Words in Federated Space

A Glossary For The Fediverse

About This Glossary

This document attempts to collate and explain the vocabulary and concepts used around distributed social networking and intersecting areas.

More or less that space named the Fediverse.


  1. May be wildly uneven and under researched. ( or even lazy opinion )

  2. It is certainly still ALPHA level in ALL aspects.

see Colophon for more details.

For an excellent introduction and overview of the Fediverse as of October 2018 please see:

"@" is for


  • synonyms

    @name , @handle , @user , @account , logname

  • Noun

    A form that identifies a particular person, named group (or account) at a local service.

    • It is often the local account name for a host or a service.

    • It is the User Name you login as, for a session on a network instance.

    Compare with @handle@node.domain (or an email address).

    see also: @mention , DM


  • Noun

    Usefully a local "@name" may be appended with a nodes "@node.handle" to create a human readable Unique Identifier. [ @name@node.handle ] This allows posting, following and other interactions beyond the local service, to many other accounts across the Fediverse.

  • Notes

    Communication between users on local nodes do not require the @node.domain suffix.

    The construct "@yournick@yournode.somedomain" is one of the unique an enabling features of Federated Social Media. This facility brings near universal reach to federated systems, approaching the utility and simplicity of email addressing.


  • Synonyms @flag , @ping , @message

  • Verb

    To identify an account name (@person) in a message. Often used to get somebodies attention. Or simply to be inclusive and acknowledge contribution.

see also: Direct Message

A is for


Also: login name

  • Noun

A place of operations that interface with a system, network or service. Usually the Operator must be Authenticated to access their account.

see also: User


  • A Protocol (formally released 2018)

    From the ActivityPub info site:

    ActivityPub is a decentralised social networking protocol based on the ActivityStreams 2.0 data format. ActivityPub is an official W3C recommended standard published by the W3C Social Web Working Group. It provides a client to server API for creating, updating and deleting content, as well as a federated server to server API for delivering notifications and subscribing to content.


Wikipedia Entry: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActivityPub>


  • Noun Anagram

    Application Program Interface

    Essentially a set of defined rules in source code that allow coders to Interface with or utilise a set of code.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

Application Program Interface API Application Programming Interface Applications Programming Interface

<programming> (API, or "application programming interface") The interface (calling conventions) by which an {application program} accesses {operating system} and other services. An API is defined at {source code} level and provides a level of {abstraction} between the application and the {kernel} (or other privileged utilities) to ensure the {portability} of the code.

An API can also provide an interface between a {high level language} and lower level utilities and services which were written without consideration for the {calling conventions} supported by compiled languages. In this case, the API's main task may be the translation of parameter lists from one format to another and the interpretation of {call-by-value} and {call-by-reference} arguments in one or both directions.



plural: Applications also: Apps, App

  • Noun

    A Computer Program normally targeted at end users rather than Systems Operations..

    Often built for specific environments such as Web Browser Extensions. Tablets , Smart Phones etc.

    Most often these programs are also designed to work exclusively with particular networks and end sources, creating "Silos of Convenience".

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:


/ap/, n.

Short for ?application program?, as opposed to a systems program. Apps are what systems vendors are forever chasing developers to create for their environments so they can sell more boxes. Hackers tend not to think of the things they themselves run as apps; thus, in hacker parlance the term excludes compilers, program editors, games, and messaging systems, though a user would consider all those to be apps. (Broadly, an app is often a self-contained environment for performing some well-defined task such as ?word processing?; hackers tend to prefer more general-purpose tools.) See {killer app}; oppose {tool}, {operating system}.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

application program app application software applications software

<programming, operating system> (Or "application", "app") A complete, self-contained program that performs a specific function directly for the user.

This is in contrast to {system software} such as the {operating system} {kernel}, {server} processes, {libraries} which exists to support application programs and {utility programs}.

Editors for various kinds of documents, {spreadsheets}, and text formatters are common examples of applications. Network applications include clients such as those for {FTP}, {electronic mail}, {telnet} and {WWW}.

The term is used fairly loosely, for instance, some might say that a client and server together form a distributed application, others might argue that editors and compilers were not applications but {utility programs} for building applications.

One distinction between an application program and the operating system is that applications always run in {user mode} (or "non-privileged mode"), while operating systems and related utilities may run in {supervisor mode} (or "privileged mode").

The term may also be used to distinguish programs which communicate via a {graphical user interface} from those which are executed from the {command line}.



  • synonyms: Diaspora Aspects , aspect , Aspects

  • Noun

    Examples of Diaspora Aspects are: Family, Work, Interests, Organisations.

    Diaspora* Aspects are a method of forming Sets of Contacts :

    • From your list of Contacts

    • Possibly naming those Sets for an "Aspect" of your life.

    When you Post to an "Aspect":

    • The message is sent (only) to that Aspects Set of Members.

    • Those people may also see who else received the post. "You can make People be visible to each other inside your aspect."

Aspects are not "Groups" you can Moderate or have others Sign Up to. They are more like Mailing List groups you form from your Mailing Address Book.

See more at: https://wiki.diasporafoundation.org/FAQ_for_users#Aspects


  • Noun

A visual icon or handle that helps to quickly identify a particular user.

(see: account)

  • Attributes:

    • Usually a small image file to lighten storage requirements and bandwidth / transfer costs. + May also be "simple" ascii art

    • Sometimes auto-generated as a service.

    • Too often the default is used :(

B is for


  • abbreviation

  • Noun

    Biography a short version of a biography intended for wide public consumption. May use community specific short-forms, jargon or conventions.


  • verb

    syn: silence ban


  • synonym: robot, bots

  • Noun

    Software that produces posts on social media with little or no human attention.

