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Open-Source Social Network Diaspora Goes Live

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the go-west-where-the-land-is-free dept.

Social Networks 266

CWmike writes "Diaspora, a widely anticipated social network site built on open-source code, has cracked open its doors for business, at least for a handful of invited participants. 'Every week, we'll invite more people,' stated the developers behind the project, in a blog item posted Tuesday announcing the alpha release of the service. 'By taking these baby steps, we'll be able to quickly identify performance problems and iterate on features as quickly as possible.' Such a cautious rollout may be necessary, given how fresh the code is. In September, when the first version of the working code behind the service was posted, it was promptly criticized for being riddled with security errors. While Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg may not be worried about Diaspora quite yet, the service is one of a growing number of efforts to build out open-source-based social-networking software and services."

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266 comments

Anyone know (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327452)

who got first post on the site?

diaspora... (1)

grepya (67436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327456)

... is to facebook, as facebook was to myspace.

Doubt it (2, Informative)

mozumder (178398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327464)

It's more open than Facebook.

Facebook's selling point was its exclusivity - you originally joined Facebook because only college kids were on it, and no one else. You stayed on it for the clean interface.

There's no incentive to join Diaspora.

Re:Doubt it (2, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327524)

Facebook will remain popular as long as it provides a means to cheat on your wife, booty-calling girls with whom you used to have great sex, 20 years ago.

Diaspora is not yet there.

Re:Doubt it (4, Insightful)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328230)

There may be no incentive to join Diaspora, but I think that today could still mark a turning point. It provides a set of APIs that can be used to federate social networks. Facebook may not be interested in joining, but smaller networks will have a strong incentive to join. It could be like email thirty years ago. Back then there were lots of proprietary email systems that didn't interconnect. SMTP provided a common interconnection and eventually even the largest providers had to join. If one of the other major social networks, such as LinkedIn, MySpace or Orkut, were to federate with Diaspora, it would start a chain reaction. The only question would be if Facebook is already big enough to ignore a combination of all of its competitors. I'm betting that it's not.

Re:Doubt it (2, Insightful)

Again (1351325) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327528)

It's more open than Facebook.

Facebook's selling point was its exclusivity - you originally joined Facebook because only college kids were on it, and no one else. You stayed on it for the clean interface.

There's no incentive to join Diaspora.

There is at least one very good reason to join quickly. By being on of the first to join I get my pick of pretty much any username. I signed up for an invite purely to grab my username before someone else takes it. My username is pretty lame but dang it, it's mine. So, if against all odds Diaspora becomes popular then I'll be prepared.

Re:Doubt it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327638)

I don't think anyone else was going to take "shavedbottom4wellhungtop"

Re:Doubt it (1, Funny)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327654)

You haven't checked your local Craigslist lately then, because that's the FIRST thing I'd expect to be gone.

Re:Doubt it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327802)

It's more open than Facebook.

Facebook's selling point was its exclusivity - you originally joined Facebook because only college kids were on it, and no one else. You stayed on it for the clean interface.

There's no incentive to join Diaspora.

There is at least one very good reason to join quickly. By being on of the first to join I get my pick of pretty much any username. I signed up for an invite purely to grab my username before someone else takes it. My username is pretty lame but dang it, it's mine. So, if against all odds Diaspora becomes popular then I'll be prepared.

Damn. So you were the person that took iloveanal?

Re:Doubt it (1)

el_tedward (1612093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328114)

I haven't read anything ever so it's not like this is an informed post, but I think if they do Diaspora in a truly open way, usernames wouldn't matter. I'd like to see it done in a way that would some day allow me to integrate diaspora to share information and kitty cat pictures between facebook and other social networking sites. (ACLs, yeah? fancy ones with sparkles and extendability.)

Not everyone will want to give mark zuckerbug their diaspora username and picture, but I know I probably will, and people should have that choice IF it possible to do in a practical fashion. If we can move towards an open social networking protocol. Y'know call it something like, HTTPstalker or something. Just try to think more about security before hand and be ready to change the things that are a surprise and we'll be golden.

Re:Doubt it (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328368)

Maybe you should sign up "Mark Zuckerberg" too while you're at it...

Wait, is that you Mark?

