i went quiet for a bit there, sorry. might give you an idea of what happened. tl;dr: i had a side project as admin of a mastodon instance, just for fun, and then it sort of exploded. thanks, elon!

and that’s the only thing i’ll ever thank him for, the last time i’ll use his name, and now onto the point of this post.

as part of the aforementioned mastodon instance, and as i’ve previously mentioned on this blog, i’ve been working on a rust implementation of the activity stream spec. well, it’s no longer an abstract pet project.. it has a sibling project that makes use of it.

one quick detour: one of the things about mastodon and the fediverse that causes issues for smaller, eg personal, instances is that they don’t organically get content from the rest of the fediverse. with no-one following accounts from other instances, nothing can get picked up for the federated feed. there’s a solution to this in the relay. essentially, instances that join relays instantly fully federate with each other. this is great for smaller instances, and low impact for larger instances, so it’s a win-win.

there’s a number of options for hosting a relay, but initial attempts to get them running alongside our hachyderm infrastructure have been less than fruitful. i’m sure it’s either something to do with how we’re set up, or our expectations rather than the software itself.

enter actiserve: a relay written in rust and using rustypub.

it is not yet ready for primetime but the bones are in place. the relay API contract is not documented1 so we’ve been copying from other relays and trying things out so far, so if anyone reading this has experience you’re more than welcome to jump in.

i had intended, for what it’s worth, to contribute to existing relay software but i found the lack of documentation on how things should work to be a blocker even for that.

stay tuned for more updates.. maybe once it’s up and running for hachyderm!

  1. or not discoverable ↩︎