Federation support for Discourse

It must be noted that Discourse ActivityPub development is going to be supported by the NGI0 EU funding scheme. There’s a related topic at ActivityPub Implementation for Discourse that should be reopened for interested people since nothing is sure yet about how this will play.

I would be very glad to open a dedicated space to discuss this plugin development on https://socialhub.network.

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+1 for enabling federation in Discourse. 1st step would supporting the WebFinger protocol as per:

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Very interesting. Where did this get to?

Is there a functional spec? To me this has to start with the user experience and drill into the technology.

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Isn’t it fair to say some of this problem is solved by the Discourse App?

It’s an aggregator at the notification level and persists connections/credentials to multiple Discourse sites.

I wonder if the practical solution to this isn’t just enhancing the Discourse App to show a feed?

Another thing to note is that a smart email folder might give you a similar feed.

Perhaps I’m very off base …

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I would love to have federation support in Discourse, especially after seeing the follow plugin that @angus created:

It would be great to open meta.discourse.org and see my Socialhub notifications; also get a list of new posts by Socialhub users I’m following, and see bookmarked Socialhub categories right here.

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Before we can re-open that topic, I think the community should decide on functional spec here that someone could get started with.

As the term “ActivityPub Implementation for Discourse” is extremely broad, the team strongly believes that we should keep this simple and start small.


@Falco had an interesting proposal on these lines, any thoughts?

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Yes, that’s absolutely the right concept!

Would each forum have the ability to host remote updates out of the box, so essentially it would be an alternate ‘view’? How would you cope with opening up Topics from this view? New tab per remote forum? Obviously there would need to be some kind of security and perhaps you would only receive fully ‘public’ Topics?

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I think publishing of Discourse topics for remote follow is what should be aimed for.

Forum users following who-knows-what remote content should be an explicit non-goal, especially for the first versions. That’s not what Discourse is built to do; leave it to the generalist content viewers.

Discourse following of federated content feeds should be implemented in a way similar to the RSS plugin.

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Is this something like the StackExchange of discourse ?

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No, more like Mastodon?

Like a forum of forums? I’m very new to this idea though.

I would say the best way to describe might be ‘an aggregator of all chosen sources’, perhaps a Topic List with the Latest combined from n sources.

It’s open to debate what happens when you click on a topic. Perhaps, if the source is a remote forum, you are just redirected to the source forum immediately in a new tab. So you might argue it’s not a forum of forums as you are still deferring to each local forum to interact further.

This all comes down to a more detailed functional specification.

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Yes that’s a good simple approach at least to begin with.

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Is it just me or has this already been implemented, to some extent at least? Look at this:

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Here we’re talking about Web-wide federation not only among Discourse instances, but across the Fediverse using the ActivityPub protocols.

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Ah I see, thanks! I didn’t know about the Fediverse - looks very cool!

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FYI, the SocialHub has moved under ActivityPub.rocks, the official home of the AP community, and Discourse has a category there:

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I don’t so much about Federation and ActivePub but what I had in mind when I looked about this topic it having one user to connect into every discourse and having the “historic of this person” more or less like on stackoverflow where you are able to see on which forum the user is active and his accomplishment.

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See these options. They are current methods for integrating activitypub. All are quite nice.

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Forem apparently has a browser extension for federation going already. Haven’t tried it out, but maybe interesting for others on this topic:

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