Posted today on

Hello, Ben Roberts from the Social Web Working Group and Social Web Incubator Community Group and the W3C (that second one is open to the public if you are interested in joining). I was looking for some feedback.

In yesterday's Social Web Incubator Community Group telcon, I brought up the issue of WebFinger. The current implementations have had some differences in how they are implemented. Also there are several limitations to it. Its important to invest....

@mmn would love some feedback about GNU Social on the above

I think we should do whatever !xmpp does with usernames. There are many lessons to be learned there (unicode treachery etc.)

Also, yes I think URLs, as it is in !GNUsocial already, should be possible to mention. Not just acct: style URIs.

I think it's important to remember that some users may want just their domain name as identifier for example, which btw makes parsing/prioritising a bit trickier if usernames can have dots in them ;) But I think there are solutions.

And on that topic, usernames can be @ but don't support '.' in GS. If supported we'd probably prefer the local username if not appended by '/'.
@dissolve As for personal preference I like ascii-only characters for usernames and anything referencable or used as visual identifier for humans. Maybe even more restrictive, like just ([a-z][a-z0-9]+), case insensitive. But that is probably old-fashioned and conservative. Works, though.

@mmn works, but i'm sure internationalization groups would have a field day with complaints :P I rather like knowing that in Japan, people can use their actual name, not some westernized version of it.

@mmn thanks for the feedback.

I didn't know GNUsocial can direct mention URLs now. Does that feel strange from a UI perspective? Do many use it?

My original thought was to include the @ just to make recognizing mentions a bit easier, and thus, yeah, if anyone allows '.' in the username, it gets a bit more complex. So far it looks like Friendica does support it, but doesn't recommend it as its known to be an issue with federating.

@dissolve Even #StatusNet could do it actually .) Just like how you can supply an http/https URL when subscribing.
@dissolve Oh and when you're already subscribed, at least, there shouldn't be any issues with UX since a good UI should have suggestions from your already established subscriptions based on some easy text-search on nick/fullname etc.

@dissolve Actually, the path to webfinger has been standartized in the final spec. It's always /.well-known/webfinger. Subdirectories don't matter as long as that path is at the root domain. As for the acct format itself, Mastodon expects username@domain, the domain cannot contain paths (you can't have two different webfingers under same domain)

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