Re:Doubt it (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327546)

I saw The Social Network too.
But now the main reason to join FB is because your cousins/colleagues/etc are there.
That can change!

Re:Doubt it (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327648)

Sure there is. Who's always the first adopters for open-source anti-corporatist programs? Nerds like us. Firefox started as the nerd's browser. Linux started as the nerd's OS - and it still is, on the desktop. So, for now, think of it as "Facebook for Slashdotters".

Re:Doubt it (4, Interesting)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327792)

If you think about it, /. is like a facebook for nerds. Articles are similar to walls, moderation is used as the 'like' button, blogs are like notes, and I /. stalk just like on facebook. :P

Re:Doubt it (4, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328032)

That is a bit of stretch.

There are a complete lack of pictures on slashdot on which to formulate a decision to stalk or ignore. Unless we begin uuencoding our pictures into our posts and blogs there is no evidence to base this decision.

In order to assist in the stalking section we will need the addition of a radial button that defines our hotness aka stalking susceptibility. Until this is implemented we will have to identify our level of attractiveness manually.

I of course am smoking hot.

Re:Doubt it (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327814)

So, for now, think of it as "Facebook for Slashdotters".

... Or, as non-technical folks prefer to call it, HELL.

Re:Doubt it (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327884)

think of it as "Facebook for Slashdotters".

Isn't that slashdot?

Re:Doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328070)

You are forgetting the fact that this is a SOCIAL program. Unlike the other applications, nerd adoptation will be driving people AWAY instead of drawing them in.

Re:Doubt it (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328366)

Facebook's selling point was its exclusivity [...] There's no incentive to join Diaspora.

You've contradicted yourself. Exclusivity is exactly what Diaspora will have. And it's not Facebook, your grandmother uses Facebook. Mainstream, pedestrian. For people who think Farmville is cool.

FB is screaming out for an "exclusive" alternative. It's way overdue for the "omg are you still using lamebook?" effect.

Re:diaspora... (0, Flamebait)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327484)

Yeah, except without all that "financially successful" and "sound business plan" nonsense.

Re:diaspora... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327670)

Facebook didn't have those until four or five years after it was created.

Re:diaspora... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327748)

Eh...but it was pretty obviously going to be a success very quickly after starting.. When Facebook expanded to my college, it was about 7 months after the initial launch. In about a month, everyone I knew had an account. It was an amazing rate of adoption.

Capitalization happened later, but I'm pretty sure a successful business plan was built-in from the beginning. Advertising revenues or not there would be some way to monetize the millions of users that were joining..

In the end I'm not sure what's going to pull the average user away from Facebook short of some amazing new features (aside from the lofty goal of privacy, of course.) But I'm not ruling it out.

Re:diaspora... (4, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327842)

Considering their revenues were 52 million in 2006, and they launched in 2004, I'd say you're off a bit on your estimate.

It took them longer to turn a profit, but they were clearly generating a sizable income off their web site within 2 years of launch. Given that, I'd say it's pretty safe to say that they probably launched with a pretty coherent business plan in place. You don't grow from launch to 52 million in revenue accidentally.

Re:diaspora... (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327496)

Yeah except for the fact that it offers nothing that the average user of Facebook wants or cares about.

Re:diaspora... (5, Insightful)

Musically_ut (1054312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327770)

Yeah except for the fact that it offers nothing that the average user of Facebook wants or cares about.

Looking at it another way, perhaps it does not do what the average user of Facebook does not want.

Apart from privacy issues, one of the problems I see with Facebook is the bloat (or crud) factor. Diaspora does not have that, at least not now.
I have my fingers crossed.

Re:diaspora... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327836)

Sorry, I modded you Redundant by accident and can't change it.

Re:diaspora... (1)

Musically_ut (1054312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328286)

Sorry, I modded you Redundant by accident and can't change it.

No problem and acknowledgement appreciated.

:hug:

Re:diaspora... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328422)

Diaspora also doesn't have any of the reasons to sign up, it's currently as useful as not signing up for Facebook, you get the same privacy protection either way...

Re:diaspora... (1)

Subm (79417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328268)

Yeah except for the fact that it offers nothing that the average user of Facebook wants or cares about.

Just like Wikipedia in its first few years -- tons of articles on Star Wars and computer languages. Very little for non-geeks. Poor writing and editing and lots of vandalism.

