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Re: [Social-discuss] Interoperability?

From: Pablo Martin
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] Interoperability?
Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 15:07:25 +0200
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On 28/05/10 13:10, Dan Brickley wrote:
> (oof, this is too long, sorry folks)

yes its really long :)

> On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM, Nathan <address@hidden> wrote:
>> I'll second both Mischa and Dan's comments,
>> We already have more than enough protocols to do everything we need; caveat 
>> some of them may need used together in some tasty ways, but the whole world 
>> and their dog is working on that right now.
>> So far the highest value I've seen come out of this particular group are the 
>> ideas and use-cases - this work is valuable to all (and places 
>> social-discuss at the center of what's going on).
>> thus (imho):
>> 1 - support & make sure the many protocols that are out there work
>> 2 - focus on use cases & requirements + being a central 'log' of all the 
>> efforts that are going on.
> ... yes, quite. So sticking with the mailman example, and going from
> bottom up (ie. existing deployed software), we might look at what it
> is for, what user tasks it supports, which bits work well, which are
> known to be problematic in its current form, and also -critically- try
> to find developers and others who know the software and are willing to
> help try to move things along in a more integration-minded direction.
> And of course to humbly enquire what their existing plans are, rather
> than to rush in as would-be saviours.
> After that (and we'd do this for IRC / realtime chat / XMPP, for

>  (...)

> Mailman also integrates most things people want to do with mailing
> lists, including archiving, mail <-> news gateways, and so on. It has
> all of the features you expect from such a product, plus integrated
> support for the web (including web based archiving), automated bounce
> handling and integrated spam prevention."
> ... all kinds of status info up there, including eg
> "42 active branches owned by 23 people and 5 teams, 19 commits by 3
> people in the last month"
> Bugs:
> >From a quick look there, I see a bug re openid support,
> and one around Atom/RSS
> ... also some issues
> around NNTP interfacing/bridging, plus integration of Spamassassin.

I'm going to be imflamatory, but it is funny that you mention because
mailman is one software that in my eyes has been stagnant for too many
years, being as it is almost a monopoly in mailing lists. It can't
provide a direct link to the archive, the archives kind of suck, no gpg
support? cmon :)

I have another example... opensim and realxtend :-) (of a great system
pretty much untapped from).

> I suggest we could do much worse than sit down and read through the
> bug lists for a lot of this kind of software. Spam / trust issues,
> login and group management and open protocol implementation are all
> there in the first page of bugs for mailman.
> Here's phpbb, ... with their issue tracker
> over on sourceforge:
> ... (OpenID jumps off the page there btw) and over here
> ... apparently there's some use of JIRA for issue tracking. ->
> I won't dig out the urls for wordpress, mediawiki, drupal and their
> countless extensions. There's clearly a lot to look at. While we
> shoudn't get lost in the detail, the prize here is planet-wide
> integration of dozens (well, hundreds, thousands...) of packages which
> together provide millions of users a rich, varied and evolving set of
> options for online community. The site tracks 18,640
> projects. These don't fall cleanly into "social" and "non-social";
> even solitary use tools like laptop media players have huge potential
> for integrating with other sites, and the more standards support we
> have, the greater the chances of enriching the majority of these
> tools. Thousands of projects, thousands of developers, millions of
> users, millions of bugs... where to begin...? :)

Start somewhere...

I would say we (as internet community) are already pretty far in the
protocols area, and a lot of software. With most things sorted out if
you start walking the path.

The call for action: it is already there. I like how this thread talks
about having a forum where we can actually discuss interoperability
issues among all the involved projects. This is exactly what we need and
would be useful to decide if this is it, or maybe setup another like
social-protocols?. A lot of really friendly projects are working on a
common direction on a handful of languages on a handful of protocols.
*It can't be that hard to understand each other*. Maybe we need to
support more the protocols themselves and their possible combinations,
and each other, but we're close.

So, for interoperability. We can start interconnecting different
projects now, the forums at the moment are more the specific forums for
each protocol. a lot of them google groups, which i think says a lot
about the "community", but ok, the conversations and the people are very

The picture is a bit fuzzy, but i see a nice kind of backbone for a
common ontology (activitystreams)... maybe it needs a few more things,
but i can see it interconnecting most frameworks out there (in its many
flavours, maybe). For proving your identity: openid, foaf+ssl... For
signing and encryption, rsa and gpg in both symmetric and asymetric form.

To transport the streams, a few ways although not all of them planned
for yet, nntp, mail, pubsub, salmon, xmpp, psyc. This can get your
information anywhere you want with different degrees of privacy and
convenience... when you need keys you can use oauth to establish your
structure of remote control in the cloud and your cloud and the cloud of
your friends.

And then we have also rdf and sparql also right there also incredibly

There is a lot of work to be done, but i think more in the higher layers
now... what do we talk about? :). Build not just a more advanced
communication system, but also a better communication system. Practice
and find the useful patterns in what is possible right now.. what does
it mean when my identity comes back to me from a different network? What
is the relation between a system to communicate, and a site to
collaborate? and a site to organize? and a trust system? we should be
responsible and think in the context of the times :-)



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