Fediverse

otl ,

What have I done?! My abomination of an idea of bridging my email and
ActivityPub progresses. If you see this message, something is working!
Comments replies are welcome as it's a good test of this system :)

People keep saying ActivityPub is a lot like email. If it's so similar
to email, could I use my email client to interact with the fediverse?

Previously I did this by writing a SMTP interface to the Mastodon HTTP
API. That worked. But as we probably know, the fediverse is not
Mastodon; it's really ActivityPub. The real deal would be working
with ActivityPub directly, not the Mastodon HTTP API.

And that's now (mostly?) working! In shonky diagram form, sending
looks like this:

laptop --SMTP--> my_server --ActivityPub--> fediverse

Replies look like this:

fediverse --ActivityPub--> my_server --SMTP--> mailbox <--IMAP-- laptop

my_server translates back and forth between ActivityPub messages and
mail messages.

For example given the message:

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2024 16:37:59 +1100
From: Oliver Lowe <otl@apubtest2.srcbeat.com>
To: localtesting@aussie.zone
Subject: test 2

test hello world!

The following ActivityPub message is created:

{
	"@context": "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams",
	"id":"https://apubtest2.srcbeat.com/outbox/1709703480070628170",
	"type":"Note",
	"name":"test 2",
	"to": ["https://aussie.zone/c/localtesting","https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams#Public"],
	"cc": ["https://aussie.zone/c/localtesting"],
	"published":"2024-03-06T16:37:59+11:00",
	"attributedTo":"https://apubtest2.srcbeat.com/actor.json",
	"content":"test hello world!",
	"mediaType":"text/markdown"
}

There's still a lot of bugs (of course) and unimplemented bits (of
course). I can't call this a proper fediverse service yet. I'm going
to roll with this for a bit and see how it holds up.

Kolanaki ,
@Kolanaki@yiffit.net avatar

So this comment I am writing is going to appear as an email in a chain? Neat!

binomialchicken ,

Very cool!

Shkshkshk ,
@Shkshkshk@dice.camp avatar

Why are all the instances defederated from each other?

@fediverse

Has there been drama over there or something?

Hanrahan ,
@Hanrahan@lemmy.world avatar

Just a thanks, I was completely unaware you could add peertube instances to Newpipe. And here I am, so thank you :ಠ_ಠ

maniacalmanicmania ,
@maniacalmanicmania@aussie.zone avatar

👍

uhrbaan ,
@uhrbaan@mastodon.social avatar

@fediverse Fediverse user growth jumped to ~50'000'000 users. What happened ?
The FediDB Fediverse User Growth graph shows a significant jump in user count in February. Software distribution is also 81% other, and the biggest server is fediverse.hanbitgaram.com with 39 million users ! What happened ?
https://fedidb.org/

GustavoFring ,

Why must you turn this instance into a house of lies!?!

Flaky ,
@Flaky@iusearchlinux.fyi avatar

AFAIK, no bridges to Bluesky are actually active yet, and Bridgy Fed is considering ways of going opt-in.

maegul ,
@maegul@hachyderm.io avatar

Mildly notable social media moment for me watching a Dr Becky video on YT.

In listing her "socials" she's got , and (and of course ).

link below

Is this the new central axis of social media?

Which is funny cuz I've never really been to any of those. No accounts and only visited IG a few times because something else linked there for some information.

Also, I didn't really notice Threads was succeeding.

https://youtu.be/3NeKR7bqolY?si=SJWzXyhk_S5jNdml&t=53

@fediverse

makeasnek ,
@makeasnek@lemmy.ml avatar

Love Dr Becky and would love to see her join fediverse. Might be worth dropping a comment on one of her videos

makeasnek ,
@makeasnek@lemmy.ml avatar

I post about !boinc a bunch on mastodon hopefully to get some excitement from astrophysics folks, there's tons of cool boinc projects doing astrophysics research. Science runs on twitter, and many scientists are desperately searching for an alternative, imo it's only a matter of time before they all end up on mastodon or nostr.

otl ,
@otl@hachyderm.io avatar

Accessing Mastodon and the fediverse via email:
https://www.olowe.co/tmp/fedimail.mp4
An experimental and interface.
I feel like interface would be more appropriate.
But gotta start somewhere!
Threading and replies work ok too (so far!).

