fediverse

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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 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.

binomialchicken,

When you specify To: localtesting@aussie.zone how does the bridge know if you meant https://aussie.zone/c/localtesting or https://aussie.zone/u/localtesting instead?

Kolanaki,
@Kolanaki@yiffit.net avatar

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

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.

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 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.

canute, Danish

Article on Interoperability of Fediverse platforms

what else can I add to the article?

@fediverse

deegeese,

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.

ruud,

Testing for @writefreely , does this show up @ruud @fediverse

writefreely,
@writefreely@writing.exchange avatar

@ruud Do you have the logs from the WriteFreely side when you sent that? Even without the -debug flag, it should help explain why that Lemmy request didn't work.

(you can also publish those as a Draft post in WF and send the post URL if you don't want to share via the blog.)

ruud,
@ruud@mastodon.world avatar

@writefreely I put it here: https://blog.mastodon.world/a-second-test

But I'm off to bed now, sorry. Can be back at this tomorrow if needed.

Devilsdaughter,

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

Nerorero,
@Nerorero@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

Account age 2h, it’s a troll

Anafroj,

Guess who is actually being called out on their bullshit. :D

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.

pnutzh4x0r,
@pnutzh4x0r@lemmy.ndlug.org avatar

I think this is part of the recommended (external) nginx configuration for lemmy:


<span style="color:#323232;">limit_req_zone $binary_remote_addr zone={{domain}}_ratelimit:10m rate=1r/s;
</span>

Which can be found here

talou, French
@talou@mamot.fr avatar
Little8Lost,

What?

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.

Blaze,
@Blaze@sopuli.xyz avatar

Glad to see it!

Oha,

Advertises his paid service on a community, that doesnt allow advertisements

Gets banned for advertising

Cries because he got a 3 day ban

jupiter_rowland,

@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:


https://obsidianmoon.com/@StormgrenStormgren 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

jupiter_rowland,

#AltText and #ImageDescription demonstration, variant 3, as announced in the start post of this thread (click or tap here)

This post is a demonstrational re-creation of an older post of mine from early July 2022 link to the post). The original includes an image which doesn't have an alt-text, which is extremely detailed, which contains lots of things that most people are unfamiliar with, which also contains lots of barely visible text that is required to be fully transcribed as per alt-text rules, and which therefore should require a very extensive description.

This variant 3 offers a full and detailed image description through a link to another page within the same Hubzilla channel on which these posts were made. In order to be sufficiently informative and transcribe all text in the image, the image description had to grow up to a length of 13,215 characters, not counting line breaks and blank lines. The alt-text of the image briefly mentions what's happening in the image and references the link to the image description.

Having the image description separately somewhere else has four disadvantages.

One, accessing the image description requires one extra step.

Two, the image and its description can never be accessed at the same time unless a desktop or laptop computer with sufficient screen space is available.

Three, on mobile phones with dedicated Fediverse apps, the image and its description are shown in separate apps, the image in the Fediverse app, the description in the Web browser.

Four, generally, mobile users have to put up with the Web browser opening so they can read the image description.


Post title: Okay. It's over. Metropolis is down.


Metro finally went down about nine hours ago today.

Here's one last farewell from my Metro avatar, my first avatar.
https://hub.netzgemeinde.eu/photos/jupiter_rowland/image/6c9c16db-79af-41a2-9faa-5b22929fdd26
Link to a detailed description and explanation of the image

#OpenSim #OpenSimulator #Metaverse #VirtualWorlds #Metropolis #Grid #TheGreatGridDyingOf2022

jupiter_rowland,

#AltText and #ImageDescription demonstration, variant 4, as announced in the start post of this thread (click or tap here)

This post is a demonstrational re-creation of an older post of mine from early July 2022 link to the post). The original includes an image which doesn't have an alt-text, which is extremely detailed, which contains lots of things that most people are unfamiliar with, which also contains lots of barely visible text that is required to be fully transcribed as per alt-text rules, and which therefore should require a very extensive description.