But free (as in speech) has advantages. Wikipedia had and still has its growing pains, but one by one its freedom overcame 'offering nothing the average user of Brittanica wanted or cared about'.

How good was Wikipedia in its alpha stages and, a few years later, when was the last time you used any other encyclopedia?

Re:diaspora... (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327776)

The difference is, Facebook came out before the majority of the public had jumped on the social networking bandwagon. Now all their friends are on Facebook, and they won't want to switch out.

Re:diaspora... (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328046)

I don't know about that, I join a social network because all the people I know are on it. It's why I joined bebo long ago (was extremely popular in New Zealand), it's why I migrated to facebook. I can't see too many of the people I know being interested in moving to diaspora.

A Few At A Time (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327460)

'Every week, we'll invite more people,'

I guess they'll be sending Friend Requests via Facebook?

Re:A Few At A Time (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327618)

No way, they said they want to start out small: they're going to invite everyone still on myspace first.

Re:A Few At A Time (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327712)

You mean my_____]

Re:A Few At A Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327744)

Sort of. One of my friend's facebook status is that he has 10 Diaspora invites and to let him know if anybody wants one.

Re:A Few At A Time (2, Informative)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327910)

Zuckerberg did donate to the project when they were looking for money on kickstarter.

$SUBJECT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327486)

> it was promptly criticized for being riddled with security errors.

Well, they're done.

You design security in; you don't glue it on the side afterwards.

Re:$SUBJECT (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327584)

As I've said before, that's just not how it works in any decent-sized project. You design to meet the needs, then you redesign to meet the new needs, then you redesign yet again to meet the needs that have just come up. Diaspora's first release was (and should have been) to show proof of concept: that something working could be produced. Now they get to redesign to meet security and scalability, and over time they'll redesign to meet other needs. You don't get miracles in the first version.

Re:$SUBJECT (3, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327678)

Security is a design philosophy. Either you've done it right, from the ground up, with your basic code writing habits, or you haven't. A redesign isn't going to cut it. You'd have to do a total rewrite.

Re:$SUBJECT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327772)

The problems described by the linked article back in September are solvable. It's patently absurd to claim that they ought to ignore the relatively simple fixes and write the whole damn thing over again.

Re:$SUBJECT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328254)

You obviously don't work in IT Security...

Re:$SUBJECT (2, Insightful)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328298)

If I understand correctly, you can run your own Diaspora server, is it right?

Well, then there must be a protocol to communicate between Diaspora servers. If that protocol is sound, then I will just write my OWN server with all the security features I need.

Do we know anything about the security of the protocol? I am more interested in that not in the security of the webapp.

Re:$SUBJECT (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327874)

That something working could be produced.

This has already been done: it's called Facebook, MySpace, and Orkut. We know that it's possible to build a working web site for social networking, we didn't need Diaspora to show us that. Diaspora came to the table with the premise of building upon Facebook's "something working": namely, that users would be secure & in charge of their data. That was their key differentiator, they didn't need to show "hey somebody can build a web site that will allow people to communicate with friends!" They needed to show that it could be done more securely and with more respect for user's privacy.

They *failed* to produce a working proof of concept to show that goal could be met. They *failed* to do that because they did not incorporate simple security principles into their initial proof of concept.

Re:$SUBJECT (1)

techhead79 (1517299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328020)

Now they get to redesign to meet security.....

Yes cause as we saw it worked so well for Microsoft...Some things can not be redesigned...they will require a complete rewrite. We're not talking about adding a new feature here or there. We're talking about a fundamental design flaw.

Re:$SUBJECT (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328370)

The big problem is that they're reinventing the wheel several times along the way. OneSocialWeb [onesocialweb.org] had a MUCH better idea. They simply boot strapped their API for sharing off the pre-existing XMPP/Jabber standard, and it works really well. They wrote a plugin for the Openfire [igniterealtime.org] XMPP server, leveraging their pre-existing presence, messaging, security, login, and user management structure. Hell, it even pulls my XMPP groups and uses them as groups for setting permissions on posts. If they could get the attention Diaspora is getting, I think the progress to a usable alternative could be far quicker.