    It is considered polite it identify 'bots' with a handle or identifier, that is visible per post.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


<networking, chat, web> (From "{robot}") Any type of autonomous {software} that operates as an {agent} for a user or a {program} or simulates a human activity. On the {Internet}, the most popular bots are programs (called {spiders} or crawlers) used for searching. They access {web sites}, retrieve documents and follow all the {hypertext links} in them; then they generate catalogs that are accessed by {search engines}.

A {chatbot} converses with humans (or other bots). A {shopbot} searches the Web to find the best price for a product. Other bots (such as {OpenSesame}) observe a user's patterns in navigating a website and customises the site for that user.

{Knowbots} collect specific information from {websites}.


From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:


  1. An {IRC} or {MUD} user who is actually a program. On IRC, typically the robot provides some useful service. Examples are NickServ, which tries to prevent random users from adopting {nick}s already claimed by others, and MsgServ, which allows one to send asynchronous messages to be delivered when the recipient signs on.


Note that bots in all senses were ?robots? when the terms first appeared in the early 1990s, but the shortened form is now habitual.

C is for

Camel Case

also: CamelCase , lowerCaseCamel

  • Verb

    To write something in Camel Case :

    • compresses the form of the statement

    • eases processing by removing white (empty) spaces

    • may assist in creating a Unique Identifier

    • may aid readability in some contexts

    There are two main forms which are expressed as follows :

    1. Upper Case Camel

    2. Convert All To Title Case

    3. RemoveAllWhiteSpace

    1. Lower Case Camel

    2. lower Case First Letter

    3. removeAllWhiteSpace

    Widely Used :

    • Within source code to name identifiers (functions constants variables) cleanly.

    • Where clear space may be problematic or error prone.

    • In 'personalHandles' , 'NetworkNames' and other identifiers.

    • As one component of uniqifying URL Strings.

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]: (edited)


A variable in a programming language is said to be camelCased when all words but the first are capitalised. This practice contrasts with the C tradition of either running syllables together or marking syllable breaks with underscores; thus, where a C programmer would write thisverylongname or this_very_long_name, the camelCased version would be thisVeryLongName.


Compare {BiCapitalization}; ... camelCasing is not aimed at impressing anybody, and hackers consider it respectable.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

( Wherein here we blame the container for the content and the car for the driver ) (edits)


<programming> The practice of concatenating words with either all words capitalised (e.g. "ICantReadThis" - sometimes called " UpperCamelCase " or PascalCase) or all except the first "iCantReadThis" - called " lowerCamelCase ".

It is used in contexts where space characters are not allowed, such as identifiers in {source code}.

Modern best practice separates words in identifiers with {underscore} for readability (like_this_example).

CamelCase is probably a historical throw-back to systems that had no underscore or when the length of identifiers was constrained either by the programming language or by the width of computer displays.

Unfortunately it has infected many projects, organisations and programming languages such as {Java} where the uninitiated create identifiers like "MemberSubmissionAddressingWSDLParserExtension".



  • Verb

    The act of having a conversation, on line.

    Contemporary federated social networking may _almost_ be chat itself. Many networks include dedicated chat services as well.

  • Noun


    May refer to a number of protocols that enable realtime duplex interactive chat.

    Notably IRC and XMPP.

If users are using a chat server they should expect to engage in near real time many-way interaction.

Normally text based.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


<chat, messaging> Any system that allows any number of logged-in users to have a typed, real-time, on-line conversation via a {network}.

The medium of {chat} is descended from {talk}, but the terms (and the media) have been distinct since at least the early 1990s. {talk} is prototypically for a small number of people, generally with no provision for {channels}. In {chat} systems, however, there are many {channels} in which any number of people can talk; and users may send private (one-to-one) messages.

Some early chat systems (in use 1998) include {IRC}, {ICQ} and {Palace}. More recent alternatives include {MSN Messenger} and {Google Talk}.

Chat systems have given rise to a distinctive style combining the immediacy of talking with all the precision (and verbosity) that written language entails. It is difficult to communicate inflection, though conventions have arisen to help with this.

The conventions of chat systems include special items of jargon, generally abbreviations meant to save typing, which are not used orally. E.g. {BCNU}, {BBL}, {BTW}, {CUL}, {FWIW}, {FYA}, {FYI}, {IMHO}, {OT}, {OTT}, {TNX}, {WRT}, {WTF}, {WTH}, {<g>}, {<gr&d>}, {BBL}, {HHOK}, {NHOH}, {ROTFL}, {AFK}, {b4}, {TTFN}, {TTYL}, {OIC}, {re}.

Much of the chat style is identical to (and probably derived from) {Morse code} jargon used by ham-radio amateurs since the 1920s, and there is, not surprisingly, some overlap with {TDD} jargon. Most of the jargon was in use in {talk} systems. Many of these expressions are also common in {Usenet} {news} and {electronic mail} and some have seeped into popular culture, as with {emoticons}.


  • Noun

    TODO (see Chat )

    Used a couple of ways more or less a WebSocket stream. PtoP OR a narrow cast style channel of content. OR something like a list or group to subscribe to ????

  • verb Heh


  • synonym: content

  • Noun

    The information of Information Technology. The ever elusive point to all of this :) It may be:

    text , sound , video , the code to an algorithm ....

    Anything that can reveal manipulate create or store information. Anything that can transmit knowledge or some facsimile of such a device. ( a PNG file of a Photograph of a Petroglyph ... A Video with sound of the same. ) Anything that is a tool in those endeavours be that Software Hardware or the systems that support those.

    • Rarely in this context used to imply or contribute to the following:

      From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

      Content Con*tent", n.

    1. Rest or quietness of the mind in one's present condition; freedom from discontent; satisfaction; contentment; moderate happiness.

