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Re: [Social-discuss] Interoperability?

From: Ted Smith
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] Interoperability?
Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 16:37:55 -0400

On Thu, 2010-05-27 at 16:02 -0400, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
> On 05/27/2010 03:52 PM, Ted Smith wrote:
> > On Thu, 2010-05-27 at 21:02 +0200, Matija Šuklje wrote:
> >> I know this is in a way another buzzword, but I've been wondering lately 
> >> about 
> >> interoperability of diverse Free social networking systems.
> >
> > That's the point of GNU Social at this juncture - creating a protocol
> > that will do this.
> I'm glad to hear it.  It's difficult to tell this is the point from
> reading pages on the web site or following this list (though i've only
> been on the list for a little while).
> For example, this page has defensive-sounding language about the choice
> of programming language (PHP), which seems like it would be irrelevant
> to a project whose goal was the creation and maintenance of a
> distributed, interoperable social networking protocol.
> This page contains a lot of fascinating, good, broad-strokes ideas, but
> nothing approaching a protocol which a developer could go off and build
> a compatible implementation for.
> Where is the discussion of the protocol taking place?  What outreach is
> being made to developers of the other systems mentioned to ensure that
> the protocol meets their needs and is adoptable?
> Thanks to everyone for their work on this important project, and sorry
> if i'm asking people to repeat themselves.  I really haven't been able
> to find the protocol work i've been looking for, and would appreciate a
> pointer or two.

This is all rather new. Here's the recent timeline:

      * On May 6th, Matt Lee posted to this list (social-discuss) with
        the subject line "The next step". This email outlined a new plan
        for the GNU Social project:

> Instead, we propose GNU social as something different to all these
> projects, and something common to them all as well. GNU social should
> instead lead on the creation of the glue that ties these projects
> together, as well as a simple, functional example of a basic social
> networking site, intended as a demonstration and proof of concept, not
> a contender in its own right.

> The initial work of the GNU social project should therefore be the
> development of a simple social networking protocol, agreed on by the
> other players in this space, simultaneously with the creation of the
> proof of concept, followed by sustained advocacy of the GNU social
> concept to other free software projects, and the creation of new
> social tools, both browser and desktop clients.

      * Since then very little discussion on this topic has happened, on
        this list or on address@hidden (in fact, that list has about two
        threads IIRC).

In short, everything you've read is probably obsolete, and the protocol
discussion doesn't exist yet.

People need to speak up about this protocol we're supposedly developing,
otherwise this project will rapidly lose relevance and die. Someone
might do what we're trying to do now, but I'd rather not leave that up
to chance. 

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