The fact is, Diaspora's young team is showing just how young they are. Sure, they have energy, but they also have a case of NIH and needing to code everything from the ground up to feel good about it, instead of leveraging somebody else's having already solved part of your problem so that you can get on to solving the REAL issue. They're blocking IE, for fuck's sake. That's stupid. In order for this project to be useful, it has to INCLUDE as many people as possible, not EXCLUDE for arbitrary nerd-religion wars.

The only reason they got as much attention and funding as they did was the fortuitous timing as Facebook ignited the internet's collective nerd rage and they announced their project, because frankly they're Doing It Wrong(tm) pretty much every step of the way since then.

media (-1, Flamebait)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327494)

Nobody would have ever heard of this thing, except that there was nothing else going on in the news when the story broke. This one of thousands of facebook clones. Once it actually does something noteworthy, let's look at it again. Until then, who cares?

Re:media (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327660)

what have you done of late that has been noteworthy?

Yet another social Torrens System. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327498)

Please elaborate on the benefits of inventing an alter ego maintaned by a corporation that doesn't allow it to be retracted to a neighboring competing social network in control of the person that he may kill it like the 1812 fire of the White House?

It' just another liability and purposed bond that only a coroner, a overlord, and a spy would ever find useful. It' as though everyone enjoys being watched for free, while vthe pornogfraphers and whores have better implementations that vuse money to sue anyone caught with my surveylance.

Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thing (1, Insightful)

NMEismyNME (725242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327512)

I really can't help but see it as a great thing that the security errors were found. It totally vindicates the open source model as a means for peer review and enhancement, the developers will have learned some extremely valuable lessons, and the publicity will mean more eyes will be trained on the codebase in future.

Now, if the source was proprietary....

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327540)

Yes, I too love that a social network that purports to be secure and built to respect privacy is written by people who are incompetent at security. Where can I sign up!?!?!

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327626)

Are you kidding me? Every alpha has bugs. Get real. There's a reason it's invitation only.

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (2, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327636)

Yes, every alpha does have bugs. But one would expect that people who claim to write secure software would actually, you know, be somewhat competent at writing secure software.

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327832)

Do you even read what you write?

You admit that all alpha software has bugs, but expect these guys to write bug-free code?

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328074)

Quite, there were just security bugs there wasn't even an authorization framework in place! Hell, there wasn't even simple stuff like limiting access to things based on the owner.

Something which I would think is integral to the site design and should have been decided upon before they even started coding.

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (4, Interesting)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328090)

It's probably invitation-only because they have no way of searching for other Diaspora users and adding them short of exchanging URLs: http://groups.google.com/group/diaspora-discuss/browse_thread/thread/60f32519f623e690/23109444fefa1640?#23109444fefa1640 [google.com] Diaspora's answer to Facebook's search? Google search! (I'm not making this up, read that thread)

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (5, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328328)

These aren't "bugs," these are "gaping holes in security and privacy controls that don't appear to even have been considered."

There's a difference between "our security system will behave badly when somebody presents it with a specially crafted URL, leading to unauthorized escalation of privileges" (a bug) and "our security system assumes that anybody accessing URL automatically has access to update, modify, delete, etc. anything at that URL." (a gaping hole in security, and a glaring *design* flaw).

Unless you define "bug" to be such a broad category that it includes "incomplete, poorly thought-out rubbish," you cannot call some of these issues "bugs" in the software.

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327650)

In other news -- even competent programmers write code with bugs. The important part is finding and fixing bugs, which the open-source model excels at.

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328178)

But when security errors are found in closed software it doesn't vindicate anything, right? I WONDER WHY

I'm not an apologist or fan of proprietary software, but people's "logical" conclusions which are really based on clouded judgement because they like one thing more than the other should not be considered insightful. Idiotic advocacy is harmful.

Re:Security Vulnerabilities Discovered != Bad Thin (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328282)

That is true, but I would rather not use something that has contained vulnerabilities caused by a failure to follow basic good practice (I.e. incompetent developers).

Please (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327514)

Stop promoting Diaspora. These people don't know what they're doing. If the general population is going to shift to an open social network, they need to have a good experience the first time they try it. Promote another open social network with more competent developers.

Re:Please (1)

hey (83763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327570)

I kinda agree... here are some others
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_social_network [wikipedia.org]

But, heck, if Diaspora has the mindshare maybe we should go with it... even if its not technically the greatest?

