Staying with Mastodon

September 10, 2018

After playing with Pleroma for the last couple of days, I have learned a lot (see archives for notes) and have had a lot of fun tinkering. In the end though, it's still a bit rough around the edges and there are some issues that are keeping me from using it as my main Fediverse software.

That said, I really like the software and hope that Lain keeps up the excellent work on the software as it is looking to be a great alternative to Mastodon.

I will find some time this weekend to get a test/personal instance running at home on a Raspberry pi so that I can keep up an instance around and keep it updated to see how development is going with it.

Here are some of the minor things that kept me from using Pleroma right now. They are minor and shouldn't hold people back from using Pleroma themselves.

  • Both front-ends (Pleroma FE and Mastodon FE) are great, but have some issues -- in Safari, the logout doesn't work for Pleroma FE. This is the issue tracking this one. The Mastodon FE seems a bit more resource intensive that the front-end for Mastodon back-end for some reason.
  • Apparently this can be done, but is not turned on by default based on this comment from the author of Pleroma. The Pleroma FE does not seem to allow me to change the privacy of statuses that I post.
  • The Pleroma FE adds the name of the image file to the end of the status no matter what. I couldn't find a way to make it not do that.
  • Settings don't save or carry over. An example is the Timeline setting "Collapse posts with subjects" that doesn't want to stay checked. This is the issue tracking this one.
  • Notifications don't work with clients, Mastodon notifies right away in Amaroq, Pleroma doesn't. It seems like Mastodon is some sort of subscription/push while Pleroma is a pull.
  • Last night, I lost two direct messages with a user that was using Mastodon. They disappeared all together.
  • There is no option for email notifications.
  • I like using MFA whenever I can. Mastodon has it, Pleroma does not. There is a request to add 2FA/MFA.
  • Media proxy did not work with some apps and returns HTTP 406 errors when images are requested. I tried debugging this for two nights in a row and couldn't figure out why. The only way to make this work is to turn off media proxy. Amaroq and Stella could not work with media proxy -- and they work fine when proxying media in Mastodon.
  • With media proxy turned off meant that nothing was cached for remote media, which did make loading quite a bit slower depending on the remote site's server. Though, this was not a big deal with remote images, it did affect avatars a lot. On the flip side, without this, for larger installs of Pleroma, it could cause extra load on remote servers.
  • UPDATE Though the issue being tracked is still open, as of 9/28/18, I am able to use Tootdon and Tootle with Pleroma. Tootdon and Tootle couldn't sign in, so I had no native iPad app to use. I could use Amaroq in iPhone mode or I could use the web. I really wanted a native iPad app as it is more convenient. This is the issue that was filed, it looks like this is a client issue.

Again, Pleroma is awesome. I really like it, but it's not ready for me right now, though I have high hopes for it in the future and will continue to play with it. My Pleroma instance (semicharmed.net) will be decommission and I am moving back to using my Mastodon instance, even if it costs a little more to run.


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