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Protocols, APIs, and conventions

The fediverse is wired together by protocols like ActivityPub and WebFinger which, as yet, I know very little about. That’s because the Steampipe plugin, which supports the dashboards I’ve been building and describing in this series, doesn’t require me to understand or use those protocols.

It does, however, require me to understand and use the Mastodon API. Mostly I use that API by way of the Go SDK for Mastodon (thanks, mattn!), sometimes I make REST calls directly. Either way, my read-only dashboards use a fairly small subset of the Mastodon API. The full API is quite broad and deep; it enables API clients to read from and write to Mastodon servers in all sorts of ways. Here are the chapters of the Mastodon API book: apps, accounts, admin, instance, search, statuses, timelines, notifications, oembed. These chapters define what’s common to all Mastodon clients, including web apps, phone apps, native OS apps, and Steampipe dashboards.

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