"Such is the fullness of my heart's content."

--Shakespeare. << Not normally that.

consider: Data

D is for


Also: data, raw data

  • Noun

    From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


    Numbers, characters, images, or other method of recording, in a form which can be assessed by a human or (especially) input into a computer, stored and processed there, or transmitted on some digital channel.


    Data on its own has no meaning , only when interpreted by some kind of data processing system does it take on meaning and become information .

    For example, the binary data 01110101 might represent the integer 117 or the ASCII lower case U character or the blue component of a pixel in some video. Which of these it represents is determined by the way it is processed (added, printed, displayed, etc.). Even these numbers, characters or pixels however are still not really information until their context is known...


Data Stream

Also: Data Streams, Stream , Streaming

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


  1. <communications> An {abstraction} referring to any flow of data from a source (or sender, producer) to a single sink (or receiver, consumer)*.

    A stream usually flows through a channel of some kind, as opposed to packets which may be addressed and routed independently, possibly to multiple recipients.

    Streams usually require some mechanism for establishing a channel or a "connection" between the sender and receiver.

  • Noun A reference to an instance of a stream

  • Verb The act of streaming data. e.g. "NASA will Stream Video from the ISS from 08:00 UTC"


  • Noun Anagram Protocol



Also: Diaspora Pods , Diaspora* Pods

  • Noun

    Diaspora nodes are referred to as pods.

The name refers to dispersion, even invoking an exodus away from centralised control.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

  • the dispersion or spreading of something that was originally localised (as a people or language or culture)

From the Diaspora Foundation Website: <https://diasporafoundation.org/>


is based on three key philosophies:

* Decentralisation

  Instead of everyone's data being held on huge central servers
  owned by a large organization,
  diaspora* exists on independently run servers ("pods") all over the world.

  You choose which pod to register with,
  and you can then connect seamlessly with the diaspora* community worldwide.

* Freedom

  You can be whoever you want to be in diaspora*.
  Unlike some networks, you don't have to use your real identity.
  You can interact with people in whatever way you choose.
  The only limit is your imagination.
  diaspora* is also `Free Software`,
  giving you liberty over how you use it.

* Privacy

  In diaspora* you own your data.
  You don't sign over rights to a corporation or
  other interest who could use it.
  In addition, you choose who sees what you share, using `Aspects`.
  With diaspora*, your friends, your habits, and your content
  is your business ... not ours! (Not Diaspora* business)


see also: Aspect

Diaspora Protocol

diaspora* federation protocol <https://diaspora.github.io/diaspora_federation/>

Used by Diaspora and The Friendica project. (at least)

Direct Message


  • Noun

    A message sent _directly to a users account. May be a single recipient or many users in a _list or _group.

  • Verb

    To @message a person or group.

    • example usage

      @sweetvince@vinarts.net will DM @gimpphotos@groups.podzrus.town tomorrow morning your time

  • Synonym

    DM or even message

  • Notes

    Often Shortened to 'DM' .


  • verb

    Search Seek Find Explore


Also: Distributed Computing

  • Verb, Adjective

    Computational Storage and Networking tasks are distributed across many hosts. Possibly, indeed usually on many nodes on many networks across the Internet.

  • Similar

    Diversified, Federated , Fediversed

E is for


emoticon , :), :(

  • Noun

    Originally an ASCII character symbol (glyph) composed to short hand an emotive intent in a piece of text.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

n 1: a representation of a facial expression (as a smile or

frown) created by typing a sequence of characters in sending email; ":-( and :-) are emoticons"

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

emoticon, :-), smiley, smilies

<messaging> /ee-moh'ti-kon/ (Or "smiley") An {ASCII} {glyph} used to indicate an emotional state in text-only {electronic messaging} systems such as {chat}, {electronic mail}, {SMS} or {news}. Although originally intended mostly as jokes, emoticons are widely recognised if not expected; the lack of verbal and visual cues can otherwise cause non-serious comments to be misinterpreted, resulting in offence, arguments and {flame wars}.

Hundreds of emoticons have been proposed, but only a few are in common use. These include:

:-) "smiley face" (for humour, laughter,

friendliness, occasionally sarcasm)

:-( "frowney face" (for sadness, anger, or upset)

;-) "half-smiley" (ha ha only serious); also

known as "semi-smiley" or "winkey face".

:-/ "wry face"

These are more recognisable if you tilt your head to the left. The first two are by far the most frequently encountered. Hyphenless forms of them are also common. The acronym "{lol}" is also often used in the same context for the same effect (and is easier to type).

The emoticon was invented by one Scott Fahlman on the {CMU} {bboard} systems on 1982-09-19. He later wrote: "I had no idea that I was starting something that would soon pollute all the world's communication channels." {GLS} confirms that he remembers this original posting, which has subsequently been {retrieved from a backup (http://research.microsoft.com/~mbj/Smiley/BBoard_Contents.html)}.

As with exclamation marks, overuse of the smiley is a mark of loserhood! More than one per paragraph is a fairly sure sign that you've gone over the line.

[{Jargon File}]


Emojies ?



  • verb

F is for


Also: The Fediverse , fediverse

The UN Divide

Sometimes further divided into the Federation and The Fediverse.

Generally; the Fediverse contains the Federation.

The Division is centrally about which Networks support the ActivityPub protocol.

  • Those that do are (also) in the Fediverse.

  • Those that don't (yet) are in the Federation.

Federation only networks can not easily communicate with Fediverse networks. The "division" is Post Hoc. Its is almost as simple as the fact that ActivityPub was not formally released use until recently.

Federation networks are either in active deployment and testing of ActivityPub or have future plans to.

Effectively this means the current tendency is for wider, more inclusive cooperation and Federation.

One Fediverse with many flavours of networks.

( October 2018 )

see also: Federation , Service , Instance , Pod , Host , Node and Solid

Exodus 2018

  • Oct 2018 Google+

    • An exodus was just commencing.

      Google ™ had recently announced the "Sundowning" of the public G+ Platform.

      A remarkable amount of collaborative effort was underway as G+ Users explored alternatives. [G+MassMigrateGroup]

      One astute User explained, with relevance and clarity, some differences between "Centralised" and "Federated" Network Types. [G+GriefPost]

Her post follows with layout alterations only.

I will attempt to explain:

A centralized or private social network cannot connect
with other social network types.
Like FB, G+, MeWe, and Discord for example.

You would need an account on each one.

A federated social network is decentralized
meaning there are many servers instead of one server like those above.
Each of these servers uses at least one of the 6 protocols
to communicate with other federated servers or nodes.

If you make an account on any federated network type,
that is the only account you need.

You will be able to "friend" others
on the same or different federated network types.

Examples of the network types are: Mastadon, Diaspora, Friendica, and Hubzilla.

I have a Friendica account so I can connect with others
(and already have done so in testing)
who have pluspora, joindiaspora, hubzilla, mastadon, and other friendica accounts.

If you join social networks that are not federated,
you will not be able to use it to connect with those that are federated.

You can, I am told by an admin, mirror your G+ posts to your Friendica account.
I am looking at how to set that up for my own account.

-- [Ayres_Oct-2018]


The Federation

  • Noun

The federation (in this context) is applied to the Services that exploit protocols such as

Zot Red OStatus and Diaspora (as a protocol)

A more recent Protocol ActivityPub <https://activitypub.rocks/> has grown out of the experiences of the early Federated systems and is now an accepted formalised W3C standard.

From The Federation Website <https://the-federation.info/> (emphasis added)

"The Federation"

Refers to a global social network composed of nodes that talk to each other. Each of them is an installation of software which supports one of the federated social web protocols.

(or more than one)

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

<security> The establishment of some or all of business
agreements, {cryptographic} trust and user identifiers or
attributes across security and policy domains to enable more
seamless business interaction.

As {web services} promise to enable integration between
business partners through {loose coupling} at the application
and messaging layer, federation does so at the identity
management layer, insulating each domain from the details of
the others' authentication and authorization.  Key to this
loose coupling at the identity management layer are
standardized mechanisms and formats for the communication of
identity information between the domains.  {SAML} is one such


See also the super set: Fediverse . Which includes the Federation as a subset at least in the scope of Social Media.

Federate * verb

e.g. Lets federate our XMPP server with the fediverse.

Federated * Adjective

Services may be or become federated as they include protocols that allow distributed operations.

e.g. We have finally federated with the rest of the federation services.

Plugins or extensions exist for _some_ Fediverse Instances to receive or send feeds to non-federated platforms.


Also: feeds , data feed

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

data feed

<data, architecture> Some process for transferring {data} from one system to another in a predetermined form.


also: RSS , Home Feed , Global Feed, Local Feed


  • verb

  • Noun

syn: sort sieve


  • Noun

    • A collection of software to build something else out of.

    • Software Building Blocks or Scaffolding.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:


1: a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process; "the computer program was based on a model of the circulatory and respiratory systems" [syn: {model}, {theoretical account}, {framework}]

2: the underlying structure; "providing a factual framework for future research"; "it is part of the fabric of society" [syn: {framework}, {fabric}]

3: a structure supporting or containing something

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


In {object-oriented} systems, a set of {class}es that embodies an abstract design for solutions to a number of related problems.


see: Vue.js


Also: Friendica Nodes

Friendica servers are called "nodes".

Friendica supports a wide range of inter-service protocols. It exploits a plugin mechanism (API) to extend connectivity to many non-federated Services as well. e.g. G+

Supported Connection Protocols:

  • DFRN, OStatus, diaspora StatusNet, GNU social, Quitter

  • email via IMAP4rev1/ESMTP.

  • RSS/Atom. (import data feeds from other sites)

Connects to:

  • diaspora*, Hubzilla, GNU Social,

  • Mastodon, Socialhome, GangGo,

  • Pleroma, postActiv



  • Noun

    • Funkwhale is a Free and Open music player for the Fediverse.

    • Its federation features are currently limited to a bot or two.

    • The interface is web based. (browser)

Funkwhale Federation

from: https://docs.funkwhale.audio/features.html#federation [19-Oct-2018]

Each Funkwhale instance is able to fetch music from other compatible servers,
and share its own library on the network, in a process known as "federation".
Federation is implemented using the ActivityPub protocol,
in order to leverage existing tools and be compatible with other services such as Mastodon.

As of today, federation only targets music acquisition,
meaning user interactions are not shared via ActivityPub.
This will be implemented at a later point.

G is for


  • Noun

A Network in the Fediverse

G Plus

Also: G+

  • Noun

    • A Non Federated Social Media Platform.

    • Operated by Google (TM)


  • anagram ((recursive))

    _Gnu is _Not _Unix

see also: Unix Nixen Nix* *Nix suite Free Free Software Foundation


also: GNU Social, GNUSocial, gnusocial nodes

  • Noun

From: <https://gnusocial.cc>

gnusocial.cc is one of many GNU social-/StatusNet-instances.

gnusocial.cc is a project using the GNU social-/StatusNet-system, combined with a familiar user interface (UI).

GNU social/StatusNet is a decentralised microblogging platform.

Users of one instance (or: service) can follow, be followed by, and communicate with users of any other instance.

