Fediverse in 2019

In 2019 the number of fediversed registered accounts increased from 2.500.000 users to roughly 4.300.000 – about 🎉 1.800.000 newcome

Five networks growing most rapidly in online server numbers in 2019 were:

  • Pleroma +182
  • Mastodon +159
  • Writefreely +147
  • Pixelfed +73
  • Peertube +63

We can be optimistic but if you look carefully at the number of active users (6 month) according to the-federation.info this number is not really growing.

One weekness of the fediverse is its virality. Only motivated and sensibilised people are using it. In the 2000 years when the first social networks starts, they had huge growing because invitation system was really performant. In one click you was able to invite all your friends.

The question is how many accounts is the mass effect? 10 millions? 100 millions ? Do you think that in the future the fedivers will be used like email with a huge part of the population?

Read more

PeerTube 1.4 is out!

Peertube 1.4 just came out! Here’s a quick overview of what’s new…

Plug-in system

Since PeerTube’s launch, we have been aware that every administrator and user wishes to see the software fulfill their needs. As Framasoft cannot and will not develop every feature that could be hoped for, we have from the start of the project planned on creating a plug-in system.

We are pleased to announce that the foundation stones of this system have been laid in this 1.4 release! It might be very basic for now, but we plan on improving it bit by bit in Peertube’s future releases.

Now, this system allows each administrator to create specific plug-ins depending on their needs. They may install extensions created by other people on their instance as well. For example, it is now possible to install community created graphical themes to change the instance visual interface.

A better interface

We strive to improve PeerTube’s interface by collecting users’ opinions so that we know what is causing them trouble (in terms of understanding and usability for example). Even though this is a time-consuming undertaking, this new release already offers you a few modifications.

First of all, we realized that most people who discover PeerTube have a hard time understanding the difference between a channel and an account. Indeed, on others video broadcasting services (such as YouTube) these two things are pretty much the same.

However, on PeerTube each account is linked to one or multiple channels that can be named as the users sees fit. You also have to create at least one channel when creating an account. Once the channels have been created, users can upload videos to each channel to organize their contents (for example, you could have a channel about cooking and another one about biking).

Our wonderful community of translators is once again to thank for their work, after they enriched PeerTube with 3 new languages: Finnish, Greek and Scottish Gaelic, making PeerTube now available in 22 languages.

We also added a new feature allowing you to upload an audio file directly to PeerTube: the software will automatically create a video from the audio file. This much awaited for feature should make life easier for music makers 🙂

Last information : peertube has an official information channel : @peertube@framapiaf.org

More information about Peertube

4 Major Protocols for federated social web

Mike Macgirvin explain what is a computer protocol and why multi-protocol systems can’t really evolve.

« A computer protocol is a language. If two or more computers use the same protocol they can theoretically communicate. Like human languages, these protocols have limitations and the things which can be expressed using that protocol only include concepts that are present in the culture which created it.

For instance in Latin, all objects have gender. In English they do not. You can’t create a perfect mapping between the two unless you know the gender of all objects – and English speakers will not know this.

This is the reason why multi-protocol systems can’t really evolve – unless each and every component protocol evolves. The multi-protocol system needs to embody those things in common amongst all of its components. You can’t just add a feature unless it is supported by each and every underlying protocol. We’ve tried. This just leads to confusion.

It is also the reason why some protocols are inadequate for different use cases. A protocol designed around Twitter interactions cannot express the same concepts as one that was designed around Facebook interactions – and vice versa. They come from different cultures and have entirely different uses and expectations. Twitter is a soapbox platform. Facebook is more of a conversational platform. They can’t be made to look and act the same because they aren’t the same.

Then you have protocols that were built around cultures that aren’t even formally recognised yet. In this case freedom and privacy loving Facebook refugees who want to be decentralised but not bound to individual servers.

