PixelFork - Image sharing in a new way

After the big success with Halcyon we want to try something new, we want to fork a open source project. It relays on the ActivityPub protocol so it will federate with the "fediverse".
This time there are also more people working on this project. So we can concentrate on both client and server side development.
We've announced that months ago, because we are unhappy with Pixelfed's main developer and his decisions, when he announced that federation support will be ready soon.
PixelFed has a user interface similar to Instagram, its basically a clone of said site, but for the fediverse. Think Twitter -> Mastodon, but this time Instagram -> Pixelfed.
Sadly, we had to come to the conclusion that PixelFeds developer doesn't really care about the user, federation and decentralization.
Even PixelFed's Readme states: "Please note this is alpha software, not recommended for production use, and federation is not supported yet.".
Which is in our opinion bad practice for a free software project, if people try it out and get excited they may even start contributing to the project.

So what's the deal exaclty?

We've came up with the idea months ago when federation support was announced to be ready soon. We were unhappy with many decisions of the original developers.
Oh well, this one is a fork, as the name already says, probably that's important to know. For people who don't know what a fork is: It's basically the original code with changes from other developers.
Our intention is to make the world better by providing social media technologies to everyone without profit in mind.
Unlike PixelFed, our project PixelFork takes privacy seriously and is fully decentralized.
But the main differences of PixelFork are decided by you! - Sure, there are parts of PixelFed (the original project) we already announced to remove. While PixelFeds developer doesn't care that much about the users opinions, we take our users opinions seriously and integrate what's requested by the community.
That means if you use PixelFork and think that you're missing something, drop us a line. We'll see what we can do to make PixelFork a better project for you.
We've already achieved a lot, even before we started, but that isn't what makes us different from PixelFed. It makes PixelFed better.
Everyone wanted a federated timeline, that timeline which shows everything from all instanced at Mastodon which PixelFork is compatible with. You can discover new users from there.
Dozens of PixelFed users requested this feature, but the developer always says he doesn't like that and would never ever implement it.
At the very beginning of our project we announced that we will add a federated timeline and guess what - only a few days later the federated timeline arrived at PixelFed.
But the problem what caused us to create this fork is still here and still needs to be removed.
It's the insights/analytics feature which was announced some months ago. It has the goal to bringing influencers, businesses and brands into the fediverse.
Dansup states that he does that with privacy in mind but you don't believe that,right? Tracking CAN NEVER be done with privacy in mind. Yes,there are really evil trackers and some which don't track that much but they're made to track and that's what they do - and that's ALWAYS against your privacy.
Our answer: We do not need (mercenary) influencers, we don't need businesses and we do not need brands with their ads!
We'll delete that feature and - if the original dev is successful with his software - we'll integrate a blocker that removes those ads from the timelines if they should federate.
The free networks must keep the users first without advertisement spam, but content from people for people.
Another bad thing is the pro subscriptions feature.
You must pay for using free software in a free network - what the hell?!
You get some storage for free, you can upload your stuff there. Then the storage is full and you have to delete old pictures or you can't use a free and open social network anymore. Of course you could pay, but in our opinion that's not free anymore.
Please think about this.
While there are way too much things which shouldn't be done in PixelFed, the things really important features will never get finished.
That there is no federation at the moment doesn't make sense. It can't be called a federated software if everything else is more important than federation...
Another important feature we miss and will be fixed by us it MariaDB support.
MariaDB is a MySQL replacement which is almost 99% compatible. It is the standard in most Linux distributions.
We'll also try to remove some dependencies to make it easier and cheaper to run your own instance, because if there's only one flagship,we really don't need federation!
At the end it should be possible to run PixelFork on a normal webhosting space,no own servers needed anymore.
There's another great and big thing we'll add but that will be a surprise - no further information yet. We don't need another theft of our ideas 😉 And there will be even more which we don't know ourselves today.

Closing thoughts

This was just a relatively short overview of our biggest plans for the future. It should also be a answer to the question: Why are you doing this?!
If you have any ideas, questions, wishes or want to tell us anything else,do it!
You can use the blog comments, write to on Mastodon or use our NotABug Issues.
PixelFork's goals in summary:

  • Users first
  • MariaDB compatibility
  • No ads
  • No pro accounts
  • No analytics and tracking
  • More openness
  • Runs on webhosting

Our team

May 17, 2019, 14:16 PM