Other instances are, e.g., loadaverage.org, status.vinilox.eu, micro.fragdev.com, gnusocial.de, indy.im, quitter.no, rainbowdash.net, etc. The current number of microblogging instances using the GNU social/StatusNet software is probably about 50, gnusocial.cc is one of them.

As they all use the same software (GNU social/StatusNet) and transmission protocol (OStatus), they can talk to each other just like e-mail servers can talk to each other, even though they are independent and run by different companies.



Also: graphical


see: Content , 'Video' , Attachment

H is for


  • Noun

    In a Social Media context a handle is a name that identifies an account. A handle identifies a human, a group or bot. Essentially it functions as your name or Nickname. Nick is essentially a synonym for Handle.

    A Handle may also uniquely Identify a node or host much as shop front iconography or as web-address does for other networked systems.

see also: @handle@node.domain

The term "Handle" is still widely used in Information Technology, and other communications contexts.

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:



1. [from CB slang] An electronic pseudonym; a nom de guerre intended to conceal the user's true identity. Network and BBS handles function as the same sort of simultaneous concealment and display one finds on Citizen's Band radio, from which the term was adopted. Use of grandiose handles is characteristic of {warez d00dz}, {cracker}s, {weenie}s, {spod}s, and other lower forms of network life; true hackers travel on their own reputations rather than invented legendry. Compare {nick}, {screen name}.

2. A {magic cookie}, often in the form of a numeric index into some array somewhere, through which you can manipulate an object like a file or window. The form file handle is especially common.

3. [Mac] A pointer to a pointer to dynamically-allocated memory; the extra level of indirection allows on-the-fly memory compaction (to cut down on fragmentation) or ageing out of unused resources, with minimal impact on the (possibly multiple) parts of the larger program containing references to the allocated memory. Compare {snap} (to snap a handle would defeat its purpose); see also {aliasing bug}, {dangling pointer}.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


1. <programming, operating system> A simple item of data that identifies a resource. For example, a {Unix} file handle identifies an open file and associated data such as whether it was opened for read or write and the current read/write position. On the {Macintosh}, a handle is a pointer to a pointer to some dynamically-allocated memory. The extra level of indirection allows on-the-fly {memory compaction} or {garbage collection} without invalidating application program references to the allocated memory.

2. <jargon> An alias used intended to conceal a user's true identity in an electronic message. The term is common on Citizen's Band and other amateur radio but, in that context usually means the user's real name as {FCC} rules forbid concealing one's identity.

Use of grandiose handles is characteristic of {crackers}, {weenies}, {spods}, and other lower forms of network life; true hackers travel on their own reputations.

Compare {nick}.

[{Jargon File}]

  1. <networking> {domain handle}.



also: #hashtag , HashTag * Noun

  • verb


  • Noun

    A machine or place on a network.

    A host may be a Work Station an Internet Of Things Appliance or any other device that has an Operating System and / or the ability to utilise its network connections.

  • Verb

    Host or Hosts

    A Server is an Instance of a Host that itself Hosts services for other computers or network nodes. A node may host software.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

  1. <networking> A computer connected to a {network}.

    The term node includes devices such as routers and printers which would not normally be called "hosts".

  2. <communications> A computer to which one connects using a terminal emulator.



  • Noun

A Network in the Fediverse

I is for


  • noun

See also: Avatar


also: information


also: Instance

  • Noun

  • Verb


  • noun

  • verb TO DO


  • Verb

syn: Copy


  • Noun Anagram

    Internet Relay Chat

L is for


Also: Logging , Logs

  • Noun

    A file(s) where a record of activity is kept.

    This is most often automatically produced as part of the normal operations of Network Services.

    Often text based communications are recorded and archived for later searching and reference.

    Common examples include IRC , XMPP and other Chat Systems. Web and Mail Servers.

    Assume any service has active logs.

  • Verb

    "To log something"

    Is to make a record of a transaction or proposed action for later reference.


"The Mail Server logs all access attempts" "The Admin will log the Chat session and mail the logs to all participants."


Also: Log In

  • Noun

    A Login is a current Account.

    e.g. " My Login on the Pleroma Server is still valid. "

  • Verb

    To "Login" is to access your account.

    Usually you are starting a session with a service or on a host.

see: Session , Account

M is for


Also: mastodon Instances

  • Noun

see also: instance


Not the movies. Its chat. jabberish . IRC < approx



  • Noun

    Data about data


  • Noun

    • A communication, written or otherwise. A tweet is a Message.


  • Verb

    • To "message" somebody is to send them a communication. Usually NOT face to face. To "get in touch" with them.

    • @message syn. DM (informally) Imply a little more urgency or importance. Specifically contact a person or get their attention.


also: microblog

  • noun

    • Short (length limited) messages.

    • A 'Short Form Post', a Toot a Quip

    Introduced and generalised to the wider web by Twitter ™ as "Tweets".

    Originally text only.

    Link shortening and image embedding have extended the medium.

  • Verb

    To 'microblog' is to specifically make short form posts.


  • Noun

    A Network in the Fediverse

from: Miskey Site https://misskey.nl/

microblogging service.

Sophisticated fully customizable Ui, varieties of reaction for posts, free file storage providing integrated management system and other advancing functions are available.

Also, network system called "Fediverse" enables us to communicate with users on other SNSs. Like, if you post something, then your posts will sent not only to Misskey but also mastodon. Just imagine that the planet is sending a microwave to other planet to communication.


see: Microblogging


  • Anagram

  • Noun From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT

    (MIT) An independent, coeducational university located in Cambridge, MA, USA. Its best-known computer-related labs are the {Artificial Intelligence Lab}, the {Lab for Computer Science} and the Media Lab. It is also known for its {hacks} or practical jokes, ... MIT <http://web.mit.edu/>

N is for


Networked, Networks , Net , Networking

< endless rope >

  • Noun


  • Verb


Also: nick * Noun

In Social Media contexts Nickname or Nick is a synonym for Handle .