ActivityPub may solve the second part eventually and provide nomadic identity, but it’s still a Twitter interaction because that is the culture which created it. Ditto for permissions and spam prevention and abuse. That protocol is derived from a culture where privacy and permission didn’t even exist and people depend on their site owner to make them safe. This safety vanishes in a nomadic world and other mechanisms are needed. The precise mechanisms needed by the former are completely different than the mechanisms required by the latter.

Because it is a different culture.

We currently have at least four separate (major) cultures present in the so-called fediverse and they all use different protocols for a reason. Those protocols reflect the cultures which spawned them and fulfill the needs and desires of those communities. It’s time to stop pretending they can be reconciled.

The 4 major protocols are Ostatus, ActivityPub, Diaspora, and Zot. « 

Source

How to comment a peertube video from a mastodon account?

Peertube is a wonderfull video plateform. You can comment any video from any peertube instance if you have a Mastodon or Pleroma account. It should work theoreticaly with any compatible ActivityPub Account.

Go to the video you want to comment. Here is an example.

https://framatube.org/videos/watch/9c9de5e8-0a1e-484a-b099-e80766180a6d

Do not try to comment from this page, if you don’t have a peertube account. It is complicated. But go to your Mastodon account.

  1. Copy the url of the peertube video
  2. In your Mastodon account paste it in the search box

3. Write your comment

Now see the video page of peertube

Osada resurrected

Osada is a full featured social network application running under the ActivityPub protocol. It also communicates with and inter-operates with servers on the Zot6 network (such as Zap and Hubzilla 4.x). Due to limitations in the ActivityPub protocol, Osada does **not** offer nomadic identity or enhanced privacy modes.

Osada was created originally by Mike Macgirvin, the force behind Friendica, RedMatrix, Hubzilla, and Zap. Mike is the quintessential mad scientist and possibly a visitor from the future: I’m still uncertain. Many of his ideas have proven to be years ahead of their time. This project was abandoned in early 2019 so Mike could devote all of his efforts towards advanced social network technologies – in particular Zap. With Mike’s permission the stewardship has been take of the codebase to provide an ActivityPub project with some of the more advanced features made possible by the Zot6 and OpenWebAuth protocols.

Osada has a new repository talke care https://gitlab.com/apfed/osada

Osada is abandoned

6 month after his launch. The project Osada is abandoned by his creator.

Osada will be spun off (separated from Zap) and officially abandoned. If you want to take over the project, go for it. The implementation of Zot6 there is now frozen because future Zot6 work (and Zot8 – more on that in a moment) will not be compatible with ActivityPub. At all. As far as I know Osada is the only viable ActivityPub server for events and groups, but Friendica and Hubzilla aren’t very far off.

For those of you who don’t remember, Osada was a new platform with a UI reminiscent of Hubzilla that was specifically developed to support both Zot6 and ActivityPub-based networks. Macgirvin seems to indicate, in hindsight, that this was a mistake.

Zotiverse in january 2019

Zotiverse is a new word. It is the univesere that use zot protocole. : Hubzilla – Osada – Zap. Zot is much more powerfull than ActivityPub. It allow higher degree of security and anonity. But the best of zot is the nomadic identity.

Hubzilla is the most established product. It should be considered more of an « application platform » or maybe a « publication platform » (kind of like what WordPress has become since it now has plugins that allow you to do almost anything – it’s more than a Content Management System). « Social Media » on Hubzilla was one of the first use-cases adopted by a large number of people – and so many think it is primarily a social media platform. It is not. It is a privacy and security aware application platform that can support a huge number of use cases through the plugin/addon architecture which is lean and efficient.

Osada is more intended for end users interested specifically in Social Media applications that want to be able to communicate with ActivityPub but also have SOME of the privacy and security capabilities offered by Hubzilla. ActivityPub has a larger user base but is fundamentally incompatible with certain privacy and security models. So, anything related to ActivityPub is going to be a compromise. Osada is a social media platform that brings as much of the privacy and security features of Hubzilla as is possible while still providing integration with ActivityPub

Zap is a social media platform for those who are privacy and security minded and are not willing to compromise privacy and security just because « everybody is doing it. » It has the full range of privacy, security, and censorship resistant features inherent in the Zot protocol as Hubzilla (without Federation addons).

