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Re: [Social-discuss] Future of GNU social

From: Ted Smith
Subject: Re: [Social-discuss] Future of GNU social
Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 12:39:08 -0400

On Fri, 2010-05-28 at 23:27 +0100, Rob Myers wrote:
> On 05/28/2010 10:14 PM, Ted Smith wrote:
> > Personally, I don't like this choice. It forces the implementation
> > paradigm in the direction of "web servers", which is a step backwards
> > for user freedom. If it were possible to implement OStatus in a p2p
> > network, I would be less negative, but as I've been reading over the
> > spec it seems that that's impossible. Someone more familiar with OStatus
> > should definitely correct me if I'm wrong - I would love to be wrong
> > here.
> A web server can be implemented in any number of ways in any number of 
> environments. It is a limit, yes, but Eben Moglen's talk about cloud 
> freedom describes ways of offsetting that limit.
> OStatus and StatusNet fit the original federated server idea, and were 
> the example that I personally had in mind for that.

Originally, I had the same idea, but over time I became convinced that
only locally-running code could really provide adequate privacy and
> StatusNet supports XMPP and other protocols iirc. It's good software 
> written by smart people with their eyes very definitely on user freedom.

I'm not trying to attack the StatusNet folks - they've probably done
more for user autonomy on the social web than nearly everyone. But to
me, embracing a protocol that's specifically designed around GLAMP apps,
versus a high-level protocol that can be implemented on GLAMP apps, is a

Also, does StatusNet support XMPP as a server-to-server transport, or
just as a UI transport (a way for the user to get stuff to the server)?
It was my impression it was just a UI transport.

> >> OStatus is being singled out now because it has become possible to do so
> >> and because it has momentum from the great work StatusNet have done.
> >
> > What do you mean by "it has become possible to do so?"
> I mean that as a result of the copyright assignment GNU now has high 
> quality existing OStatus code available to build on.

> Assignment was a recent development. This is an opportunity that has 
> been taken, not a plot that has taken time to come to fruition.
This makes things a lot more clear. I had gotten a different impression
from Matt Lee on IRC - though that's my fault, not his.

> If you have any other questions for me personally about what I do or do 
> not know I'll answer them unless they involve betraying a confidence (in 
> which case I will state that, although I don't think it applies to 
> anything I know about Social or StatusNet).

Nothing further. :-)

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