This variant 4 contains a full and detailed image description in plain sight within the text body of the post, and the alt-text of the image briefly mentions what's happening in the image and references the image description within the post. In order to be sufficiently informative and transcribe all text in the image, the image description had to grow up to a length of 13,215 characters, not counting line breaks and blank lines.

Judging purely by #accessibility, this is the best solution by far. However, it has two disadvantages.

One is purely stylistic: The post is not about the picture. The post is about something that happened in the recent past. The picture is only there to illustrate the post a little. In such a situation, an image description would be out of place. Yet, the post which itself would only have about 115 characters is blown up with an image description of over 13,000 characters, increasing its length more than hundred-fold.

The other one mostly concerns Mastodon: In the original, the picture is embedded below the original message text and above the hashtags. In this modification, the picture is still embedded below the original message text, but above the image description because if there's an image description, it should really follow the picture, right? Mastodon, however, can't place images above anything. It can only place them below everything after the end of a post. So you have to read the post body and then go through 13,000+ characters of image description before you come across the actual image that's being described.


Post title: Okay. It's over. Metropolis is down.


Metro finally went down about nine hours ago today.

Here's one last farewell from my Metro avatar, my first avatar.
https://hub.netzgemeinde.eu/photos/jupiter_rowland/image/6c9c16db-79af-41a2-9faa-5b22929fdd26

#ImageDescription:

My avatar in the Metropolis Metaversum, waving a last farewell from the Metropolis welcome building before Metropolis shuts down for good.

The Metropolis Metaversum, Metropolis or Metro in short, was a virtual 3-D world, also referred to as a grid in this context, based on OpenSimulator which is a free and open-source server-side re-implementation of Second Life. It was one of the earliest OpenSim grids and the first one run by Germans, and it was shut down by its owners on July 5th, 2022 between 10:00 and 11:00 AM CEST after 14 years of operation.

The avatar is a light-skinned, dark-haired male adult wearing metal-framed glasses, a dark grey blazer jacket with darker grey shoulders and collar which is buttoned up, a black button-down shirt buttoned up all the way to the collar, a pair of dark black denim jeans and a pair of black full-brogue shoes.

He is standing on the outside platform of level 3, the top level of the building and waving his right hand while having his left hand on his hip. The floor of the platform is standing on the outside platform of level 3, the top level of the building out of four levels altogether. It was also the place where both new avatars appeared for the first time and travellers landed when teleporting in.

The floor is a rusty steel girder that's so coarse that it'd be fairly hard to walk on in real life; here it is only a semi-transparent texture on a solid surface. In front of the avatar is the double railing made of likewise rusty steel that surrounds the platform. Below the platform, the rust-coated structure that carries level 3 can be seen.

Level 3 itself, entirely behind the avatar with the exception of the outside platform, is encased in a glass cupola with a cylindrical lower part and a spherical upper part, both with semi-transparent green reinforcements between what would otherwise appear as single glass panes. The spherical upper part rests on a support ring made of sheet metal panels with rusty outer edges. This ring, in turn, is carried by four triple sets of boxy, rusty steel columns with semi-elliptical cutouts on the far side of the cupola that roughly give the impression of being riveted. One triple set of columns can be seen right outside the cupola to the right of the avatar, another two can be seen in the background to the left and to the right of the avatar.

Within each triple set except the one in the front to the right, there are two passageways into the cupola. Each passageway is surrounded by a greenish metal frame; each pair of these frames carries the marquee "METROPOLIS GRID" made of light grey concrete with blinking white lightbulbs on it on the inside.

A circular structure made of rusty steel pipes is mounted on the inside of the support ring and carries a number of neon lights with rusty sheet metal covers above them. A semi-circular structure made of likewise rusty sheet metal protrudes outward from the support ring above the two columns to the left in the background.

To the left of the avatar and on the front part of the platform, there is a dark grey four-seat bench made of rounded square steel tubes with fine steel girders in them as legs, seats and backrests.

Around the inside of the cupola, there is a narrow strip with a plant-like green and greyish brown texture going all around except for the passageways. The floor inside the cupola gives the impression of cracked grey concrete.

On the left-hand edge of the picture and behind the front set of support columns, there are two greyish-brown rocks with green moss on top; the one behind the columns is almost twice as tall as the one to the left.

