Introducing Petnames

Recently I added deployment scripts to Epicyon for hosting on onion or i2p domains. These methods may provide greater independence, since you could easily self-host your own social media presence from your laptop and without a server, but using the long random domain names is very cumbersome. Is there a way to square the triangle of Zooko? It turns out that there is, using something called "petnames".

In Epicyon now if you select the avatar image of a person then you can optionally assign a petname for them. If you subsequently want to send a direct message to them then within the send to field you can just enter @petname. With something like an i2p address this massively simplifies the problem of specifying the intended recipient and keeps the amount of typing or copy-pasting to a minimum. When the post is sent the petname is then looked up and the full ActivityPub handle is substituted. Each account can have its own preferred petnames.

So this should make p2p ActivityPub more of a practical proposition rather than just a proof of concept.