Logging into Micro.blog from other Fediverse-supporting apps

I love the comments option on blogs that permits logins from Micro.blog, Mastodon, and Bluesky.

That makes me wish I could login to Micro.blog from apps that support posting to Mastodon or to other parts of the Fediverse. The one that would really close a gap for me is Pragmatic Code’s Linky (iOS/iPadOS), which supports Mastodon (and Bluesky). I just suggested Micro.blog support to the developer, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of broad Fediverse login compatibility would be doable on Micro.blog.

To be clear, I am not talking about features parity, just the ability to logon here with other useful tools. I can logon to Pixelfed with the Mastodon app Ivory, for example, even though their feature sets do not align. I’m guessing the current limitation has something to do with how Micro.blog itself federates. I’m just wondering if something might be done without any unwanted or unnecessary ramifications for the Micro.blog space itself.

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We’ve been thinking about this for a while and do plan to support it in some limited way. It’s taking a while because most Mastodon clients assume they are talking to Mastodon, so things get weird if the features don’t line up. Sounds like that’s a similar experience with Pixelfed from Ivory, which I should try.

From a technical perspective, the reason this doesn’t work automatically is because federation is an open protocol, but Mastodon client apps use the Mastodon API, which is not a standard and completely different. There has been some effort to formalize some of the platform differences in the API, which would make this a much better experience when Micro.blog adds support for it, e.g. hiding or showing only appropriate features.

Thank you. And very glad to know you’re working on this.

I would also note: Micro.blog supports blogging standards for this (hence, it can be supported by MarsEdit, iA Writer, and Ulysses).

But as @manton said, Mastodon client apps are generally Mastodon api compatible and not actually “activitypub clients”. Even if they were, there’s no way to tell a service “This ActivityPub server (or even Mastodon, I think, using the Mastodon API) does not permit likes or boosts”.

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That’s right. There was a proposal for something similar to “don’t permit feature X” but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet, and needs some tweaks. I hope to make time to work on this so it can be a convention other apps use.

And yeah, we already have lots of blogging APIs that could work if other client apps adopted them! But that’s unlikely to happen for most of them, so some limited Mastodon API support makes sense.

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But Micro.blog’s API does not currently include the ability to choose cross-posting options. Right now, though, I’m looking at tools that can help me do link posts with cross-posting options in a minimally intrusive way while reading. Linky is a tool I have long used for social media, and its developer (Pragmatic Code) has adapted it over the years as APIs have closed and new platforms emerged. That tool makes sharing while reading online so much easier. Invoking blogging software for this purpose would be overkill, and it wouldn’t solve the crossposting issue that Linky already does.

If you want a per-post specialized cross post, that’s been often requested, and often shot down as not something Manton is interested in at this time because he feels it’ll make the posting interface too complex (there is a method in the micro pub API that is not fully supported by Micro.blog right now, I think, but it’s also not well supported period, that I’ve seen, to set syndication targets).

However, if you contacted Linky, it’d probably be pretty easy for them to add Micro.blog support either through Metaweblog XML-RPC or Micropub. Then linky can be your cross poster instead of Micro.blog.

I don’t personally care about being very precise about cross posting to different places (and continue to find that conceptually confusing or at least, not in line with POSSE really and more about a writing experience best served by something like Drafts), and I tend to think people over think this. People following you as a person are following you where they want to so let them follow you there? You don’t need to be persnickety about what goes where, especially if it’s all meant to be a part of your own personal site.

Just about every case for “only send some stuff here” IMO is a good case for using Micro.blog’s feature of up to 5 blogs on one account and let each blog cross post to the accounts and place that make sense. But if you have one blog, those posts are all for that blog, and it’s that unified site that you want to let people experience on whatever service they use to “follow” streams of people’s content.

If the Linky developer is interested in adding Micro.blog support, I’d be happy to help them with it.

One clarification: the API does now support per-post cross-posting via Micropub “syndication” targets that @jsonbecker mentioned. It didn’t used to, but it does now!

I’ll write some documentation for this in case other third-party developers want to use it.

You already know one, @manton.

@danielpunkass Is there any way to incorporate Micro.blog's crossposting options into MarsEdit? I am picturing a checkbox for each, maybe at the bottom of the composer, options based on what we've enabled on Micro.Blog.

markstoneman https://micro.blog/markstoneman/39116434

@markstoneman Not as of yet. It would require an expansion to the API that MarsEdit uses to post to Micro.blog. Not a bad idea, though. @manton

danielpunkass https://micro.blog/danielpunkass/39116864

Thanks, I’ll reply over in that thread!

I’ve only made the suggestion to the Linky developer. No idea of the interest (yet). But I suggested it to you, too, @manton , because I think it’s a more general problem in this post-twitter world.

Since the stampedes that began in late 2022, there’s been a burst of work on tools for the Mastodon front. I thought offering enough compatibility to sign into these apps could be low-hanging fruit for Micro.blog. It could be an economical way to let users have this or that feature without requesting it directly of you. After all, maintaining mobile, desktop, and web apps, not to mention the problem of feature parity, is a lot on top of maintaining the infrastructure that all this runs on and the community support that goes with it.

Oh cool! I didn’t realize that you had added that. I bet with some documentation we’ll see some Shortcuts and Draft actions appear.

I learned today that such a Drafts action already exists. Post/Update to Micro.blog | Drafts Directory