Also inside the cupola, behind the four-seat bench, there is the circular info desk with a sign mounted on top and an NPC modelled after the robot Maria from Fritz Lang's 1928 silent movie Metropolis standing on the inside of the desk. Unlike Second Life, OpenSim allows for actual, scriptable NPCs that don't need a running viewer to appear in-world. This NPC, named Bertha, has even basic chatbot functionality implemented.

The sign above the info desk is made from rusty sheet metal, a surrounding frame made of zinc-coated steel tubes which still show some rust and two bamboo poles as supports which are stuck through the bottom horizontal pipe. It can only be seen from behind in this picture. A small red and light brown bird is perched on top of the sign.

What gives the impression of promotional material for both the film and the grid is placed on the counter top of the info desk, the visible face showing Maria's head and the writing "Metropolis Metaversum", as are a red and white strawberry cocktail and a light grey laptop computer with a brushed aluminium case that has a static image of a Windows desktop with the start menu open amongst other things as its screen texture. The red object above the counter top to the left of the NPC is a heart slowly rotating clockwise which provides access to the avatar-partnering feature.

An artificial pond with various plants in it extends from behind the info desk past the front of the larger rock to the next passageway.

To the left of the info desk, there's the walk-in teleporter that leads down to level 2. It mimicks the look of an old CRT screen of enormous size, built into a weathered metal casing with a low dark grey ramp in front of it. The screen on the teleporter shows a part of level 2 with its green floor, dark grey walls and several more teleporters in front of these walls. The yellow writing "Grid Teleport Center" is hovering above the teleporter. On the ramp to the teleporter, there is a black sign that reads, "Wenn Durchgehen nicht klappt, Klicken Sie das Bild zum Teleportieren. When Walk-Through does not work, Click the Image to teleport."

A zinc-coated but slightly rusty metal pipe on top of the teleporter that slowly rotates counter-clockwise carries a special Metropolis sign. The inner part is red with the logo of the film Metropolis and the capital letter M on it, both in white. It is surrounded by a brass ring that separates it from a black area which has more writing in white on it: "DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF FREE VIRTUAL WORLDS" above centre, "METROPOLIS METAVERSUM" below centre and one five-prong star on each side separating the two writings. The outside is another brass ring.

The column between the passageways in the background to the left carries a black sign with group joiners for the Metropolis Newsnet group. The sign has the octagonal red Metropolis logo with a white M in the middle and a white edge around it in the top left corner. To the right of the logo, it is labelled in white, "Metropolis Newsnet Gruppe" which is partly German and translates to "Metropolis Newsnet Group". The writing below reads, "Aktuelle Informationen um Metropolis" and "Ankündigungen, Infos, Events, Fragen und Antworten im Chat" which is mostly German and translates to "Announcements, infos, events, questions and answers in the chat". The small neon green writing at the bottom edge reads, "Klick hier und folge dem Link im allgemeinen Chat, um der Gruppe beizutreten. Im Gruppenfenster JOIN klicken.(Click here to join the Metropolis Newsnet group." The German part of this translates to, "Click here and follow the link in the general chat to join the group. In the group window, click JOIN." Right below the black sign are three clickable white panels with black writings on them, "deutsch", "français" and "english".

A black box with a red top and on each side a large red M and the small red writing "Translator" which contains the Metropolis Translator is offered on a small round red table below the group joiners. The translator is one out of many which automatically translates whatever the user posts in the public chat into another language.

Above the black sign, the lower edge of another sign that lists the Metropolis core team is visible; the rest of the sign is covered by the sign above the info desk.

There is a round concrete structure in the middle of the floor which serves as seating and as a planter for an ash tree with white bark and yellowish and reddish autumn leaves that has grown up to the support ring plus four small green bushes around it.

Four tables with four chairs each, all made of iron painted black plus light brown wooden planks and foldable, are placed irregularly in front of the circular structure with the ash tree. All the way to the right, a blond woman in a black short-sleeved minidress is sitting at one of the tables with another identical strawberry cocktail in front of her. She is a static, unscripted model of Bertha Senior, the former Metropolis greeter.

