ActivityPub, Mastodon and pixelfed observations

Datum

While trying to sign in to pixelfed.social using my own site’s domain on their Sign-in with Mastodon feature, I received the following message from pixelfed: „This server is not compatible, please choose another or try again later!“

When I researched the reason for this behaviour, I found out:

  1. pixelfed uses FediDB as its sole arbiter to decide whether a site is capable of acting as its login server.
  2. FediDB is run by Daniel Supernault, pixelfed’s prevailing contributor.
  3. Sites are registered in the FediDB when their crawler finds that…
    1. …they adhere to the NodeInfo protocol which requires the presence of a JSON LD resource in /.well-known/nodeinfo pointing to a secondary resource that serves the schema document built according to one of the NodeInfo schemas.
    2. …they contain an /api/v1/instance resource. The expected content of this resource is not specified. This is a resource found on Mastodon servers.

In other news, it’s worth noting that transferring your content between two Pixelfed instances is currently not possible. This situation brings to mind Robert’s Law: „If you host your content elsewhere, you will lose it in the end.“


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