This is the last of the series of nine reports started April 2021 when the DAPSI grant was approved. It started under the name fedeproxy and now has a better one forgefriends. Most of the activity was related to renaming the project, discussing governance and funding. Not much happened on the software side of things. Software Development The main branch reached a point where it implements the main features found in the deprecated python based implementation: the switch from Python to Go is complete.
https://forgefriends.org/ is an online service to federate forges. The software projects hosted on one forge are synchronized in real time with their counterparts on other forges, via the W3C ActivityPub protocol. Developers can freely use the forge of their choosing while contributing to the same project. It operates independently from the forges and serves as an incubator with rapid prototyping to research the best user experience. Most Free Software projects are hosted on proprietary online services (called forges) that do not provide an export/import feature flexible enough to allow them to move easily (GitHub, SourceForge, etc.
Most of the work during the last month was around implementing fedeproxy and contributing to Gitea. A proposal to change the name of the project from fedeproxy to forgefriends is well on the way. The November 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held November 18th, 2021 5pm Paris time and is open to everyone. Software Development The switch to go was delayed by two weeks, during which contributions to advance federation in Gitea were done, with the help of a cheatlist.
Early 2021 the fedeproxy project was created to build communication bridges between forges. It would allow to create a bug report on a project hosted on GitLab even when using Gitea. At that time community members knew very little about the ActivityPub protocol, the Gitea codebase or its community. But they knew it would be years before all forges are able to communicate with each other using some kind of standard protocol.
Most of the work during the last month was around implementing fedeproxy in Go. It will bring fedeproxy closer to Gitea and allow both projects to share significant parts of the codebase related to federation. The October 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held October 18th 10:30am, 2021 and is open to everyone. Software Development In August 2021, the idea of implementing fedeproxy in Go was discussed. There was no push back, on the contrary.
Most of the work during the last month was around funding with Gitea and plans were made to apply for a grant for fedeproxy as well. Writing code was the other important topic, publishing the August release and preparing the September release. It may look like there is less activity than usual: this is because this monthly update covers only about two weeks instead of the usual four weeks. The September 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held September 15th 3:30pm, 2021 and is open to everyone.
Most of the work during the last month was writing code, publishing the July release and preparing the August release. Collaboration with existing forges, Gitea and Heptapod also made significant progress. The August 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held August 26th 3:30pm, 2021 and is open to everyone. Software Development The bulk of the work was to begin the implementation of the webfinger and ActivityPub protocol. The inbox messages are verified to be signed conformant to the http-signature IETF draft.
Most of the work during the last month was writing code, publishing the June release and preparing the July release. Collaboration with existing forges, Gitea, forgefed and Heptapod was initiated. The July 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held July 29th 5:30pm, 2021 and is open to everyone. Software Development There is nothing user facing yet but the code is running in the integration tests environment. It relies on fixtures that target each available forge (Gitea and GitLab) as well as fixture factories to create test users that can be re-used between tests.
Early 2021 two friends, Pierre-Louis and Loïc, had an idea to foster Free Software and decided to make it happen. Many projects are born out of ideas every year in the Free Software community and they inherit the unfortunate lack of diversity that still prevails. They need to improve from the very beginning and need resources to get inspiration and guidance. But organizations advocating for diversity in tech or in the Free Software community are mostly focused on large established projects and big corporations, not tiny Free Software projects that are a few months old.
The User Research was completed and recommended to focus on federating issues. The software development started and releases will be published on a monthly basis. The June 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held June 24th 3:30pm, 2021 and is open to everyone. User Research User research was completed and the report published. The work will resume in a few months once the software is available for testing with the help of volunteers.