Right behind the ash tree, there is a black sign with yellow writing on it which announces the unofficial Metropolis farewell party in this location on level 1, two levels further down, in the evening of June 30th which was scheduled to be the last day of Metro's operation. The sign was written in German by the Dutch Metropolis tech admin Neovo Geesink who had installed it only a few days before June 30th, and it reads, "Am Donnerstag der 30. Juni gibt es hier im Metro, Region "Metropolis", UND im OSGrid, Region "Metro Memoriam" eine EndParty für das Metropolis Grid. Es startet am 21:00 Uhr Lokalzeit. (12:00 PDT) DJ LadyJo werde am Stream gehen und der Party Hosten. Im "Metro Memoriam" ist auch eine Memoriam / Erdenkungs ort zur Metropolis Hergestellt. Wenn Unvorsehen der Metro bereits Runter gegangen ist, werde der Party jedoch im OSGrid am "Metro Memoriam" statt haben. HG adresse für die Karte nach der Region im OSGrid: hg.osgrid.org:80:Metro Memoriam Oder klicken Sie diese Tafel an um direkt zu Teleportieren. Neovo Geesink."

This translates to, "On Thursday, June 30th, there is a party to celebrate the end of the Metropolis Grid here in Metro, region "Metropolis", AND in OSgrid, Region "Metro Memoriam". It starts at 21:00 local time. (12:00 PDT) DJ LadyJo will enter the stream and host the party. Also, at "Metro Memoriam", a memorial/remembrance place for Metro has been created. If Metro has been shut down unexpectedly, the party will still take place in OSgrid at "Metro Memoriam". HG address for the map to the region in OSgrid: hg.osgrid.org:80:Metro Memoriam Or click the panel to teleport directly. Neovo Geesink."

The sign doubles as a clickable teleporter to a memorial sim which had been built on another grid, OSgrid, and which hosted the Metropolis farewell party in parallel with the club on level 1 of the Metropolis welcome building. Two timezones are mentioned; one is CEST which is local time for Germany, home of the grid, and the other one is PDT which is official grid time in both Second Life and all OpenSimulator-based grids.

Two screens are on the sides of this black sign, hanging on two stainless steel chains each, both with five blue buttons below them for navigation. Both screens allow avatars to navigate through nine pages. They are both on the last page. The screen to the left offers basic information about Metropolis in German, the one to the right does the same in English. Both screens show black bars at the top. The black bars have the octogonal, red and white Metropolis logo to the left with "METROPOLIS" written next to it. In addition, the screen to the right has a combined flag on the right end of the black bar, the top left half of which is the U.S. flag, but with only 25 stars, and the bottom right half is the British flag. The rest of both screens is white with a variation on the octagonal Metropolis logo, now in black and semi-transparent, surrounded by the arched black writing "MEAVITACREATIVUM" which is Latin for "my creative life" and with a black "METROPOLIS METAVERSUM" writing below it.

Another circular segment of steel girder is mounted above the screens, and ivy is hanging down from it.

Between the screen to the right and the one of the passageways further to the right stands a truss made of zinc-coated steel with four vertical pipes in a square arrangement which carries three support request signs and online indicators for support staff. All three have a dark blue "SUPPORT?" label at the top. The top one is in German with "Du hast Fragen oder brauchst Hilfe?" ("You have questions or need help?") written on it in black and "HIER KLICKEN" ("Click here") written below in green and the German flag at the bottom. The middle one is in French with "Vous avez des questions? Vous avez besoin d'aide?" ("You have questions? You are in need of help?") written below in black, "Cliquez ici" ("Click here") written further below in black and the French flag at the bottom. The bottom one is in English with the combined American and British flag in the middle, "Do you have any questions or do you need help?" written below in black and "CLICK HERE" written at the bottom.

Additional vegetation includes ferns in rotund, rusty vases both inside and outside the cupola, including one to the left and two to the right of the teleporter, and potted bamboo outside to the left of the teleporter.

The light is subdued because the sun was permanently set to sunset on the welcome sim, just like on all other official sims throughout the grid, during the last days of Metropolis.

