nerds, are any of you able to explain the intended difference between Actor types "Organization" and "Service"?

Or more to the point, what is intended by a "Service" type as opposed to Group, Organization, or Application?

@hugh This cannot be answered without the context of a specific application -- these terms are not defined in any official way. In Mastodon, both Application and Service actors are interpreted as accounts with the "bot" label, and that's it.

@Gargron Thanks! Makes sense for it to be contextual I guess.

@hugh in my application I make a distinction between Service and Application on the basis of service is the actor that represents the instance itself, application is an actor that represents an application that access it.

To compare it to email: the service is the mail server, and an application could be the specific thunderbird used to access the server.

@mariusor @hugh this would also be my thoughts. a service could be e.g. a cron job or a webService.

@hugh I might be off-base here since I was away from ActivityStreams for several years before ActivityPub etc, but I strongly suspect that the Person/Group/Application triad dates back all the way to Typepad's Activity Streams 1 implementation, which exposes Typepad's User/Group/Application principal types:

@hugh A classic problem with Activity Schema, which became Activity Vocabulary later, is that it was initially trying to describe the data models of various different existing silo systems, rather than to establish a new set of platforms explicitly built for interop, and so it quickly accumulated various crufty synonyms that were relevant to maybe one or two systems.

@apparentlymart LOL sounds like nearly every schema ever created. Thanks!


The spec. is very short on this:

The main difference in the real world is that “Service” is understood as machine service.
In mastodon you create a “Service” by ticking “This account is a bot” …
Mastodon shows then a “bot” flag alongside the profile.

@sl007 Ah yes, but...

Anyway, you have all confirmed that it's not that I'm missing something, it's just a vague/generous spec 🙂

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This is a Mastodon instance primarily for Australasian Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Records people, and anyone else who wants to hang out with them. We use the Hometown fork which enables local-only posts.

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