Re:Please (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327768)

But, heck, if Diaspora has the mindshare maybe we should go with it... even if its not technically the greatest?

What mindshare, exactly, does Diaspora have? As far as I can tell, it's some subset of the same people who keep thinking desktop Linux is going to take off any year now.

So far, in these comments, pretty much every pro-Diaspora commenter mentions how it's open source. I've got news for you guys - the vast majority of people don't give a rat's rear end whether it, or any other piece of software, is open source or not. Sure, you can argue why they should care, and pretend all the great unwashed are going to awaken and come around to your way of thinking really soon now... but the onus is on you to show that's even remotely likely.
 

Re:Please (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328372)

I've got news for you guys - the vast majority of people don't give a rat's rear end whether it, or any other piece of software, is open source or not.

Great!!! As I care much less what the vast majority of people think than they do care about the rat's end, maybe it is an opportunity to get more contacts more relevant for me that in other places?

In other words, why does a place need to be crowded to be attractive?

Re:Please (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327662)

I guess that's one opinion, the "hold out for perfection and scorn anything that isn't perfect" model is popular with many slashdotters. I guess suppressing all mention of those imperfect alternatives is logical to some.

I personally think that's idiotic. The alternative is, what, wait for people to become so dissatisfied with facebook selling all their private information and location that they decide to make their own? I'm finding it hard to believe that people "who know what they're doing" are just not doing it because they haven't thought "maybe I could do better than facebook."

Re:Please (2, Informative)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327708)

What the GP is getting at is that Diaspora is only popular because they got a connection to some media exposure. They got $200,000 from the public when they had *nothing.* There are (and were) already alternatives that are much better and further along than Diaspora. As I mentioned in my post just below this one, Appleseed is one of them (there are others as well, but that happens to be the one that I personally feel deserves more attention).

Re:Please (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328138)

Popularity and exposure does count for a lot when it comes to social networks. I've heard of diaspora several times, and never heard of appleseed before now. I doubt many of my friends have heard of it either, odds are low they've heard of diaspora, but I'm guessing more will sign up with the one they hear more about.

GP also seems to think it's a zero sum game when it comes to news about non-facebook social networks. That's not true. I think most people aren't aware there is more than facebook and myspace, making them more aware of diaspora might lead them to investigate your preferred ones.

Like me and this appleseed you're talking about...

Re:Please (1)

gbelteshazzar (1214658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328018)

how many politicians are on facebook now? facebook is THE social network (some regions have other dominant networks i realise). it already has the mindshare and the majority of peoples social information, they won't move, if facebook screws soemthing up (in the eyes of the public) politicians will get involved

What alternatives? (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327664)

None of the contenders are anywhere near complete (at least the last time I went looking). It will take a few years with people that care about this sort of thing to mature the various projects. If we wait for a "good experience the first time", it will be a long while. I'm prepared to put up with quite a bit if it means long term options for open social networks. For example by creating testbeds for open social APIs.

99% of people don't care and are going to stay on Facebook. These projects are not for those people. At least until TBL's recent prognostications about the emerging Walled Gardens come true.

Xix.

Re:What alternatives? (4, Informative)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327694)

Appleseed is getting close to production ready (and it's quite usable already).

Diaspora motivating Appleseed (2, Interesting)

xixax (44677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327756)

In which case Disapora is worth some effort even if all it does is motivate Appleseed back into life. I found this article after reading Tim Berners-Lee's recent article. On hiatus since 2007 is not exactly a reassuring release history either.

http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2010/05/21/diaspora-social-network-fail-kickstarter-facebook/ [switched.com]

Other comments about the lardy nature of Diaspora have also convinced me to only try it if I can put it one someone else's server.

Xix.

If I quote LL Cool J, feel free to tell me to stop (5, Informative)

dominion (3153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327960)

That was in May. Since then I've put out six revisions.

The thing is, although there was seemingly a stop in development (since 2008/2009, actually), I had never given up on the project. I had a notebook with all the ideas, sketches, mockups, etc. where I wanted to take the project. When Diaspora hit, I emailed them, offering to help. I never heard back, so I decided to push forward on Appleseed.