#OpenSim #OpenSimulator #Metaverse #VirtualWorlds #Metropolis #Grid #TheGreatGridDyingOf2022

jupiter_rowland,

@Fediverse

This is going out to both the #Threadiverse and, because I can't keep this from happening, the rest of the #Fediverse where I've mentioned this issue before three months earlier.

In brief: I'm still not sure how much #AltText is optimal. And I tend to run into situations in which alt-text that describes everything in a picture will grow longer than any of you could possibly imagine in their wildest dreams.

Here's my situation:

  • I don't have a problem with writing a lot. Unlike most of you, I'm not on a phone. I'm on a desktop computer, and if I'm not, I'm on a laptop. I've always got a full-blown hardware keyboard, and I can touch-type with ten fingers. And I like to rant.
  • I'm on #Hubzilla. This means virtually no limit in post length and especially virtually no limit in alt-text length. The only limiting factor would be how much alt-text the instances where my posts are viewed can display. #Mastodon has a hard cap at 1,500 characters, for example.
  • I'm not the one to skimp on #accessibility rules unless they're technologically impossible for me to follow. I'd rather do too much than too little. This includes full transcriptions of all texts in a picture unless privacy issues speak against it, or unless I've got no way to source the original of a text anymore, and said text in the picture is ineligible even for me. Yes, I transcribe text that's one pixel high if I can get the original.
  • When I post pictures, I don't always post them Instagram/Pixelfed-style, i.e. posts that are about this particular picture. Instead, I often use pictures to illustrate the post. Hubzilla gives me all necessary means to write full-blown blog posts with all bells and whistles as regular posts. Describing a picture in the visible part of a post when the post isn't about the picture is horribly bad style. Doing so when there are multiple pictures in one post, regardless of whether Mastodon puts them in the right places (which it doesn't), is even worse.
  • I usually post pictures taken in #VirtualWorlds. In comparison with pictures taken in real-life, they have a much higher tendency to contain things that need to be described, often to both sighted and blind or visually-impaired users, because they simply don't know them, be it objects, be it locations. It's one thing if a picture was taken on Times Square, and it's something else if a picture was taken in a place of which maybe not even five people in the whole Fediverse even know that it exists. Thus, more text is needed.

Now there are two schools of thoughts when it comes to alt-text.

One: clear and concise alt-text. Only describe what's necessary in the context in which the picture is posted. Screen readers can't handle long alt-texts well. You can't navigate alt-text with most screen readers, i.e. you can't stop it somewhere, rewind it to a certain point and listen to parts of it once more. All you can do is let the screen reader rattle down the whole alt-text in one chunk. If you need to hear it again, you have to hear all of it again.

The obvious downside of this is that most of the content of the image is lost to everyone who isn't sighted, and some is lost to those who can't identify it even by looking at it in that particular picture.

Two: full description of absolutely everything in the picture plus explanation if necessary. Denying non-sighted people the chance to experience everything that's in a picture, and be it through words, can be considered ableist. Also, tiny details that are barely visible in the picture could be described so that sighted people can identify them.

And besides, there's the idea that alt-text can help everyone understand what that is that they see (or don't see) in that picture if they're unfamiliar with them.

As I've said, extensive image descriptions in the visible part of a post may be okay when the post is about the picture, but not when the picture illustrates the post and even less when there's more than one picture illustrating the post.

Yes, this is a thing. Just read what @Stormgren wrote earlier this month.

https://obsidianmoon.com/@StormgrenStormgren 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.)

And I'm actually waiting for Mastodon users to refuse to boost posts that contain pictures with insufficient alt-text. Many refuse to boost posts that contain pictures without alt-text already now.

The obvious downside of it is: "DESCRIBE ALL THE THINGS" + lots and lots and lots of stuff in the picture + just about everything needs to be explained because nobody is familiar with any of it = alt-text the size of a rather long blog post.

I've tried that with this picture (no embedding although I could because reasons). I've written a detailed alt-text. I've spent more than three hours in-world in a preserved, static copy of this place, researching and transcribing text where probably none of you would even know that there's text otherwise. The picture alone wasn't enough of a source for an alt-text that I would have deemed sufficient.