@fediverse

otl ,
@otl@lemmy.sdf.org avatar

Ha good eyes! :) I have basic receive-only working with Lemmy using a virtual file system interface I wrote (https://pkg.go.dev/olowe.co/lemmy). Just realised we actually spoke about this a while ago haha (https://lemmy.sdf.org/post/1035382 )

But synchronising to disk is super inefficient: too many API calls. Should subscribe using ActivityPub proper and store updates received as RFC 5322 messages.

From there we could serve the messages via NNTP. Then, finally, we could use nntpfs(4)

otl ,
@otl@lemmy.sdf.org avatar

Oh wow thanks! :) One program syncs my home Mastodon timeline, with all replies, to a Maildir. Dovecot serves that over IMAP. Sending involves a custom SMTP server which reads the mail message and creates a post from it.

For Mastodon it was all about converting statuses (toots? Posts?) into RFC 5322 messages. Using the status’ ID as Message-Id in the message header is handy. Mail clients do the heavy lifting of rendering threads thankfully!

uhrbaan , (edited )
@uhrbaan@mastodon.social avatar

@fediverse Is this a title ?

So... Theoretically this should be visible from Lemmy. Hi Lemmy users ! Greeting from Mastodon !
(Im never leaving the fediverse if this works)

asimpleman ,

Yo this is cool lol.

Rentlar ,

Legend! Thanks for bringing the meme over for me.

sj_zero ,

Link aggregators have a problem on the fediverse. The approach is server-centric, which has positives, but it also has major negatives.

The server-centric approach is where a community belongs to a certain server and everything in the world revolves around that server.

The problem is that it's a centralized formula that centralizes power in a the hands of a whichever servers attract the most users, and potentially breaks up what might be a broader community, and makes for a central point of failure.

Right now, if user1@a.com and user2@b.com talk on community1@c.com then a lot of things can happen to break that communication. if c.com defederates b.com then the communication will not happen. If c.com breaks then the communication will not happen. If c.com shuts down then the communication will not happen. If c.com's instance gets taken over by management that doesn't want person1 and person2 to talk, then the communication will not happen.

Another problem is that user1@a.com and user2@b.com might never meet, because they might be on community1@a.com and community1@c.com. This means that a community that could reach critical mass to be a common meeting place would not because it's split into a bunch of smaller communities.

Mastodon has servers going up and down all the time, and part of the reason it's able to continue functioning as a decentralized network is that as long as you're following people on a wide variety of servers then one server going down will stop some users from talking but not all of them so the system can continue to operate as a whole. By contrast, I'm posting this to one server, and it may be seen by people on a wide variety of servers, but if the one server I'm posting this to goes down the community is destroyed.

There are a few ways to solve the problem...

one method could work as something like a specific "federated network community". There would be a local community, and the local community would federate (via local mods, I presume) with communities on other instances creating a specific metacommunity of communities on many instances that could federate with other activitypub enabled communities, and if any of the federated communities go down the local community remains. If any servers posed problems they could cease being followed, and in the worst case a community could defederate totally from a server (at a community level rather than a server level) In that case, community1@a.com and community1@b.com could be automatically linked up once both connect to community1@c.com (I'm thinking automatic linking could be a feature mods could turn off and on for highly curated communities), and if c.com shuts down or defederates with one of the two, user1@a.com and user2@b.com would continue to be able to talk through their federated network.

Another method would be something more like hashtags for root stories, but I don't know how server-server links would be accomplished under a platform like lemmy, kbin, or lotide. I don't know how hashtags migrate on mastodon type software and how that migrates. In that case, it might be something like peertube where a network is established by admins (or users, I don't know) connecting to other servers manually.