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:

  1. [IRC; very common] Short for nickname. On {IRC}, every user must pick a nick , which is sometimes the same as the user's real name or login name, but is often more fanciful. Compare handle, screen name.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


[IRC] nickname. On IRC , every user must pick a nick, which is sometimes the user's real name or login name, but is often more fanciful. Compare Handle.

N is for



  • Noun

    A point of presence on a network. Occasionally a single purpose Host but by no means always.



  • Noun

    Message(s) for your attention.

O is for


also; Op, O P

  • Noun

    The person running the session. The Adminstrator of a Service or System Whom ever set up the chat room. Usually a human.


TODO * Protocol

Open Status ?

A protocol that allows notification of a users activities on one platform to be propagated across federated systems.

P is for


TODO (later)


  • Noun

    A network in the fediverse


ping, pings , pinging

  • Verb

    • In the context of the fediverse (and others) to "ping" somebody, is to get their attention. To inquire of their current status.

    • The active act of pinging. Testing and measuring a network connection. "Ping host X to see if it is up."

see also: @mention

  • Noun Backronym

    The name of the program, classically and widely used to actually "ping" a host or node.

    From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

    ping Packet InterNet Groper ping command pinging

    <networking, tool> (ping, originally contrived to match submariners' term for the sound of a returned sonar pulse) A program written in 1983 by Mike Muuss (who also wrote {TTCP}) used to test reachability of destinations by sending them one, or repeated, {ICMP} echo requests and waiting for replies. Since ping works at the {IP} level its server-side is often implemented entirely within the {operating system} {kernel} and is thus the lowest level test of whether a remote host is alive. Ping will often respond even when higher level, {TCP}-based services cannot.

    Sadly, Mike Muuss was killed in a road accident on 2000-11-20.

    The {Unix} command "ping" can be used to do this and to measure round-trip delays.

    The funniest use of "ping" was described in January 1991 by Steve Hayman on the {Usenet} group comp.sys.next. He was trying to isolate a faulty cable segment on a {TCP/IP} {Ethernet} hooked up to a {NeXT} machine. Using the sound recording feature on the NeXT, he wrote a {script} that repeatedly invoked ping, listened for an echo, and played back the recording on each returned {packet}. This caused the machine to repeat, over and over, "Ping ... ping ... ping ..." as long as the network was up. He turned the volume to maximum, ferreted through the building with one ear cocked, and found a faulty tee connector in no time.

    Ping did not stand for "Packet InterNet Groper", Dave Mills offered this {backronym} expansion some time later


    The Story of the Ping Program <http://ftp.arl.mil/~mike/ping.html>



In the context of Distributed Networked Services Pod has two recent meanings.

  1. An standalone Instance of Diaspora.

  2. Personal Online Data (store) POD

    "Used for distributed person data storage and processing". Promulgated by Tim Berners-Lee and others.

    -- [Inrupt-Oct-2018]

    see: MIT , Solid

As a further demonstration of the fluidity of contemporary language and the crowding of name-spaces and concepts, here are some other known meanings in the general context of Information Technology.

From V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014) [vera]:


Plain Old Document [format]


Print / Publishing On Demand, "PoD"

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


Not to be confused with {P.O.D.}.

1. <printer> (Allegedly from abbreviation POD for "Prince Of Darkness") A {Diablo} 630 (or, latterly, any {letter-quality} {impact printer}). From the {DEC-10} {PODTYPE} program used to feed formatted text to it.

  1. <text> {Plain Old Documentation}.

[{Jargon File}]



  • Noun

    A message itself. * A Toot is a Mastodon Post. TODO TODO TODO TODO TODO TODO TODO TODO

    Something one may or could fix a paper based message on. Often cylindrical and composed of wood. :) emoticon

  • Verb

    post To post a message where it is (generally) visible on a network.

    From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:

    To send a message to a {mailing list} or {newsgroup}. Distinguished in context from mail; one might ask, for example: ?Are you going to post the patch or mail it to known users??

    From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


    <messaging> To send a message to a {mailing list} or {newsgroup}. Usually implies that the message is sent indiscriminately to multiple users, in contrast to "mail" which implies one or more deliberately selected individual recipients.

    You should only post a message if you think it will be of interest to a significant proportion of the readers of the group or list, otherwise you should use private {electronic mail} instead. See {netiquette}.

    [{Jargon File}]




An accepted set of rules procedures and guidelines.

By accepting an agreed common standardised set of methods communication is reliably enabled between many systems.

In Federated Social Networking there is a well developed "Open Stack" of Protocols:

  • OAuth authorization, OpenID authentication,

  • OStatus federation, ActivityPub federation protocol,

  • XRD metadata discovery, the Portable Contacts protocol,

  • the Wave Federation Protocol, XMPP (Jabber)

  • OpenSocial widget APIs,

  • microformats like XFN and hCard,

  • Atom web feeds. (RSS)

Some or many of these are used per social network system, and in other distributed applications.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


A set of formal rules describing how to transmit data, especially across a {network}. Low level protocols define the electrical and physical standards to be observed, bit- and byte-ordering and the transmission and {error detection and correction} of the bit stream. High level protocols deal with the data formatting, including the {syntax} of messages, the terminal to computer dialogue, {character sets}, sequencing of messages etc.

Many protocols are defined by {RFCs} or by {OS}.



Also: pleroma , pleroma instances

  • Noun

    "Pleroma is a federated social networking platform, compatible with GNU social, Mastodon and other ActivityPub and OStatus implementations.

