Fedi-Check: A Personalized Tool for Streamlining ActivityPub Compatibility Checks

Fedi-Check: A Personalized Tool for Streamlining ActivityPub Compatibility Checks

Aug 8, 2023·

3 min read

The allure of the Fediverse and the promise of a decentralized digital realm have captivated many, myself included. The advent of ActivityPub as a cornerstone protocol for this interconnected ecosystem has been both exhilarating and inspiring. In the midst of developing my own Mastodon-compatible instance, I realized the importance of aligning with ActivityPub standards. However, manual verification of compatibility was a painstaking process. This realization led me to create "Fedi-Check" – a simple yet invaluable tool that assists in assessing the compatibility of Mastodon servers by conducting rudimentary checks on specific ActivityPub endpoints.

Navigating the Fediverse Landscape: The Fediverse, an amalgamation of federated social platforms, has revolutionized online communication. Interconnected servers, each powered by protocols like ActivityPub, enable seamless interaction between various platforms such as Mastodon, Pleroma, and PeerTube. This innovative approach empowers users to traverse the digital realm while retaining control over their data and online presence.

As I embarked on the journey of creating my own Mastodon-compatible instance, I was confronted with the task of ensuring compatibility with ActivityPub standards. The time-consuming nature of manual verification prompted me to develop Fedi-Check – a tool designed to streamline the process.

Fedi-Check in Action:

Fedi-Check is a straightforward tool that performs basic checks on specific ActivityPub endpoints. Its utility is derived from its simplicity and personalization. Designed primarily for my own use, the tool performs a series of checks on the provided Fediverse account – for instance, "@proverbial@mastodon.social." Here's a glimpse into how Fedi-Check operates:

  1. Webfinger Check: Fedi-Check initiates the process by conducting a webfinger check on the Mastodon domain associated with the provided account (e.g., "mastodon.social"). This preliminary step confirms the presence of the specified instance within the Fediverse.

  2. Actor Link Extraction: After successfully querying the webfinger endpoint, Fedi-Check extracts the actor link. This link serves as an identifier for the actor under examination.

  3. Endpoint Verification: Using the extracted actor link, Fedi-Check then proceeds to conduct basic checks on essential ActivityPub endpoints – namely, inbox, outbox, followers, and following. These endpoints are pivotal for effective communication within the Fediverse.

  4. Upon completing the checks, Fedi-Check generatess an overview of the verified endpoints.

  5. Personal Development Aid: As the tool was conceived for personal use, the generated report equips me with the information needed to fine-tune my instance. It serves as a valuable resource during the developmental stages, helping me build a more compatible and seamless Mastodon-compatible instance.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the Fediverse, ActivityPub remains a cornerstone protocol. Fedi-Check, although built for personal use, embodies the spirit of innovation that defines this decentralized ecosystem. As I continue to craft my Mastodon-compatible instance, Fedi-Check stands as a personal ally, aiding me in fine-tuning compatibility with ActivityPub standards.