I think @gargron is making a big mistake here by signaling his intent to phase out the local timeline :

Besides debates about what "diverse" means, it's taking away a major incentive for people to start and maintain an instance.

Starting an instance to host a community is appealing to some people.

Starting an instance to do free IT for a distributed server farm of homogeneous instances seems like a hard sell.

@apLundell @Gargron

It is sad that the experience fromt he biggest instances chaotic local timeline should influence how every instance should be.
The local timeline is the most interesting in the fediverse.

@be @selea @apLundell @Gargron But even if it was just to get started on fediverse, isn't it worth keeping then? It helps with discoverability...

If a new user starts only with an empty timeline, chances are that they'll leave because they won't find fediverse interesting enough.

@jaklt @be @selea @apLundell They don’t start with an empty timeline. There’s an onboarding process that helps them find accounts to follow

@Gargron @be @selea @apLundell Maybe it's just me but I don't think that the onboarding process works well enough to replace local timelines.

Unless I missed something, the only thing that the new user gets is a small selection of suggested accounts to follow. I just tried creating a profile and you're right, the timeline is not empty afterwards, but it feels like it a bit. (Following 3-6 users doesn't create quite the same feeling...)

@selea @apLundell @Gargron I agree. The local timeline on is really great and a good way to find like-minded people and share common interests.

Seriously y'all we need to get on a fork, or compatible thing, that has democratic governance BUILT IN.

The problem is a lot of us (like those of us who signed on to Florence) don't have the energy or technical know-how - if you have resources to spare, we really need your help.

The "benevolent dictator for life" model of governance is bad. We need to decouple governance from development as well!! 🐘

(I would definitely be down for something that's "Pleroma but without any of the people who develop or use Pleroma".

For that matter, I would love a fork that lets you choose who to federated with based on software so you can just never federate with any Pleroma instance. Sure it'd exclude some decent people, but it would save so much trouble.)

@nev checkout Hometown for a fork, or I think Glitch may also be afork?; for something more akin to Pleroma's appeal (light and simple to administrate), check out Epicyon.

I'm not aware of anything that can block by server software, but it seems doable.

@hector perhaps let them do what they want. or do you have a problem with personal autonomy?
@nev I might be out of the loop but what is wrong with pleroma? I installed it bc it was easy and I am running an individual instance. Have a bunch of alt-rights started using it?

@josh always have been. it was also designed to circumvent various anti-harassment/privacy controls built into Mastodon, and the devs are very free-speechy types.

no judgment if the software's better for you (I understand it's much more lightweight and efficient), but Pleroma instances are notorious for hosting Nazis, pedos, etc.

@nev I don't get it. What exactly is the problem with using pleroma?

@daniel take a stroll through #fediblock, see if you see a pattern

(there's a lot of history but I don't have the energy to explain it all, I'm sure plenty of other people on here do though)

@apLundell @Gargron

> The “local” timeline makes the concept of “you can follow anyone from any server” less concise because suddenly you do care what server you are on.

This is exactly the reason I am here on mastodon - I do care what server I am on, who runs this server, what rules are on this server.

The ability to interact within other communities in a fediverse is a great and crucial addition.

Would be sad if Mastodon will go away from federated, but self-governed communities model.

@apLundell @Gargron apparently I am reading it out of context tho - and "local timeline" removal is just a way to get mastodon pass apple review.

Still a little sad that the feature that basically sold me mastodon "was never meant to be that".


Makes sense. I dialed this within the US and my phone company told me that I probably meant to dial 911, or possibly 411. That was freaky and I hung up.

@wholesomedonut @apLundell @Gargron I think the local timeline is more useful for medium-sized instances. On much smaller instances, I think it’s more likely that everyone on the instance follows everyone else on the instance.

But the local and federated timelines are still incredibly valuable and useful in different ways depending on the size of the instance. The app should support both.

@simon @wholesomedonut @apLundell And yet it's a somewhat arbitrary sample (because people post about FOSS elsewhere, too) and encourages network effects ("go and have an account on fosstodon, so you end up in the relevant timeline!")

How about having repost-bots that people can subscribe to as readers or apply to end up in the syndication list, providing the same experience no matter where accounts reside? There will be multiple such bots for FOSS, so the arbitrary sample issue resides (although accounts would be syndicated by multiple bots) but the network effect is defused.
@apLundell @Gargron i run my own pleroma server. Thank goodness activitypub is > mastodon itself.

@apLundell @Gargron Nothing like posting a dumb excuse and locking the thread before people can refute it! Probably muted instances so he can ignore the pings of criticism too. All hallmarks of someone with a very convincing and not weak at all argument.


The local timeline…doesn’t even exist in ActivityPub as a concept

You know what also doesn't exist in ActivityPub? Content warnings and sensitive media. @Gargron's probably getting rid of those next, right? (Wouldn't be surprised). Mastodon cannot pretend that “we don't do things that aren't in ActivityPub” since they can create de-facto standards willy-nilly and everyone else will follow. Plus saying “software can't have extra features other than this strict specification” is dumb

@nytpu @apLundell No, those things do exist. ActivityPub is actor-based though and nothing in there says some internal representation of posts has to be browserable. I mean, in fact ActivityPub just doesn’t cover what you do internally anyway, only server-to-server communication.