Finally, I think you could implement the metacommunity without changing the entire fediverse by having the software auto-aggregate metacommunities. You could create a metacommunity community1 on a.com that would then automatically aggregate all posts on communities called community1 on all known servers. The potential downside of this is you could end up with a lot of noise with 100 posts of the same story, I haven't thought much about how you could handle duplicates so you could participate but wouldn't have 100 similar posts. In this case with respect to how to handle new posts, each metacommunity would be a local community and new individual posts would be posted locally and federated to users on other metacommunities. If metacommunities of this sort became the norm, then the duplicates problem may be solved organically because individuals using metacommunities would see the posts on other metacommunities and wouldn't bother reposting the same story, much like how people see a story and don't repost in individual communities.

One big problem is scaling, doing something like this would definitely be a non-trivial in terms of load per community. Right now if one person signs up to one community, they get a lot of posts from one server. Under a metacommunity idea like this, if one person signs up to one community, they get a lot of posts from many, many servers. lemmy.world has 5967 total instances connected to it, and 2155 instances running lemmy, lotide, kbin, mbin, or friendica that could contain similar types of community, that's a lot of communities to follow for the equivalent of one single community, especially if some of the communities in the metacommunity have a lot of traffic in that community. You'd have to look at every known server to first see if it exists and second if it has a community appropriate for the metacommunity, and the metacommunity would have to routinely scan for dead hosts to remove from the metacommunity and live hosts that may start to see an appropriate metacommunity has been created.

I'm sure there are other solutions, but I'm just thinking of how things work within my current understanding.

Of course, for some people, the problem is one they don't want solved because it isn't a problem in their view (and that's a legit view even if it's one I'm not really amenable to). Some people prefer smaller communities, or want tighter control over their communities. For servers or communities that don't want to be brought into a metacommunity, it seems like some sort of flag to opt-out (or opt-in as the case may be) should be designed in -- I'm thinking something in the community description like a textflag NOMC or YESMC that server software would be designed to respect.

With respect to moderation, It seems to me that you could have a variety of strategies -- you could have a sort of default accept all moderation where if one instance moderates a post other instances take on the same action, or whitelist moderation where if one instance or one set of moderators on a whitelist take an action then other instances take the same action, or a sort of republican moderation where if a certain number of instances take an action then other instances take the same action, and probably an option for individual metacommunities to only accept moderation from the local community the original post came from. I suspect you'd want a choice in the matter per metacommunity instance on a server.

onlinepersona ,

I think that was resolved in https://getaether.net/, but unfortunately, development stalled and the lone maintainer isn't active anymore. He only hosts the entry servers, but that's it.

You could look at his solution, but honestly, fragmentation is part of federated networks. If it were distributed networks/P2P, like Aether, then fragmentation could possibly be much less of an issue as users would all be on the same network and posting to a community would send it to all peers, that hosts it for all others.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

asimpleman ,

Just wanted to congratulate you for this really well thought out post.

masimatutu , en-gb
@masimatutu@nerdica.net avatar

Mastodon has the responsibility to promote diversity in the Fediverse

I love the Threadiverse. Compared to the microblogging Fediverse’s sea of random thoughts, Lemmy and kbin are so much easier to navigate with the options to sort posts by subscribed, from local instances or everything federated. You can also sort by individual community, and then there are the countless ways to order the posts and comments (which are stored neatly under the main post, by the way). That people can more easily find the right discussions and see where they can contribute also means that the discussions tend to be more focused and productive than elsewhere. Decentralisation also makes a lot of sense, since it is built around different communities. All that’s needed is users.

Things were going quite well for a while when Reddit killed third-party apps, prompting many to leave and find the Threadiverse. However, it is quite difficult to entertain a crowd that has grown accustomed to a constant bombardment of dopamine-inducing or interesting content by tens of millions of users, if you only have a couple hundred thousand people. This is causing some to leave, which of course increases this effect. The active users have more than halved since July, according to FediDB. The mood is also becoming more tense. Maybe the lack of engagement drives some to cause it through hostility, I’m not quite sure. Either way, the Threadiverse becoming a less enjoyable place to be, which is quite sad considering how promising it is.

But what is really frustrating is that we could easily have that userbase. The entire Fediverse has over ten million users, and many Mastodonians clearly want to engage in group-based discussion, looking at Guppe groups. The focused discussions should also be quite attractive. Technically we are federated, so why do Mastodonians interact so little with the Threadiverse? The main reason is that Mastodon simply doesn’t federate post content. I really can’t see why the platform that federates entire Wordpress blogs refuses to federate thread content just because it has a title, and instead just replaces the body with a link to the post. Very unhelpful.

The same goes with PeerTube. There are plenty of videos on there that I am quite sure a lot of Mastodonians would appreciate, yet both views and likes there stay consistently in the tens. Yes, Mastodon’s web interface has a local video player, but in most clients it is the same link shenanigans, may may partly explain the small amount of engagement. This is also quite sad, because Google’s YouTube is one of the worst social network monopolies out there, if not the worst.

And I know some might say that Mastodon is a microblogging platform and that it makes sense only to have microblogging content, but the problem is that Mastodon is the dominant platform on the Fediverse, its users making up close to 80% of all Fedizens. It has gone so far that several Friendica and Hubzilla users have been complaining about complaints from Mastodonians that their posts do not live up to Mastodon customs, and of course, that people frequently use “Mastodon” to refer to the entire Fediverse. This, of course, goes entirely against the idea of the Fediverse, that many diverse platforms live in harmony with and awareness of each other.

The very least that Mastodon could do is to support the content of other platforms. Then I’d wish that they’d improve discoverability, by for instance adding a videos tab in the explore section, improving federation of favourites since it is the dominant sorting mechanism on many other platforms, and making a clear distinction between people (@person) and groups (!group), but I know that that is quite much to ask.

P.S. @feditips , @FediFollows , I know that you are reluctant to promote Lemmy and its communities because of the ideology of its founders, but the fact is firstly that it’s open source and there aren't any individual people who control the entire project, and that the software itself is very apolitical. In fact, most Lemmy users both oppose and are on instances that have rules against such beliefs, so I highly encourage you to at least help raise awareness on the communities. Then, of course, there’s kbin, which isn’t associated with any extremism at all. As a bonus, it has much better integration with the microblogging Fediverse, but it is a lot smaller and younger, and still very much under development.

Anyways, that was a ramble. Thanks for hearing me out.

@fediverse

HarkMahlberg ,
@HarkMahlberg@kbin.social avatar

@tigerjerusalem Not for nothing, but kbin has both a thread-side and microblogging-side to it. Ernest even introduced an aggregate view very recently where you can see both on the same page, formatted to their respective types of posts. You could use any view you like best. I think that flexibility is a great feature.

@feditips @fediverse @FediFollows @masimatutu

Kierunkowy74 ,
@Kierunkowy74@kbin.social avatar

@skullgiver

"(...)Just like Lemmy won’t support Place objects, I’m not sure if any other platform will ever support Page objects, because Pages are much bigger in scope than anything most Fediverse applications ever deal with."

Article or Page objects are supported not only by Lemmy and /kbin (and Mastodon, but as link). It is a default object type on WriteFreely, can be used on WordPress, and is compatible with Friendica. Hometown (a Mastodon fork) also renders Pages and Articles in their entirety.

@feditips @fediverse @FediFollows @mention @masimatutu

canute , Danish
@canute@dvd.chat avatar

Article on Interoperability of Fediverse platforms

what else can I add to the article?

@fediverse

deegeese ,
@deegeese@sopuli.xyz avatar

You don’t seem to cover voting and feed ranking at all.

caos ,

My answers from Firefish unfortunately do not arrive here on Lemmy. It would be great if it basically worked from Firefish, now. If it is instance-dependent, I would perhaps change the instance, because Firefish offers many advantages compared to Mastodon.

Wander ,
@Wander@packmates.org avatar

Federated wireguard network idea
Any feedback welcome.

Let's keep things stupidly simple and simply hash the domain name to get a unique IPv6 ULA prefix.

Then we would need a stupidly simple backend application to automatically fetch pubkeys and endpoints from DNS and make a request to add each others as peers.

Et voilà, you got a worldwide federated wireguard network resolving private ULA addresses. Sort of an internet on top of the internet .

The DNS entries with the public IPv4 / IPv6 addresses could even be delegated to other domains / endpoints which would act as reverse proxy (either routing or nesting tunnels) for further privacy.

Maybe my approach is too naïve and there are flaws I haven't considered, so don't be afraid to comment.

Exact use cases? Idk, but it sounds nifty.

cc: @fediverse

Devilsdaughter ,
@Devilsdaughter@artemis.camp avatar

Lemmy Admins Are Full Of Shit. They Are Obsessed With Having Power, Silencing Users, Banning Users, And Want To Use A Karma System Like Reddit To Restrict Your Ability To Use Lemmy.

I know I'm being dramatic here, but something just hasn't been sitting well with me ever since I started using Lemmy.

There's just this feeling I get here that the admins have a fucking agenda. And I could be wrong. But I hate bullshiters who won't tell it like it is.

More people need to call admins out on their bullshit. It's getting fucking ridiculous.

And I'm tired of the fucking arrogant attitude that some how running a server and being an admin makes you important in some way as if you're going to be the next elon musk or something. Get over yourselves.

It really feels that there is an ulterior motive based on what I see in the matrix chats.

Admins are not being transparent about there motives.

I'm on pretty much all of the lemmy matrix chats, and all they talk about is restricting the users experience, banning, defederating, purging accounts when they ban them so the user doesn't see why they were banned, and any everything that will put them in a position of power.

I also feel like they have accounts on all the other instances and post other bullshit trying to push their agenda and make these changes seem like a good idea.

Admins, quit fucking bullshitting like you're trying not to be like reddit. Yall seem to wet your panties at the idea of basically being in complete and total control of everything and Ban who ever you want based on your political ideologies.

I'm sure their are some who are not like this.

Im sick of this morally superior attiitude and sense that your beliefs and actions are of greater virtue then everyone else. Yall are smugly moralistic and intolerant of different opinions and its fucking obvious.

Stop being fucking deceitful and tell the goddamn truth.

Please explain to everyone your intentions.

This is just one of many. I attached the rest here. I apologize for any duplicates.

https://files.catbox.moe/pvou0q.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/t2q6hu.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/sea4hg.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/p6los4.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/io3koy.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/jvu21p.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/e1syxi.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/qv0v3k.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/dlz394.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/dlz394.jpg
https://files.catbox.moe/wzzc13.jpg

https://lemdit.com/pictrs/image/d216a6cf-1882-4488-8191-4a80fe1f65c6.jpeg

sj_zero ,

So both lemmy and lotide were having big problems where they'd get totally overwhelmed, especially once I started federating with huge instances. At first I thought it was because my servers aren't very powerful, but eventually I got the idea that maybe it's because it can't keep up with federation data from the big instances.

So I decided to limit the connections per IP address. Long-term testing isn't done yet, but so far both my lemmy and lotide instances aren't getting crushed when they're exposed to the outside world, so I think it's helping.

In /etc/nginx/nginx.conf, under the http section, I added the line "limit_conn_zone $binary_remote_addr zone=conn_limit_per_ip:10m;"

Then, in my sites-available folder for the services, I added "limit_conn conn_limit_per_ip 4;" or something similar. Both lemmy and lotide have different sections for ActivityPub and API, so it appears I can limit the connections just to those parts of the site.

It's only been a few days, but whereas before both instances would die randomly pretty quickly once exposed to the outside world, now it appears that they're both stable. Meanwhile, I'm still getting federated posts and comments.

talou , French
@talou@mamot.fr avatar
raphael ,
@raphael@communick.com avatar

My post about communick on @fediverse was unfeatured and I got a 3-day ban for "advertisements".

The post was well received and had 100+ upvotes. I've written it after someone found a comment of mine and said more people could be interested.

I did talk about communick a lot on that community, but my participation was far from spammy. I also subscribed to plenty of other communities and kept any communick-related comments to the "right" place.

jupiter_rowland ,
@jupiter_rowland@hub.netzgemeinde.eu avatar

@Fediverse

Again, this post goes out to both the #Threadiverse and the rest of the #Fediverse.

I've decided that only writing about my problems with #AltText and enormous #ImageDescriptions won't work as well as actually demonstrating what I mean, and why it's a problem.

Preamble: Some of you may see me on #Lemmy. But I'm not on Lemmy.

Others may see me in their local or federated timelines on #Mastodon. But I'm not on Mastodon either.

I'm on #Hubzilla (official website) which is part of the Fediverse and federated with Mastodon, Lemmy and just about everything else. It has almost unlimited possibilities. But while I can do a lot here, especially Mastodon is deliberately incapable of displaying most of it.

For example, I can write posts that are tens of thousands of characters long, and I can write alt-texts that are almost as long as the posts can be. But while Mastodon can still show posts from outside unshortened, no matter how long they are, it has a hard cap of only 1,500 characters for alt-text which, as far as I know, is applied to alt-texts on images in posts that come in from outside Mastodon as well.

Also, I can embed as many pictures as I want in Hubzilla posts, and I can actually embed them. I can place them wherever I want in-between the paragraphs. I don't necessarily have to put them at the end. Mastodon, on the other hand, knows pictures only as file attachments which it puts below a toot. And Mastodon toots can only have a maximum of four file attachments.

Lastly, I know that the vast majority of Mastodon users use Mastodon through a dedicated app on a mobile phone. Whenever they tap a link, it will open their Web browser. I also know that mobile Mastodon users tend to see their Web browser popping up as a nuisance, and they'd rather avoid to use their Web browser and experience the Fediverse in its entirety in their Mastodon app without anything else opening.

These are limiting factors, some of which will play a role in this demonstration.

Now, to get to the topic which I've already ranted about here and, most recently, here.

I'm stuck in a situation that's a combination of these factors:

One, the Fediverse demands I comply with its #accessibility requirements at the behest of #blind and #VisuallyImpaired users, otherwise I'll be sanctioned in some way. And I'm not the one to skimp on this. I'd rather try to satisfy everyone's needs. I'd rather have people tell me that what I've done is complete and utter overkill than that what I've done isn't sufficient.

Two, while some are satisfied with a short and concise alt-text, others ask for full descriptions of pictures with everything in them plus explanations for those who are unfamiliar with what's shown in the picture.

To give you an example, here is an actual Mastodon toot from a few weeks ago. I have re-shared this post a few times already, but I can't expect everyone who reads this post to have seen it before. I've used Hubzilla's own built-in standard re-sharing feature to automatically put it here into this post:


Stormgren (https://hub.netzgemeinde.eu/photo/6994864a-99ce-4db2-974d-0733299644ef-6)Stormgren wrote the following post Mon, 03 Jul 2023 18:20:44 +0200

Alt-text doesn't just mean accessibility in terms of low -vision or no-vision end users.

Done right also means accessibility for people who might not know much about your image's subject matter either.

This is especially true for technical topic photos. By accurately describing what's in the picture, you give context to non-technical viewers, or newbies, as to exactly what they're looking at, and even describe how it works or why it matters.

is not just an alternate description to a visual medium, it's an enhancement for everyone if you do it right.

(So I can't find any prior post of mine on this, so if I've actually made this point before, well, you got to hear a version of it again.)


