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I must be honest, working on getting #federation with #Mastodon is as much reverse engineering as it was getting federation working with #Diaspora.

Although, to be fair, the Diaspora work was *before* they documented the federation protocol. #ActivityPub is in *theory* documented. As the spec is more a framework, getting federation working requires a lot of reverse engineering to happen, though in theory it's "documented".

This is not all a bad thing. At least it leaves room for implementers.

If only we had a federation protocol that *is* documented. Oh wait, #Matrix ;)

how bad does mastodon's S2S implementation differ from the spec?

it's not so much "differ". #Activitypub is a very loose framework and each platform will make some choices due to that. Like yesterday I found out after annoying amounts of time throwing json into a black box that mastodon completely ignores public payloads unless you but someone in CC when delivering.

That kind of thing is just app logic outside AP spec. I don't think we can avoid these kind of things with a loose spec.

being currently trying to develop something federating with Mastodon, I cannot agree more.