    It is free software licensed under the AGPLv3.

    It actually consists of two components:

    • a back end, named simply Pleroma,

    • and a user-facing front end, named Pleroma-FE."


    • High-performance

    • Light memory usage

    • Runs on a Raspberry Pi

    • Support for the ActivityPub and OStatus Protocols

    • Built with concurrency and distribution in mind from conceptual stages. * Elixer and other modern robust fault tolerant toolkits.

    • Multiple Web5 Front Ends Supported.

    • Gopher Access. (console based)

-- [Pleroma_17-Oct-2018] <https://pleroma.social/>

Pleroma network servers are called Instances .

It is fast robust and simple to operate. It may be a little minimal for some users. Follows across the fediverse are simple and reliable.

Pleroma is a microblogging server software that can federate (= exchange messages with) other servers that support the same federation standards... .

What that means is that you can host a server for yourself or your friends and stay in control of your online identity, (and) still exchange messages with people on larger servers.

Pleroma will federate with all servers that implement ... OStatus or ActivityPub . like GNU Social, Friendica, Hubzilla and Mastodon.

[lain_17-Oct-2018] <https://blog.soykaf.com/post/what-is-pleroma/>


  • Noun

    A Federated blogging engine, based on ActivityPub

    "Authors can manage various blogs from an unique website. Articles are also visible on other Plume websites, and you can interact with them directly from other platforms like Mastodon."

There is live and working instance at: <https://fediverse.blog>.

"Fediverse.Blog is a great choice if you want to have an up-to-date public instance (where your data won't be deleted). It is provided by @gled@mastodon.host the Mastodon.host admin."

-- [baptise_Oct_2018} <https://baptiste.gelez.xyz/about>

Plume is not yet ready for production uses. (October 2018) Its Lead Developer considers it to experimental.

-- [PlumeDev]

Meanwhile for the curious the technical or to contribute: The best place to start Plume on Github or the Plume Development Blog .

Q is For


also: quips

R is For


  • Noun, Anagram

    Really Simple Syndication

    A standardised mechanism for sites to propagate data streams , to other nodes or endpoint data consumers on networks. This enables ready syndication (duplication) of Content across arbitrary numbers of distribution and consumption points.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]: [edited]

Rich Site Summary Really Simple Syndication RSS RSS feed

<web, standard> (RSS, blog , feed) A family of {standard} {web} document types containing regularly updated, short articles or news items.

RSS documents (generally called "RSS feeds", "news feeds" or just "feeds") can be read with an RSS reader* ... These are sometimes called " aggregators " because they combine multiple RSS feeds which the user can browse as a single list.

The RSS reader tracks which articles the use has read, and is typically set to show only new articles, hence the idea of a "feed" or flow of new items.

Most RSS feeds are based on {RDF}.

{RDF} is a structured document format for describing textual resources such as news articles available on the web. RSS originally stood for "RDF Site Summary" as it was designed to provide short descriptions of (changes to) a {website}.

Because it provides a standard way to deliver, or "syndicate", news or updates from one site to another, RSS is sometimes expanded as "Really Simple Syndication". It is closely associated with {blogs}, most of which provide an RSS feed of articles.


S is for



  • Noun

    A utility delivered and accessed from a networked computer.

    A service delivered by a Server or a Daemon

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

<networking, programming> Work performed (or offered) by a {server}. This may mean simply serving simple requests for data to be sent or stored (as with {file servers}, {gopher} or {http} servers, {e-mail} servers, {finger} servers, {SQL} servers, etc.); or it may be more complex work, such as that of {irc} servers, print servers, {X Windows} servers, or process servers.


Simplified Example

  1. An http server: Delivers access to web pages. i.e. It serves up web pages.

    Those pages are constructed using an agreed set of standardised instructions (HTML / XML) delivered over the Internet using HTTP or HTTPS (Secured) protocols and standards.

    a. Apache and Nginx are two programmable httpd Servers. They provide the http web-service.

    b. Firefox and Chromium are two software http Clients. They process instructions received from a web server.


also: session

  • Noun

    A communications connection between at least two agents. None of them have to be human.

    • At the human operator level, it often means logging on to a service to interact with the software itself and optionally (eventually) other people.

    When you log into the Fediverse you are :
    • Starting a client to server(s) session with the Networking Software.

    • Operating a 'session' exchanging information with other Users , or even Bots.

      • ( or you may just be binging out on a 'session' of podcasts and News Feeds :)

  • Verb

    To ** session ** ; is to communicate.

    " I will session with you on Socialhome tomorrow night. " ( Probably implying that: I will login and engage 'intently' with you. )

    -- aside : Context. Its a slipppery thing.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


<networking> 1. A lasting connection between a user (or user agent) and a {peer}, typically a {server}, usually involving the exchange of many packets between the user's computer and the server. A session is typically implemented as a layer in a network {protocol} (e.g. {telnet}, {FTP}).

In the case of protocols where there is no concept of a session layer (e.g. {UDP}) or where sessions at the {session layer} are generally very short-lived (e.g. {HTTP}), {virtual} sessions are implemented by having each exchange between the user and the remote host include some form of {cookie} which stores state (e.g. a unique session ID, information about the user's preferences or authorisation level, etc.).

See also {login}.

2. A lasting connection using the {session layer} of a networking protocol.



  • noun

    A Federated Network in the Fediverse.

    From the Users point of view Socialhome is a Broadsheet, or even a Glossy Journal.

Short form posts (tweet or toot like) are fully supported. Long form, illustrated messages are encouraged.

From The SocialHome Network itself: <https://socialhome.network/>


Content in #Socialhome is collected in Streams. In the future users will be able to build their own Streams based on rules and filters.


