Activitypub - Rocketchat joining the fediverse?


#1

This might be an unusual question, but seeing as Nextcloud has joined the ‘fediverse’ by supporting Activity Pub, I was wondering if Rocketchat sees any future in doing the same? Currently, Rocketchat is decentralized and can talk to a few other applications through its integrations/webhooks, which is great. But with Nextcloud taking this step, and the W3 organization declaring it a new standard, I think ActivityPub will gain more traction in the future.

What are your thoughts on this?


#2

That would be interesting, though I’m unsure how you’d expect it to work?

Certain channels in your instance marked “fediverse” ? What if you want to discuss #kittens in your private community? does that block all federated #kittens channels? Or maybe only channels starting #fedi- would be federated - so #fedi-kittens for a global chat?

As regards ActivityPub, the way I read the spec, it is specifically geared towards “microblogging”, as opposed to “instant messaging” - the propagation happens “eventually” without any guarantee of immediacy… from a load perspective, this is more desirable perhaps, but it might be implementation dependent… The tags system could be subverted for use of identifying channels I’d presume…

But I feel ActivityPub is not appropriate here… a more realistic prospect I feel (though I am not a rocket.chat dev in the slightest…) would be to implement something using, say, Matrix, and probably would involve addings headers/wrappers around that protocol for a federated/distributed type of chat… Opinion only.

EDIT - or look into existing DMUC/Distributed Multi User Chats

I like the idea personally, just not sure about what the feature would even look like, UX and UI wise…


#3

I’m personally a big fan of the fediverse as its now known. :smile: Have a mastodon account and and writefreely instance for my blog that speaks activitypub and actively participate in the fediverse. :slight_smile:

But yes I also have struggled to see how we could include Rocket.Chat in this over all fediverse.

Yes this is exactly the part I struggle with. We could be a member of the fediverse… But actually pushing and pulling content… I’m not sure how this would look?

Maybe pushes an event about new channels created or something out?

Federation in general we are definitely hard at work making this happen. We have our own federation between Rocket.Chat instances that will happen soon. I’m not sure on exact release, but I think applying some polish.

We also have had many conversations with the matrix guys, we have a few bridges people have started developing and I think would still like to make this happen. Matrix spec is very large :slight_smile:


#4

It might make sense in first instance to allow direct messages between users of different instances, if both instances “trust” eachother…

And since there is a list of Channels, and a list of Direct Messages, would it be a stretch to add a list of Multiserver Channels ? Making fully-federated channels (share-to-anywhere) gets us into problems of limiting hops, and some messages not being seen depending on what instance you’re on…

Taking example from Mastodon, if “Work” chat server shares chats with “Computing” (Comp) chat server, and “Comp” links with a “Fan subtitling” (Subs) server (for example, scratching brain here), but “Work” is not linked up with Subs … then users in Work will only see a partial chat, as would Subs… unless someone from Comp actually quote-copies a text snippet. This works fine on Mastodon with Toot boosts, and microblogs can spread to servers that the original server is not linked to ; chats… not so well.

The question then becomes, is there anything Rocket.chat produces that is a one-time immutable shareable item that can accept delays? Perhaps the channel publication itself… but then who gets the notification of that?

At the end of it, I feel like servers being able to link up with others for dual-server chats might be interesting… whether that’s federation or not, is up for shakes…


#5

I think they will be just channels/rooms. Internally every one is just a room they are just room types. So they would federate DMs/Private Groups/Channels.

Indeed… I think this is the question. ActivityPub is incredibly interesting… but it does seem to not be properly suited for real time nature.

A forum like this how ever would be super interesting and possible with activitypub :grin: