This interview with the author of #Zot & #Hubzilla has some interesting criticisms of #ActivityPub:
"The W3C editors haven’t provided a level playing field and I truly believe the specification is now worthless as a unifying force for the free web. [...] Any opportunity for free web unification using a common stack has probably been lost. Ironically, I believe this was ActivityPub’s primary goal, and that makes the specifications [...] flawed — critically."
@wu_lee @strypey that was interesting ; he has had a pretty amazing career. His perspective on protocol as being merely a "gentleman’s agreement" seems a bit naive given his experience. There are significant social, political & historical dimensions to protocol development, that cannot be simply brushed aside and ignored. The w3c, to their credit, try to work with those messy dimensions.
Mike MacGirvin's said: "There’s nothing magic about a protocol. It’s basically just a gentleman’s agreement about how to implement something."
Strictly that statement is about protocols, not standards committees (W3C).
A "gentlemen's agreement" here means one which is loose and/or bound only by fidelity, not literally gentlemen or exclusivity thereof.
Seems uncontroversial to me: standards should not be too loose. But they do need implementation fidelity to be useful.
What I think MacGirvin's trying to convey overall is that protocol standards are often:
a) too vague
b) too specific
c) not strictly followed, both by accident and on purpose.
And thus they don't work as well as they might.
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