Thoughts on Nextcloud Federation, ActivityPub, and what could be

Federated dreams, but no one can see…

Hi, I’d like to share a fairly long-winded post on what might be for Nextcloud federation between servers. This is based on some years of use, plus assumptions I have had since I first began using this software. I love the project and have thought about this a lot. Very likely, my desires do not mirror those of the developers, but I would like to share them!

Comments in Nextcloud, and the need to federate them!

Since day 1 I’ve been under the assumption that:

  • I could post a comment on a federated file.
  • Users on other federated servers sharing this file could read and respond to my comment.

This is not yet possible, but there is a feature request for comments open here in issue #2197.

Adding the Circles App to the Federation mix

The Circles app is what allows users to create and share between their own contacts as pseudo-groups they’ve defined for public or private sharing. This app has been especially important for it’s ability to federate with other Nextcloud servers as well! Any app supporting the Circles app is a good step towards greater federation! In just the last month, both the Calendar and Deck apps have added their support! Adding Circles support does not mean you have full federation, but it certainly is a step in the right direction!

Enter Nextcloud Social, and the use of ActivityPub
To be continued…

Federated Calendars and Contacts issue #1440 is another complex, unresolved feature request that would be great!