  • Followed - Content from followed users.

  • Public - Content with visibility public from local and remote users.

  • Tag - Visible content containing a particular hashtag.

  • Local - Content created by users on the same server.

  • Limited - Non-public content visible to the user from local and remote users.

  • User pinned - Content the user has pinned to their profile.

  • User all - All content the local or remote user has.


Socialhome federates using the Diaspora protocol.

This allows content to federate not only to other Socialhome servers, but also with servers from Diaspora, Friendica and Hubzilla platforms.

ActivityPub support is work in progress, which will extend SocialHomes reach to all of the Fediverse.

[SocialHome_Oct_2018] <https://socialhome.network/>


  • Noun

    "The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past."
    -- Tim Berners-Lee


    1. Empowers users and organizations to separate their data from the applications that use it.

    2. It allows people to look at the same data with different software at the same time.

    3. It opens brand new avenues for creativity, problem-solving, and commerce.

    • You Own Your Data, and choose Apps to Manage it.

    • You decide where you store your data.

    • You are free to move your data at any time, without interruption of service.

    • You give people and your apps permission to read or write.

    • Things saved through one app are available in another: * you never have to sync, * because your data stays with you.

      -- [solid-Oct-2018]

The mission is to reshape the contemporary web as we know it. In many ways this is a set of tools to re-democratise and decentralise (de Silo) the Internet and allow anybody to take back control of their data.

It is still early days but the software is useful and ready for some wide testing.

visit: Solid at https://solid.inrupt.com/

Referenced: [Tim Beners-Lee-Oct-16-2018]


. Noun Unsolicited messages (much more here)

. verb To propagate the same, generally widely.


also: statusnet

  • noun protocol

T is for


  • Noun A Mastodon Post

  • Verb To post on Mastodon


also : Trolling

  • Noun

  • Verb

A huge waste of time and O2 mostly

U is for


Also: users

see also operator , Handle , Account


also: utilities

  • noun

    • Software that does some underlying or occasional task that is not the prime function of the software suite.

    • These may be generic, portable and independent.


A Configuration Wizard , Search Interfaces , A Colour Picker, Domain Name System (DNS) lookup tools, even email applications . There are also many software libraries that provide programmatic utilities.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:

  • utility software

  • utility

  • utility program

    _tool (Or utility program, tool) Any {software} that performs some specific task that is secondary to the main purpose of using the computer (the latter would be called {application programs}) but is not essential to the operation of the computer ({system software}).

    Many utilities could be considered as part of the {system software}, which can in turn be considered part of the {operating system}.


  • anagram

    • User Interface

    • Graphical User Interface

A more Human Friendly Interface that enables operations of vast collections of software.

see: Interface , Graphic


  • Noun

    • An identifying label for a service or node .

    • Your name at a social Media Instance.

    • Your account name on a host. (Nixen)

see also: Handle , Account `


W is for


  • Noun

    An User Interface designed to allow simpler, reliable, configuration of client software to a service or other utility.

    The intention is to ease the operators effort while also presenting the underlying software with configuration values that are consistent and (hopefully) within design limits.

    • Occasionally this facility is called a Druid.

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) [foldoc]:


1. A person who knows how a complex piece of software or hardware works (that is, who {groks} it); especially someone who can find and fix bugs quickly in an emergency. Someone is a {hacker} if he or she has general hacking ability, but is a wizard with respect to something only if he or she has specific detailed knowledge of that thing. A good hacker could become a wizard for something given the time to study it.

2. A person who is permitted to do things forbidden to ordinary people; one who has {wheel} privileges on a system.

3. A Unix expert, especially a Unix systems programmer. This usage is well enough established that "Unix Wizard" is a recognised job title at some corporations and to most headhunters.


4. An interactive help utility that guides the user through a potentially complex task, such as configuring a {PPP} driver to work with a new {modem}. Wizards are often implemented as a sequence of {dialog boxes} which the user can move forward and backward through, filling in the details required. The implication is that the expertise of a human wizard in one of the above senses is encapsulated in the software wizard, allowing the average user to perform expertly.

[{Jargon File}] (1998-09-07)

X is for


also: Jabber

  • Noun

    A Messaging Protocol that can be Extended.

    It is highly likely you use it every day as XMPP. You may also use it as Jabber : a message / chat service (and more) .

From Jabber.org

The original open instant messaging (IM) technology, invented by Jeremie Miller in 1998 and formalized as the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) by the IETF as an Internet Standard for messaging and presence.

[Jabber_Oct-2018] <https://www.jabber.org/faq.html#jabber>

From XMPP.org

Battle-tested. Independent. Privacy-focused

Millions use XMPP software daily to connect to people and services.

XMPP is the open standard for messaging and presence

XMPP powers emerging technologies like IoT, WebRTC, and social.

No one owns XMPP. It's free and open for everyone since 1999.

It's a living standard.

Engineers actively extend and improve it.

[XMPP_Oct-20-2018] <https://xmpp.org/>

Z is for




!Alpha! Structure Not Fixed



  • revision: 20-10-2018



  • Peter Gossner



  1. @petegozz@pleroma.tilde.zone

  2. @petegozz@social.chinwag.org`

A Stuffed Toy Penguin Orbits Antarctica
  • © 2018

Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Creative Commons CC4 Icon

Licence: <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/>

For Artists and Hackers,
Academics, Engineers.

For Humans who'll Grok stuff.
The self taught,  the  persistent.

For those who build *Us*,
Who own their own tools.

To those who will *not* be a Commodity,

To The Fediverse,
And all who sail on her.

I hope this is a little useful.
(and saves some time)

Cheers :-)

-- Peter Gossner Oct 2018


A glossary

With extensions

References and Footnotes