Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Mastodon URIs, Not URLs

Chris Hanson:

One of the annoying things about Mastodon is that it’s tough to share Mastodon links and have them open in your favorite app instead of in a web browser. This is due to the lack of a shared scheme or a shared server—which makes sense for a distributed/federated system, but doesn’t help its usability.

One thing the community should do is use a URI instead of a URL or a Twitter/AOL-style “handle” to refer to an account: A URI is a Uniform Resource Identifier that is resolved to a URL, which makes it easier to have all links to Mastodon accounts go to the user’s preferred app—and also enable the global namespace that ATP cares about so much.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I don't like the implication here that the web is unusable and so we must use apps. What is wrong with using URLs to websites and sharing those? That is far more accessible than any app.

Also, I'm getting quite tired of people treating Mastodon as if it is both a singular thing and the only fediverse software. There's lots of software out there that has adopted the protocols for server-to-server federation, but few have adopted the client-server protocol, and so it is not easy to make apps that work with everything anyway. Pushing for something that is going to restrict what people can use is just pushing us back towards centralization.


This isn't a pro-app message, and having a URI scheme for the Fediverse isn't either.

Email has a URI scheme for opening whatever your preferred email app is, even if it's a web app via mailto:

The Fediverse would benefit greatly from something like that and it'd help clean up the messiness for everyone navigating completely different interfaces.

Leave a Comment