[57north-discuss] Social Networking (GNU Social vs. Mastodon)

Shell Turner cam.turn at gmail.com
Sun Apr 30 16:47:06 BST 2017

GNU Social and Mastodon both use the same OStatus protocol, as far as
I'm aware, and are interoperable. However, Mastodon is near-unusable
for a variety of reasons - including that federation is very, very
broken. Quoting someone in a discussion room earlier today:

> Mastodon only federates posts from people someone on your instance follows. This causes funny things like: you can't see replies, likes, retoots or such to people you follow from other instances if someone on your instance doesn't follow the person who posted the reply.

It also never fetches history - if your server ever goes down, you'll
miss messages forever. I don't know if GNU Social suffers the same
problems, but being based on OStatus, I wouldn't doubt it.

I don't believe any of these systems are likely to be useful in the
near future - I have a number of people who have recently tried
Mastodon and given up on it within a week due to the issues, and GNU
Social is essentially a maintenance project that was already dead
before GNU picked it up.


On 30 April 2017 at 16:24, Iain R. Learmonth <irl at fsfe.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
> Looking at the GNU Social instance, this hasn't been used in ~6 months. Now
> that folk are starting to use Mastodon, I figured now would be a good time
> to revisit this. The question here is, would you like to have the GNU Social
> instance replaced with a Mastodon instance, or are you excited to try out
> talking to your friends on Mastodon from our GNU Social instance?
> Integrating Mastodon with CAS is relatively simple, as there is a Ruby Gem
> thing for doing this already, it would just need plugging into the existing
> authentication framework it uses.
> In case you've forgotten and would like to remind yourself, the GNU Social
> instance can be found at:
>   http://social.57north.org.uk/
> Unfortunately there is not currently an Onion service for this instance as I
> haven't looked into how to do Onion services with CAS yet.
> Thanks,
> Iain.
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