Forge federation: monthly report 5/9

August 24, 2021

Most of the work during the last month was writing code, publishing the July release and preparing the August release. Collaboration with existing forges, Gitea and Heptapod also made significant progress. The August 2021 monthly update videoconference will be held August 26th 3:30pm, 2021 and is open to everyone.

Software Development

The bulk of the work was to begin the implementation of the webfinger and ActivityPub protocol. The inbox messages are verified to be signed conformant to the http-signature IETF draft. The forgefed Commit message is implemented: the receiving end will pull it from the designated repository when it is received and it will only do so if the signature is valid. On that occasion an issue with the Repository model was raised and needs resolving.

Support for milestones in Gitea was added.

There still is nothing user facing but the code is running in the integration tests environment. The fixtures are now shared between all tests, except for ActivityPub live tests because they rely on test classes that do not support fixtures.

To allow for integration testing with Mercurial, GitLab was replaced by Heptapod because it supports both Git and Mercurial.

Although the BookWyrm codebase is a good source of inspiration, it is not Free Software and had to be removed from fedeproxy. Although it is a setback, rewriting the ActivityPub implementation from scratch should not incur a significant delay in the implementation.

The second release of fedeproxy was published July 31th and is in experimental stage. The next release is scheduled for August 31st. See the release notes for details about what they provide.

Although a little adjustment to the CI resources had to be made to increase the vCPUS, the infrastructure otherwise ran smoothly and required zero maintenance. The only issue was because the Docker hub had bandwidth trouble.

More technical details can be found in the development category of the forum.


A 5,000€ grant earmarked for improving diversity in the fedeproxy was secured and a request for proposals for a diversity audit was published. There was not much interest despite some efforts to publicize it.

In parallel work started to improve the language and socio-economic diversity, and a first experiment is on the way.

Details on the work done to foster diversity are available in the forum.


Chapril forge

Loïc and Pierre-Louis are now onboarded as maintainers of the Gitea based, Chapril forge and their work can be monitored in the Chapril redmine. It turns out to not be too time consuming (around 2h a week per person).


An issue related to federation was added to the 1.16 milestone and its implementation will be funded by the 5K€ fedeproxy grant earmarked for federation.

The generic grant application to move forward with federation in Gitea is finalized. It will be the basis of an application for NGI Zero Discovery, due October 1st, 2021.


GitLab was replaced by Heptapod in the CI.


The July 2021 monthly event happened, with Pierre-Louis and Loïc. It was an opportunity to discuss the project in person. Even though they both work on fedeproxy every week, all communications except the monthly meeting are in writing and in public.

The August 2021 monthly event will happen August 31st.

Transparency and funding

The 5K€ grant earmarked for diversity will first be dedicated to an audit on how to improve diversity in fedeproxy and a request for proposal was published.

The process to claim a share of the 5K€ grant earmarked for advancing federation in Gitea was written down and published.

Details on transparency and funding are available in the forum.