I attended the Federated Social Web Summit yesterday. I saw some old friends and met lots of new ones.
Here is a quick brain dump of what I caught:
first did a lightening talk about these projects
We then broke out into sessions. Most of my day was dominated by low level discussions of the protocols and formats that could shape the Federated Social Web. These include:
Salmon FTW, Webfinger WTF
There was a session on private messaging. Blaine Cook proposed a method for subscribing to a feed which contains public and private entries. It used the From HTTP header, Webfinger and a Dialback to authenticate the request.
Next Bret Slatkin proposed a similar technique for sending a private message that used OAuth for authentication, which was much more complicated than Blaine’s dial-back method.
It turned out that these two ideas were Isomorphic. Then the term isomorphic was used about 20 times in the next 5 minutes. These ideas were seen as generalizations of the Salmon protocol. Speaking of which… Salmon’s public key crypto requirements were discussed as an impediment to adoption. The protocol has been simplified as much as possible, but many technologies have been doomed to obscurity due to the propeller head nature of properly implementing various schemes properly.
Account Manager and Contacts in Firefox
Dan Mills ran a session to ask “How can we change the client to make federation easier?”. There are some great notes. It seems like Michael Hanson’s XPrefs concept is needed to avoid a centralized broker like XAuth. Currently if you log into Identi.ca and visit Mozilla’s StatusNet node and you want to follow Paul Booker, you have to type in your identi.ca url as it can’t discover that your logged in to a valid OStatus node due to the same origin policy.
The importance of interoperability testing was discussed. I watched Evan Prodromou work with Diaspora team and I expect to see lots of work between Appleseed, Crabgrass, and other systems working together over these decentralized protocols.
Update: – The standard test we’ll work towards passing by Sept 30th is SWATv0.
This meeting was in Portland… check out the photos below for your Portland moment of zen…