The good news is this is all openly designed and implimented so it could be used for something potentially better.

        • @ericjmoreyOP
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          42 months ago

          Looks like you might be wrong

        • @ericjmoreyOP
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          22 months ago

          The blog post didn’t make that clear, but I see that it’s repeated in other blog posts and on the Discord server.

  • Rikudou_Sage
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    2 months ago

    So it’s a centrally controlled network? That doesn’t really seem like proper federation protocol.

    Or is it only to federate with their main instance? Meaning InstanceX and InstanceY can still federate with each other even without approval from the overlords.

      • @ericjmoreyOP
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        62 months ago

        The more I’m reading into the docs, the more convinced I am that the AT protocol is better than ActivityPub.

        I wonder if there cound be a link aggregator and forum style implementation of the AT protocol, the same way that Lemmy did with the ActivityPub protocol.

        I wonder what sort of bridging can be implemented between AT Protocol and ActivityPub implementations.

          • @Flaky@iusearchlinux.fyi
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            62 months ago

            Yeah, from some cursory glances and following of AT devs, some things I understand the logic of and some things I’m thinking “isn’t this a bit over-engineered?”

            • @dumpsterlid@lemmy.world
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              12 months ago

              My basic question is whether the problems that needed solving about Twitter and other corporate social networks really have anything to do with software engineering at the end of the day.

              Writing the code is honestly the easiest part in all probability. It is the other parts like community ownership, resiliency against corporate capture and human moderation that takes into consideration complex contexts etc… that are the truly hard parts and Bluesky really says almost nothing (at least worth trusting as more than words) new along those vital metrics (chiefly because it is an investor backed for-profit venture).

              • @Flaky@iusearchlinux.fyi
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                12 months ago

                I think the moderation will be an uphill battle for Bluesky. I haven’t seen a clear answer over how legal issues are going to be handled and generally, people want some form of moderation. Maybe not the extent that the fediverse has with its blocking drama.

                But the resiliency against corporate capture and community ownership, meh I’m not really worried. I work with and use open-source projects that have been backed by corporations, Mastodon.social has already said they wish to federate with Threads, and there are corporations sponsoring (in the case of mastodonapp.uk) or outright owning instances (in the case of Flipboard, Mozilla Social and Vivaldi Social). Bluesky seems to be built on the notion that it too will be a possible adversary in the future, so the protocol is being built with that in mind.

                • @dumpsterlid@lemmy.world
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                  2 months ago

                  But the resiliency against corporate capture and community ownership, meh I’m not really worried.

                  You have to explain to me why you think massive tech corporations are going to behave differently here than they always do. Every large tech company behaves like Microsoft after a certain size in terms of values and actions, and they will do their best to mine the valuable aspects of the fediverse out and silo them away in a way that can be monetized.

                  I consider Flipboard or Mozilla owning instances to be a far different question because these are relatively small corporations, they aren’t Meta, they don’t have more cash on hand than entire countries.

                  I think the moderation will be an uphill battle for Bluesky.

                  Moderation is the hard part about social media, who gets to moderate, how moderation is handled between communities and how much human moderation genuinely happens from within the context of communities are all the important questions.

                  Again, what happens when Bluesky’s investor’s come knocking and want monetization? At that point is the CEO really just going to say “we can’t do that, it would give us more profits but it would be wrong to undercut the openness of Bluesky!”. It is frankly ridiculous to assume this would happen, the same story will play out that always plays out here.

                  You can either make huge amounts of money off of social media and payback your investors or you can make a healthy community, pick one. Unless you are a massive corporation with a lottttt of investors to please, then there was never really a choice no matter how long your investors let you attempt to fool your customers into thinking so before you hit the gas on cashing in (Reddit).

          • @ericjmoreyOP
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            52 months ago

            It will be interesting to see what Friendica devs come up with!

            I’ve just started looking at the AT protocol. What sort of WTF things are in there?

            • owls
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              22 months ago

              not the OP, but

              i was going to point to the did:plc thing they made up and went with. but since the last time i looked, it looks like they support (and prefer) did:web, so that’s sorted out.

              the “wtf” i have is more to do with actually running a community with atproto. you need a central crawler service that knows about all the PDSes you want to be friends with (this is presumably why you need to sign up in their discord right now, they gotta tell their crawler to look at your PDS)

              but i think the crawler has to grab the entire PDS for everyone it knows about? if you want a large community, it seems pretty resource-intensive since the ceiling is “infinity posts”. bsky’s open source code suggests they have chosen not to deal with this problem.

              with most AP services (e.g. mastodon), you can prune the data and the only consequence is “you don’t get full text search for super old posts received from other services that we pruned”, so there are ways to limit the cost other than “limit the number of users in our community”.

              but this may just be an implementation detail and not an issue with atproto, e.g. git shallow clones are a thing, and the PDS is also storing a big merkel tree. i am not sure if the indexer relies on having the complete history or not (since you do need it for certain operations). bsky’s own code just shrugging suggests maybe limiting it is challenging, i dunno.

              • Elle
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                2 months ago

                What you note about the crawler appears to be essentially by design:

                The federation architecture allows anyone to host a Relay, though it’s a fairly resource-demanding service. In all likelihood, there may be a few large full-network providers, and then a long tail of partial-network providers. Small bespoke Relays could also service tightly or well-defined slices of the network, like a specific new application or a small community.

                In their section on so-called “Big World” design:

                As a result, we opted to architect the protocol in a “big world with small world fallbacks” way. With the web, individual computers upload content to the network, and then all of that content is then broadcasted back to other computers. Similarly, with the AT Protocol, we’re sending messages to a much smaller number of big aggregators, which then broadcast that data to personal data servers across the network.

                Emphasis mine.

        • @spaduf@slrpnk.net
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          52 months ago

          the more convinced I am that the AT protocol is better than ActivityPub.

          That’s because AT was very deliberately designed to solve problems with ActivityPub.

          I wonder what sort of bridging can be implemented between AT Protocol and ActivityPub implementations.

          The folks over at https://fed.brid.gy/ have been working at this. Much to the chagrin of the folks over at Mastodon.

        • @ericjmorey @skullgiver Yeah, a lot of people are thinking about what they can build on it now - until this week the servers were configured to reject non-Bluesky data records, so it was kind of pointless, but now people can finally start experimenting. (“Reddit” is like the first idea that comes to mind usually.)

          There is also a AT<->AP bridge being built by https://snarfed.org, but the reaction on the Fediverse was, uhh, less than friendly to put it extremely mildly…

    • @ericjmoreyOP
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      22 months ago

      I haven’t dug into the details, but there seem to be a lot of blog posts and extensive documentation to figure it out.

    • @ericjmoreyOP
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      22 months ago

      I just made an account with nothing more than a throwaway email address. So a phone number is not required.

    • @redcalcium@lemmy.institute
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      12 months ago

      I was blocked from sign up too due to the phone number verifier didn’t support my country, but when I tried again several days ago, they doesn’t seem to require phone number anymore.

  • downpunxx
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    02 months ago

    Why would anyone with half a brain purposefully allow a mewling quimm like JACK to any of their social media data again, after what he did to the entire techniverse with Twitter?

    • @ericjmoreyOP
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      2 months ago

      He could have the data you sent via the ActivityPub protocol at anytime. Does this mean it’s a mistake to use the ActivityPub protocol?