The pace may seem extraordinary considering I'm essentially the sole full time developer, with most help having come from designers and testers, and I handle a full time job on the side, while I do put in a lot of hours, things have moved along so quickly because I had gamed and spec'd out so much in the year prior.

Check out our roadmap, you'll see exactly where we're going.

http://opensource.appleseedproject.org/roadmap/ [appleseedproject.org]

You can also send an email to invite@appleseedproject.org for an invite to the beta test site. Here's a screenshot for people who don't want to bother signing up (apologies for FB hosting. we're working on that :)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1207.snc4/155927_469182004405_510304405_5358353_7159703_n.jpg [fbcdn.net]

Michael Chisari
Lead Developer, The Appleseed Project

Re:If I quote LL Cool J, feel free to tell me to s (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328202)

Glad to hear it! The perceived hiatus was the only negative for Appleseed on my short list of FOSS social options to explore.

More likely than not I'll be taking you up on that invite. :)

Re:If I quote LL Cool J, feel free to tell me to s (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328274)

Working on MVC in PHP. Impressive. This project looks very complicated and difficult to use with its many modules in php. Do you plan on providing documentation on using it?

Ruby on Rails? Reeks of noobs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327620)

Ruby and Ruby on Rails == Big bag of fail.

Sounds like they are trying... (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327640)

...to save the hassle of what twitter went though with the fail whale issue of their servers just getting slammed. Which is a good thing. Also I think google has tried the same things when rolling out a new web product like gmail/google voice/etc where you get invited to keep the load down to a manageable amount while you work out the kinks. Smart thinking on their part. I know I tried Orkut when I left facebook as an alternative and I noticed all the time I would update something on my page or change a profile picture, and orkut would report to me some sort of server error, leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth as to how stable the platform really was. With all the work that goes into a social networking site, I don't envy all the work ahead for diaspora. But I applaud their efforts. One question that lies in my mind since it's an open source site is, if it becomes popular, how easy would it be for people to find exploits to the system since they have the source right there to like pull all of your personal info or hijack accounts. But being opensource, the community can easily pitch in and say, "Hey, that method you are using is a giant security hole!". We'll see.

IRC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327840)

IRC: The original social network.

See ya'll on freenode.

what's in a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34327868)

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the name is one of the big stopping points here. For the nerd population, no one will care, but for the general public, I just don't see most people getting excited about updating their Diaspora status, or Diaspora-ing before bed, or sending out Diaspora invites for their birthday parties. Besides it being an unattractive (maybe not the best word to describe it, but you get the picture) word, I think that having four syllables detracts from it as well. Granted, these things shouldn't matter if the service is better, but that's not always the case.

Horrendous security model (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327898)

So I'm not supposed to trust facebook, a single corporate entity that I can sue for breach of contract if necessary, but I am supposed to trust this software to store copies of my data(even if they are encrypted) on machines all over the planet, machines who may be running Windows and get infected with a botnet that can transfer all my data to another computer for later decryption and analysis. Yeah, sign me up for that.

I hope competitors have a model that DOESNT require me to trust the security of Windows machines.

Re:Horrendous security model (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328324)

Just choose to host your data on your own server then? That's your choice as far as I can tell.

Re:Horrendous security model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328384)

...a single corporate entity that I can sue for breach of contract if necessary...

Are you sure about that? I haven't read their agreement, but I seriously doubt there is much you can sue them for.

Re:Horrendous security model (4, Insightful)

arctanx (1187415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328402)

I'm afraid you're screwed whatever you do. The data may be primarily stored on your own machine but you still want your friends to read it. This means if nothing else you have to at least send your status updates and photos to their boxen. They might be accessing a commercially hosted diaspora instance with IE4 on Windows 95A... and you can't help that. You've lost control of the data as soon as it got to their seed.

Compare that with Facebook. Again, they could be using any browser at all. They could have any of a huge number of viruses, keyloggers, webpage scanners running while they trawl through every photo you've posted, as you've granted them the right to do as your friend.

I think the competing model you're thinking of is the postal service.

Bloody idiots (5, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327958)

Just had this pointed out to me:

* Goto http://www.joindiaspora.com/ [joindiaspora.com] using Internet Explorer

Instead of showing the page, what do you get? I'll tell you... a blank page with the following title:

You need to use a real browser in order to use Diaspora!