In case you didn't get a link to the account this post came from and/or to the post itself, here is a link to the post.

Besides, just look through posts with the #AltText tag on them, and you'll see many with very elaborate and detailed descriptions, albeit often of not-so-detailed pictures, but still. So this is actually happening, yes. Not only that, but fully-detailed image descriptions are often actually praised rather than criticised.

Three, alt-text and #ImageDescription rules demand all text in a picture be transcribed in their entirety, word by word.

Four, I often post pictures that, taking the above into consideration, require very extensive descriptions because there's just about absolutely nothing in them which my audience is familiar with. My pictures are usually taken inside a virtual 3-D world based on #OpenSimulator because that's what this Hubzilla channel is mainly about. But out of probably over 13 million Fediverse users, maybe two or three dozen are familiar with #OpenSim worlds in general, and all the others aren't. And I can often hardly expect even three or four of them to be familiar with that particular place where I've taken the picture. Let's say these places are far from being as well-known and as not requiring description or explanation as Times Square, the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House. And if people don't know something, they need it described.

Five, I don't always post pictures like on Instagram or Pixelfed. That's when you make posts with pictures, and the posts are about the pictures. I sometimes use pictures as illustrations for posts which are not about these pictures specifically. In fact, these pictures are actually optional. Unlike in the former case, full image descriptions in the visual part of the post are bad style in this case.

So much about my situation.

What I'm going to do now is demonstrate multiple ways in which a certain picture that requires a very extensive description can be described in a post. None of them will be perfect. Each one of them will have its shortcomings which I'm sure will discriminate against someone out there.

The image in question can be found through this link. I have deliberately linked to the picture rather than embedded it here in order not to have to provide an alt-text that's sufficiently satisfying for everyone in this post already. The follow-up posts will be about describing this picture. Thus, they will all contain a description of the picture, and at least one of them is very likely to provide a full image description in the post body that should be accessible to everyone on every Fediverse project.

The image was first used in a post from over a year ago (link to the post) in which I've mentioned that the Metropolis Metaversum, one of the oldest OpenSim grids, has finally shut down after 14 years of operation, a few days later than scheduled. The picture shows my Metropolis avatar waving at the camera one last time before the grid, and the avatar with it, comes to its end.

Due to how detailed the picture is, due to how many objects with text on them are in the picture, and due to how almost absolutely nobody who may come across this picture will know anything in it, a full description at a detail level similar to describing a single bird in front of a blurry background plus explanations where explanations are necessary plus a full set of transcriptions can only be enormously long.

In the original post, the picture doesn't have an alt-text.

So what I'm going to do now is create multiple remakes of this post with the same wording and the same hashtags. But this time, I'm employing different techniques from remake to remake to include an alt-text and/or a full image description.

For this purpose, I've taken an image description which I've written several days ago, which already had 10,985 characters. I had actually gone in-world and visited a static memorial copy of the location shown in the picture to describe details that are practically invisible, but still theoretically visible in the picture. I've re-worked this description a bit and and expanded it even further. I've also found pictures of the big black sign behind the tree trunk and managed to transcribe it. As what's written on the panel turned out to be in German, I also had to provide a full translation. The only remaining writings within the scope of the picture that weren't transcribed are all on the Windows "screen" of the laptop on the counter of the info desk which is actually a static texture.

When combined into one paragraph, the description has 13,215 characters now.

The variants I'm going to post:

  • Variant 1: short alt-text that only mentions what matters in the context of the post; no description given at all
  • Variant 2: full image description in the alt-text
  • Variant 3: short alt-text announces image description available through a link; full image description available on a separate page
  • Variant 4: short alt-text announces image description; full image description in the text body of the post itself and fully visibly right away

As you will see, each one of them will have serious drawbacks for Mastodon users, for mobile users, for the people for whom we should all write alt-texts and image descriptions in the first place, sometimes for everyone.

#A11y #Inclusion #InclusionMatters #Inclusivity

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