The most novel and nonviolent piece of code in Pleroma's codebase does not try to impose itself on the outside world, but rather passively accepts and adapts without hatred or prejudice.

Pleroma's Transmogrifier module, in lib/pleroma/web/activity_pub/transmogrifier.ex

They say that all software is political. Fediverse software is more so than most, since it involves real communities of regular people cooperating on a broader social network. There is plenty of conflict, drama, and instance blocking. Sometimes it feels like people are hopeless. The Fediverse is meant to be a sanctuary, but it often mimics the destructive and imperialistic behavior of nations.

Pleroma's Transmogrifier is a refreshing beacon of hope. By its very nature it is nonviolent, taking a strong political stance against imperialism and tyranny.

What is the Transmogrifier?

The Fediverse works by sending Activities via HTTP server-to-server. These Activities are just JSON data, but the servers don't always agree on what to send, or how it should be formatted. The Transmogrifier adapts remote Activities into something Pleroma wants to deal with before saving them in the database.

In other words, it graciously adapts the activities sent by Mastodon, Misskey, PeerTube, and any other Fediverse backend.

It is a living document, constantly evolving. When third-party Fediverse backends change, Pleroma developers update the Transmogrifier to accommodate them.

Transmogrifier: Adapting Misskey's emoji reactions into Pleroma's native format

The Pleroma developers could have approached third-party developers and said "hey IDIOTS, you need to change the way you're sending activities!" But instead they extended an olive branch: the Transmogrifier.

The political stance is clear: everyone is free to do their own thing. There is no arrogance nor presumptions about the "right" way to do things. Everyone is free to do what they want on the Fediverse; Pleroma will respect that and adapt itself.

I've learned not to expect this much generosity on the Fediverse. A less wise developer might advocate full defederation of all [X software] servers for not behaving the way we want. Rather than wage war, the Transmogrifier respects all life on the Fediverse. In addition to being well-written and just really fucking cool, I believe this sort of positive thinking will be key to the long-term success of the Fediverse. It makes me feel proud to be a Pleroma user!

View the source code of the Transmogrifier here: