Can you explain what you mean by federation? I’ve heard the word mean so many different things I’m not clear what it means anymore.
You can write your own authentication for Discourse so if it’s just a case of signing in with Diaspora etc, that should be relatively simple. Check out the extensibility category for some examples of custom signin, as well as guides on how to start plugin development in general.
forums where posts are delivered to different sites …
a forum mirrored on multiple sites
(like an nntp newsgroup is mirrored on multiple nntp servers. would be great for public forums where you don’t want one site being down to mean the whole forum is also down.
related communities could have shared forums where posts appear on all participating sites)
a way for peopls to have posts delivered to their own page/feed/blog/profile on another site (common fed.soc.net scenario - far better than just subscribing to a one-way rss feed - users could do authenticated replies/comments etc)
there are plenty of use cases and possibilities but it all involves posts being delivered from a site to another site and displayed somewhere there (and not just one-way)
What you want is perfectly possible, there’s an API for creating and editing posts: it just hasn’t been done yet.
What’s the use case for having one post appear on multiple sites? If it’s for resilience, surely that would be better achieved using a CDN instead of unnecessarily duplicating the data? If it’s to combine multiple forums into one central superforum, again that can be better achieved without duplicating posts. I’m too young to have used NNTP or newsgroups, so I’m unfamiliar with how those worked. And what is fed.soc.net?
I can see the value of integrating with other services, I can imagine a plugin which syncs posts between a Discourse category and a Facebook group being used, for example. I think it has been requested before. But you would only need to duplicate the data if you do not have control of the other platform - imo duplicating content introduces a point of failure you don’t need to have
The federation feature I think is worth pursuing is federated profiles - there’s some discussion on that here:
the idea is to allow decentralisation …
so the forum does not rely on or need to be controlled by one single site organisation,
and can outlive the sites currently carrying it, and scale well beyond just what hardware one single site might be able to afford, and be very hard for anyone to censor.
think of something like usenet without the spam that is more flexible and open
re: federated profiles … and auth across sites ,… already exists in federated socnets
eg check out RedMatrix - they have one-click auth working between sites
The identity stuff in that sounds somewhat like what you describe - (though more like some kind of crypto key than a usename underneath and apparently not tied to a site’s domain either - so a user can even move their account to another server without losing their connections)
and for delivering posts that and also Diaspora, Friendica, Pump.io, GNUSocial and many others already have lots of goodies working…
but what they all seem to lack are forums that actually behave how I’d like for public forums !
it would be nice to be able to to connect together the best of both worlds!