I'm not a IE fan, but this happens with Internet Explorer 8 for goodness sakes. Probably happens with IE9 too. FFS stop showing your fanboyish nature guys; you're basically stating that a good portion of users who only use IE, even if they're using a modern version of it with modern security features like sand-boxing and whatnot, is apparently not "real" enough for your fucking site.

This really does piss me off. Makes the rest of us "open" FOSS users look like a pack of childish geeks who have no idea. You want your little social site to work? Don't arbitrarily restrict browsers!

Re:Bloody idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328002)

It's a closed beta FFS. They can do whatever the hell they want, and I say bravo to them for only choosing where to draw the support line while they work on other things.

A year from now people will be bragging to their friends, "Yeah, I used it before they let the IE n00bs on." And in the next breath they'll add, "Those ID10T's ran the place into the ground, so now I use $(the_next_1337_thing)."

Re:Bloody idiots (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328022)

It's a closed beta FFS. They can do whatever the hell they want, and I say bravo to them for only choosing where to draw the support line while they work on other things.

Bullshit. If that were the case they could have worded it a little better than they did, instead of a blank page and silly comment as the title.

Re:Bloody idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328134)

It's a closed beta FFS. They can do whatever the hell they want, and I say bravo to them for only choosing where to draw the support line while they work on other things.

No, actually it's a closed alpha.

That being said (and only because it's still alpha), I'm inclined to both agree with you and forgive a rather rough & juvenile sort of "unsupported" message. By the time they hit beta, hopefully someone will have had the sense or civility to replace it with something a little more helpful.

A year from now people will be bragging to their friends, "Yeah, I used it before they let the IE n00bs on." And in the next breath they'll add, "Those ID10T's ran the place into the ground, so now I use $(the_next_1337_thing)."

Yeah, I used usenet before they let AOL on. They ran the place into the ground, so now I use slashdot.

(and don't get me started on the day they let all those dogs into FidoNet)

Re:Bloody idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328008)

Just had this pointed out to me:

* Goto http://www.joindiaspora.com/ [joindiaspora.com] using Internet Explorer

Instead of showing the page, what do you get? I'll tell you... a blank page with the following title:

You need to use a real browser in order to use Diaspora!

I'm not a IE fan, but this happens with Internet Explorer 8 for goodness sakes. Probably happens with IE9 too. FFS stop showing your fanboyish nature guys; you're basically stating that a good portion of users who only use IE, even if they're using a modern version of it with modern security features like sand-boxing and whatnot, is apparently not "real" enough for your fucking site.

This really does piss me off. Makes the rest of us "open" FOSS users look like a pack of childish geeks who have no idea. You want your little social site to work? Don't arbitrarily restrict browsers!

LOL you use Internet Explorer.

Re:Bloody idiots (1)

roalt (534265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328102)

You are absolutely right, but for Diaspora's case: Getting multiple browser support right takes time, getting IE support right even longer. (I admit that for a simple "join page" it wouldn't be that much extra time. During alpha development phase, you want to go forward, not stepping aside.

...and it's nice to let IE users experience the feeling others have for all those IE-only websites.

But very tactical, to promote your new website to new users? No...

Re:Bloody idiots (4, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328142)

Your point about limiting browser support at this stage is perfectly reasonable, I agree 100%. But you also appear to agree that sidelining IE browsers in the manner they're doing is rather immature. If they blocked IE and explained why they were doing so without sounding pretentious, then it will look a lot more professional.

Re:Bloody idiots (1)

stavrica (701765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328136)

We've all been there. It works on every browser, except for IE. The trick is to respond intelligently, and not fall victim to emotional despair when Internet Explorer refuses to act like the mature browser it should be by now.

Flinging mud at something, even when deserved, will get you dirty as well.

Why not solve 2 problems at the same time? Do this instead:

http://code.google.com/p/chromeframeiebar [google.com]

Re:Bloody idiots (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328182)

They do both. The title of the page is "You need to use a real browser in order to use Diaspora!" and the page itself has a frame in the middle pitching Chrome Frame.

Re:Bloody idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328262)

IE has traditionally had major security flaws. Microsoft has shown significant disinterest in fixing problems in a timely fashion. If you were in a niche market, or had specific functionality that literally couldn't support IE or had specific security problems with the browser, blocking its user agent is perfectly acceptable. Also, IE may be "secure" now, but we know their track record. The problems we don't know about are always the biggest problems.