@nytpu @apLundell @Gargron yes, let's replace the post scopes with a "to" and "cc" field while we're at it


I have multiple accounts specifically so that I can see the local timelines because of the communities in those instances.

I can’t express what a bad idea it would be to get rid of them, except possibly as an option for larger instances.


@danjones000 @apLundell The whole point of federation is that you shouldn’t need multiple accounts to interact with people from other servers. So in that regard, your user story showcases a failure of the system, you felt forced to make multiple accounts.

I saw somebody suggest the ability to "subscribe" to other instances local timelines to get the full community experience without having to make multiple accounts. I would love a third timeline between local and fully federated, a "subscribed instances" sort of view.


No. You misunderstand.

My point is that I want to belong to different communities.

I have different accounts to interact with those different communities.

Each instance represents a different community. Just because doesn’t do that well doesn’t mean other instances don’t.



Let me put it another way.

I have my home timeline where I follow people on a bunch of different instances. These are the people I regularly interact with.

Then there’s my local timeline. I don’t need all these people in my home timeline. But they represent a community I interact with.

That’s the beauty of the local timeline. It builds a community around an idea, rather than just a circle of friends.


@danjones000 @Gargron @apLundell
I can understand not wanting federated timeline being immediately visible.


Groups is a good option. It’s very Facebook-like. Friendica and HubZilla both have groups. But I believe you have to have a Friendica or HubZilla account to use them.

I made a Friendica account several years ago so that I could find an AP replacement for the Facebook groups I was in. Unfortunately, none of the groups had much activity, compared to FB.

@Gargron @apLundell

@danjones000 We need to develop a specification for groups that is inter-compatible accress all engines. Maybe a separate engine that will only do groups for everyone else as a proving ground.

@LemmyDev might be a good option for this, but they are hesitant to federate with anyone but themselves,

@Gargron @apLundell


I agree. I think @LemmyDev would be a great way to build cross-instance communities across the Fediverse, if only it could be done in a way that works with other AP services.

@Gargron @apLundell

@drq It is part of our roadmap to federate with Pleroma, and we will get that working soon. At least basic funcionality like viewing Lemmy threads from Pleroma and commenting on them. Its just that other things need to be done first, right now i'm in the middle of refactoring our federation code to make future changes easier.

@danjones000 @Gargron @apLundell


Federation with other projects would also be good, but it is much more likely to happen if developers familiar with those projects tell us where incompatibilities lie.

@danjones000 @Gargron @apLundell

@gargron @danjones000 @apLundell whats the point of anyone running an instance and eating that cost on your behalf if they can't have a local community to interact with? Why would anyone just build your network nakedly at no benefit, and then have you terminate any discussion before you could have your idiocy pointed out?

@gargron @danjones000 @apLundell Oh right it's because you're a shameless fraud who's managed to fuck up a good idea so you could try to be twitter rich.

You built this on on the labor of good-intentioned developers before selling out to work with some of the worst people at Eunomia. You've burned every bridge and ripped off everyone who did work for you in good faith. You bought a condo instead of paying your moderators fairly. You're egotistical trash.

@gargron @danjones000 @apLundell its a stroke of luck that you stumbled onto this or you'd be wasting away a second-rate website designer for the rest of your life, and honestly that would have been preferable to what you are now.

@Gargron @danjones000 @apLundell

I think that this explains where this distaste for local timelines comes from and I get it.

On the other hand, I don't think that federation is the only thing that matters. Without healthy communities (of various sizes) the federation will die out, or will be replaced by commercial instances in the long-term.

Maybe local timelines are not the answer, but do you agree that communities should be supported somehow?

@jaklt @Gargron @danjones000 @apLundell local timelines are necessary, Gargron is totally disconnected from how the fediverse actually works


Exactly this. It feels like @Gargron wants Mastodon to just be decentralized Twitter. But it won’t compete with Twitter if it’s just Twitter on different servers. It needs value above and beyond Twitter, and the communities that have been born within the Fediverse is that value that Twitter just doesn’t have.



What this does is diminish the role of the instance, which in my opinion is a good thing. The current culture of Mastodon (specifically Mastodon) instances is moving away from the idea of federation, which is a bad move.

By moving us away from instances as the point of community, we can open up to very new creative ideas.

@apLundell @Gargron he did explicitly say in the thread he was not going to phase it out, though, "The local and federated timelines are not going away from other apps or the web app, to be clear."

@divergentdave @apLundell the reasoning offered would justify their removal, and is inconsistent with continuing to maintain those features. Plus now he has created a "new" reason to eliminate them: a growing iOS userbase who may have never seen them.

So there's no reason to find this statement credible in the long run.

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