If you are an « end-user » of social media and want to be able to seamlessly communicate with ActivityPub, you want to use Osada. If privacy, security, and censorship resistance is important to you and you’re willing to give up access to other protocols in order to maintain those things, you probably want Zap. If you are primarily interested in providing content and data to others on an extensible and robust manner with privacy, security, and with built in ability to provide redundancy in case of failure or as a censorship resistance feature, you want to consider Hubzilla.

In other words, Hubzilla, Osada and Zap are the same kind of application with different tasts.

Now we are in transiton period. Because Hubzilla use an old version of zot. Osada and Zap use a new version (zot6). Once the Zot6 implementation on Hubzilla is complete, all of these projects will be able to intercommunicate with users on each of the others with fine-grained access control.

Source : a post of M Dent

Hubzilla 3.8 out

Mario announce in a post the availibility of Hubzilla 3.8

As you can see from the changelog, Hubzilla has gone through a very busy development cycle. To simplify the settings and improve the general UX, we have re-organised the entire apps and settings infrastructure.
Some features from the « Additional Features » section have been transformed to stand-alone apps and will need to be installed by the channel owner. Other features have been moved to the per app settings pages which are now easily accessible from the navigation bar or the app store.
Some addons have already been ported to the new apps infrastructure. This work is ongoing and will be completed during the next development cycle.

Other notable changes:

 

    • Remove tech-levels
    • Markdown table support
    • New addon (channelreputation) which provides a reputation system for community channels
    • Implement a subscriptions submodule for the cart addon
    • New addon (hsse) that implements a WYSIWYG editor
    • Experimental queue worker improvements (off by default)
    • Many under the hood improvements and bugfixes

 

As always, a big THANK YOU! to the translators and everybody who is helping to improve Hubzilla.

Howto upgrade:
Due to some profound changes to the addons it is necessary to follow this update procedure:

 

  • util/safemode on this will disable all enabled addons
  • util/udall the actual update which executes git pull for core and addon repos
  • util/safemode off this enables the previously disabled addons again
  • Install the upgrade info addon (optional) – this will show some info about the upgrade to your community members

Osada decentralised social networking

After Gnusocial, after Diaspora, After Friendica, hubzilla, Mastodon and others an new social network is coming.

OSADA

Osada is a decentralised social networking application more familiar to refugees from Facebook and other conversational style social networks than it might be to those migrating from microblogging social applications such as Twitter.

Osada is very easy to use and provides a range of features either natively or through standard ‘Apps’. These include photo albums and file storage managers, events with attendance support, and topical groups/forums, all of which respect your personal privacy groups (such as Friends, Family, Coworkers, you name it).

ActivityPub Support

Osada has native support for the ActivityPub protocol (W3C standard) as well as the more advanced but lesser known Zot6 protocol. It can inter-operate with other social networking applications and projects in either of these spaces; for instance Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, PeerTube, Funkwhale, Zap, Friendica, Hubzilla, and many more.

Hyper-drive

A novel Osada feature which is unique to Zotlabs projects is the built-in hyper-drive social engine. This technology is essentially the secret sauce behind Facebook’s meteoric growth over a decade ago and this is the first time we’ve managed to replicate the essential bits using a decentralised protocol.

Public servers

There are a small but growing number of public servers available if you would like to try Osada without providing your own personal or community server environment. A list of these is available here. Only sites on this list with « Osada » in the « Software » name are compatible with projects using the W3C ActivityPub protocol. As the project is still in its infancy, we welcome additional public servers. There is a lot of interest in the project and we could use some help spreading the load.

Free and Open Source

The architecture supports themes and addons and a number of these are available today. Osada is open source under the permissive MIT license and runs on most modern LAMP servers, using MySQL/PostGres and Apache/Nginx. We are passionate about providing ethical and decentralised services running on open source platforms.

If you want to install it go to

https://framagit.org/macgirvin/osada