If you take that point of view, enforcing a max exodus from the platform would probably do the world more good than bad. Besides, most of you have multiple browsers anyway. I know many sites / organisation's setups that require different browsers for different reasons.

That said.

I don't know why a social network trying to gain critical mass would ever do something this stupid. It's meant to be open source ffs, I know it's new but at least living up to your peers level of accessibility would be a good start.

P.S. If IE was a real browser you'd be easily able to change the user agent to that of a different browser. Avoiding the block, your post, and this entire fucking thread.

open source? (1)

gbelteshazzar (1214658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327982)

so the code that implements the social network is open source, that means absolutely nothing, it really provides nothing to anyone, its just another social network that fragments the internet (in terms of end users) what we need is open standards for exchange of social media data, we can already do this in parts, facebook seems to have a pretty good api (i haven't delved too deep), but obviously its not a standard, we can import contacts from gmail to facebook and the similar but we can't just transfer our social data from one platform to another. migrate from facebook to diaspora and you start again with a clean sheet, who's going to do that? myspace versus facebook was early, now facebook is the standard. oh crap, i just realised that facebook is the social version of M$ windows.

Is anyone else amazed at the press diaspora gets? (4, Interesting)

SashaMan (263632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327990)

It seems that Diaspora somehow got that NYTimes article, got mucho donations from that even though at that point they had NO CODE, and yet somehow now I hear about it all the time as somehow it's going to be a "facebook killer".

Linux got popular initially because Torvalds is an excellent programmer and his project spread through word-of-mouth. Diaspora got discovered because there was a Times article about vaporware.

Business model? (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34327998)

Ok, they are probably not selling you out to advertisers right of the bat.

Now how do they intend to generate money to cover the huge server expenses ? Am I missing something ?

A Free Software Community Inspired Social Network? (0)

Subm (79417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328220)

A free software community inspired social network?

Why this has no more chance to succeed than an online encyclopedia that anyone could edit!

Any fool knows, just like Brittanica dominates that field with advantages that free (as in speech) could never compete with, so will Facebook always dominate in social networking.

Oh wait...

Craigslist killer. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328240)

I'm more interested in a site that will do what Craigslist does, but modernized and free of all the bullshit that plagues CL. Currently, CL is akin to Mos Eisley and it doesn't appear that there have been any significant improvements in years.

Re:Craigslist killer. (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328376)

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with craigslist that needs improvement? Is it too slow?

Whats Really Important (4, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328308)

I'm a little late to the discussion, but I'll throw in anyways.

The really important facet of what a Facebook alternative should look like is the ability to dis-intermediate the service from me and my use of the data that is collected about me. Facebook has barely supported an export feature, but removing my data from what is essentially a social connection tool to others is not a plan.

Example:
I own my cell phone, but I can choose to move myself, my data, (and in most places my phone number) to a different carrier. That means that the separation of the carrier in itself doesn't break my ability to communicate with friends or family through a mobile device. As it stands with social networks, if you're all on the same network, you can talk to one another. If you decide A and my sister decides B then there's no communication flow, and the ability to interact comes to an end.

The ability to make an alternative Facebook is important in the ability to further control what I do with my own data, the ability to use my entered data outside of some company's pervue, and to have a service that I can easily add, interact with people and not feel like I'm tied to something I don't like. Facebook is a closed ecosystem. They consume content and lock it up from prying eyes. If Diaspora has or will have support for open inter-operating service offerings then great, otherwise they're just building another Facebook wanna be to take over the world. Who cares if Diaspora's code is Open Source if my interaction with the system and my data is shackled behind a single company's vision of how social networking should work?

Ill join, but i hate Facebook. (2, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34328320)

I would join in a heartbeat if i feel i can trust Diaspora. Facebook on the other hand, no way in hell ill put my data up for theirs to sell to anyone.

I hate Facebook with a passion and i know a whole lot more people who does. The only reason some of them are there is "because everyone else is". Give them an alternative and theyll jump ship without looking back.

I don't see why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34328438)

We just use the wave in the box code and make it more social like google couldn't do...

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