Only description plus some transcriptions: 7,636 characters. Description plus everything transcribed, save for the big black panel in the middle background behind the tree which I couldn't transcribe because it no longer exists in-world, plus translations of everything that isn't English plus everything unfamiliar explained: 10,985 characters. If that panel had still existed in-world, and I could have transcribed it, I might have passed the 12,000-character mark. With an image description.

As I've said, Hubzilla doesn't have a hard cap for alt-text length. In theory, it could handle and probably display alt-texts much longer than this. I don't know how it'd display an alt-text of that size in practice, whether it'd be scrollable, whether it'd have a time-out before anyone could read it fully etc. Mastodon, in the meantime, has the hard cap I've mentioned above which probably also cuts alt-texts coming in from outside. That's where most of my audience is. And screen reader users might have no other choice than to sit through their screen readers rambling down alt-text for more than five minutes in one go, especially if they could get a hold of the original alt-text instead of one cropped at the 1,500-character mark.

Now, even though I'll probably kick off two separate threads, I'd like to read your thoughts about how detailed alt-text should be.

#Accessibility #A11y #Inclusion #Inclusivity #InclusionMatters

ChasMusic,
@ChasMusic@ohai.social avatar

@jupiter_rowland I see. ouch

jrp,

@Jupiter Rowland Well, closing your eyes and thn describing an image that you can't see in a way, that you can visualize this image ... rquires a lot of detail to be concise. This reminds me of how people describe music in text, a similar problem. Most people fail to describe subject itself, instead they describe a context or how the subject works on them.
Obviously it doesn't help at all to describe, what it is surrounded by - or how you feel looking at it, when you have no detailed words for itself.

jupiter_rowland,

@Fediverse

I have a question to all of you who have subscribed to Lemmy groups from Fediverse projects that aren't Lemmy. Who follow Lemmy groups from e.g. #Mastodon, #GlitchSoc, #Pleroma, #Akkoma, #MissKey, what's still called #CalcKey, #FoundKey, #Mitra, #GoToSocial, #Socialhome, #Friendica etc., but also #kbin. And I sincerely hope that I'm not the only subscriber to this entire group who isn't on Lemmy.

My question is: If a Lemmy post contains an image or any other media, can you see it?

I'm on #Hubzilla. And when someone posts something with an image in it, I can see the post, but I can't see the image. When someone posts something with a video in it, I can't see the video either.

I can see images in comments with no problem. But I can't see them in posts.

How about you on Mastodon? Or on CalcKey? Or on /kbin? Or elsewhere?

I'm asking and hoping for replies because I need to find out if the issue is on Lemmy's or on Hubzilla's side so I can file a bug report.

jupiter_rowland,

@_jayrope I've filed an issue for Lemmy a while ago, but Nutomic says that Lemmy is working properly, and the issue has to be on Hubzilla's side.

Now I've also filed one for hubzilla-addons, hoping that it has to do with Pubcrawl. If not, I'll have to file it for hubzilla-core again.

jrp,

@Jupiter Rowland Question is, if Nutomic is gonna work with @Mario Vavti or whomever is ready on this? That would speed up the process to a minor issue i guess.

linuxFan,

@fediverse Vlemmy refugees logging in from elsewhere, how's it working?

orangepeeljedi,
orangepeeljedi avatar

@linuxFan Had a lemmy.world account from before. Tried this to be safe from any such future events.

Chickerino,

little bit tricky, was only on there for a few weeks but in that time i managed to subscribe to 50 communties and host one, now i gotta redo all of that again which is a minor pain in the ass

Xylight, (edited )

@fediverse posting this from mastodon. It's amazing if this works!

Edit: it worked! Showed up in my Lemmy feed.

Arotrios,
Arotrios avatar

Saying hey from over here on kbin.social, which picked this up as a Microblog (their feature for viewing Mastodon posts). If you're looking to be active on both Lemmy and Mastodon, Kbin is the best platform I've found thus far for navigating the Fediverse.

brainfreeze,

Hey! I’ve been trying to get the hang of the fedi stuff. Is there a good source for how to combine Lemmy and Mastodon at kbin?

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