ActivityPub Test Suite

Strengthening interoperability in the ecosystem of decentralized, federated social networks

Key facts

Investment Amount
Investment Year(s)
2023, 2024

The ActivityPub Test Suite is an important project establishing a robust test suite for the ActivityPub protocol, a critical component of the decentralized social networking landscape known as the Fediverse. This protocol, rooted in the W3C ActivityStreams 2.0 specification, provides a standardized framework for communication between different servers and clients. The test suite’s primary goal is to ensure broad interoperability among various ActivityPub protocol implementations, while also simplifying the development process for programmers and empowering users with increased control over their data.

ActivityPub serves as the foundation for the Fediverse, a network connecting diverse social networking applications like Mastodon, PeerTube, and Pixelfed. By creating a set of tools and guides, the Activity Test Suite project addresses a critical gap in the implementation process, facilitating developers' confidence in building applications that seamlessly interact with other conformant implementations.

Why is this important?

ActivityPub, as the underlying protocol for a diverse array of potentially interoperable social networking applications, empowers users by providing a standardized, decentralized alternative to closed and proprietary social media platforms. The test suite is a foundation for developers building these social networking applications, offering them a reliable framework to test how their implementations adheres to the protocol and standards.

Driving more rapid prototyping, specifications, and interoperability testing will improve user experience of a few key functionalities not specified in the ActivityPub standard – like the Fediverse Enhancement Proposal around account migration. It also fosters an environment where individuals have greater control over their data. In essence, the ActivityPub Test Suite project aligns with the principles of digital sovereignty, ensuring that the digital landscape remains inclusive, user-centric, and conducive to the public interest, ultimately championing a more equitable and empowering online space.

What are we funding?

Overall, this investment targets wider interoperability among different implementations of the ActivityPub protocol, making it easier for developers to implement support for ActivityPub, and giving users choice and control over their data.

  1. Test Suite Establishment:
    • Develop and implement a comprehensive server conformance test harness for the ActivityPub protocol.
    • Create an accessible implementation guide and tutorial for automated testing of conformant ActivityPub implementations.
    • Ensure the test suite acts as a foundational benchmark, fostering confidence for developers in building interoperable applications.
  2. Fediverse Enhancement Proposal (FEP) Acceleration:
    • Expedite the FEP process, with a particular focus on account migration functionalities.
    • Drive rapid prototyping, specification, and interoperability testing of key features not explicitly covered in the ActivityPub standard.
    • Navigate the evolving landscape of social networking functionalities, ensuring timely adaptation to industry advancements.
  3. Community Outreach and Coordination:
    • Conduct a thorough review of developer blogs and implementation reports from previous years to enrich the test suite.
    • Develop resources for journalists and civil society organizations considering the adoption of ActivityPub software.
    • Support coordination of specification work at W3C Social Web Incubator Community Group to ensure representation of public interest in ongoing developments

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