Hubzilla : internet of the future

Looking back on the journey that began nearly six years ago trying to create an open social network which respects your privacy. There were struggles and battles with other projects and egos and companies competing in that space; so we moved the space. Everybody and their uncle is building a social network;
— and 99.9999999% of them will fail.

What we ended up creating is a model for the internet of the future; where passwords are a thing of the past and nobody can own you or your thoughts and ideas, and then sell these as a business model. Where the playing field is level; and privacy is a fundamental right. What we originally focused on – the « social network », is a miniscule and unimportant part of what we’ve built. It’s just an appliance – because *of course* people communicate. That’s what they do. And *of course* they expect privacy when they wish to be private; and they also expect privacy to just work. And when they wish to shout to « the world », they expect to be able to do that also.

We may never be wildly successful in any kind of business sense, but in my book we’re already wildly successful. We’ve turned our revolutionary ideas of what the internet « could be » into something that’s real and that you can actually use.

And now we’ve set it free. Hubzilla

Hubzilla 1.1

One month after the version 1.0 a new version comes today.

The bigest change is situated in the administration panel that is improved.

here is the announcement of Mike
Greetings and Happy New Year. The Hubzilla developers are pleased to announce the immediate release of Hubzilla 1.1, our decentralised community platform specialising in cross-domain identity and privacy

Changelog:

Hubzilla 1.1

Rewrote and simplified the Queue manager and delivery system
Rewrote and simplified the outer layers of the Zot protocol
Use a standard version numbering scheme in addition to the snapshot tags
Provide a channel blacklist for blocking channels with abusive or illegal content at the hub level
Make the black/white lists pluggable
Update template library
Support for letsencrypt certs in various places
Cleanup of login and register pages
Better error responses for permission denied on channel file repositories
Disabled the public stream by default for new installs (can be enabled if desired)
Cleanup of API authentication and rework the old OAuth1 stuff
Add API « status with media » support compatible with Twitter and conflicting method for GNU-social
Rework photo ActivityStreams objects to align better with ActivityStreams producers/consumers
Several minor API fixes to work better with AndStatus client
Invitation only site – experimental support added, needs more work
Fix delivery loop condition due to corrupted data which resulted in recursive upstream delivery
Provide more support for external (git) widget collections.
Extend the Queue API to 3rd-party network addons which have experienced downtime recently.
Regression: Inherited permissions were not explicitly set
Regression: « Xyz posted on your wall » notification sent when creating webpages at another channel
Regression: Custom permissions not pre-populated on channel creation with named role.
Provide « Public » string when a post can be made public, instead of « visible to default audience »
Allow hub admin to specify a default role type for the first channel created, reducing complexity
Ability for a hub admin to set feature defaults and lock them, reducing complexity
Change default expiration of delivery reports to 10 days to accomodate sites with reduced
resources

Addons/Plugins:
Pageheader addon ported from Friendica
Hubwall (allow admin to send email to all accounts on this hub) created
GNU-social – queueing added
Diaspora – fixes for various failures to update profile photos, updates to queue API
Cross Domain Authenticated Chess (Andrew Manning’s repository)

And… the normal « lots of bugs fixed, translations updated, and documentation improved »

more information …

WordPress-activitypub

WordPress Activityüub is supposed to connect WordPress and ActivityPub

 

https://github.com/pfefferle/wordpress-activitypub

How to federate hubzilla and gnusocial

Prerequisite : You should have an account on a hub that allow gnusocial protocol. For that the admin has to activiate the PubsubHubBub protocol and then activate the gnusocial protocol

If it is done you have to activate the activate the gnusocial protocol

settings > Feature/addon Settings > GNU-Social Protocol Settings (Just activate it)

Now it is ready for communication with gnusocial. Go to your connexion list and add the gnusocial.

 

 

Your gnusocial contact should add your Zot Id as well,

Tell me if it works for you or not.  The federation is on the GO

 

Friendica

Friendica is a federated social network. You can install it on your own network. It is opensource. It is not centralised like email you can choose the provider but you still can communicate with differents servers.

 

The Friendica Project is a world-wide consortium of software developers creating decentralised social platforms and technology for the coming post-Facebook world. Friendica is not as flashy and well known as some of the other projects working on a decentralised/federated social web.

It is an open source, free social web server running on the popular LAMP stack. Think WordPress or Drupal, but for social. It is a mature platform with over two years of development behind it, and provides a wide range of connectors to both legacy and indie social networks. Your « friends » can be from Facebook, Diaspora, Twitter, Identi.ca, weblogs and RSS feeds – and even email. No other project has ever brought together the social universe into a single federated stream to this degree. We have pioneered ground-breaking technology such as decentralised photo albums with working privacy controls and cross-site wall-to-wall posting via hidden single sign-on. Not even Facebook will protect your private photos from « fuskers » (look it up, but be warned – it’s real creepy).  If you make a Friendica photo private, it’s private.

How to install Mastodon on Debian server with Yunohost

When you search how to Install Mastodon, it is complicated. If you are like me you can be discouraged. This job is really for a sysadmin.

This is an easy way to install Mastodon.

Prerequis

Having a server with the latest Debian 9.5 actuel uptodate with a SSH acces. You can have a cheap VPS for that it works well.

 

On this example imagine you have a domain with the name domain.com. You will create 2 subdomains. yuno.domain.com and mastodon.domain.com

Installation of Yunohost

Just run one command.

bash <(wget -q -O- https://install.yunohost.org/)

Once it is done, you have Yunohost. At the end you have to choose where you want to install it. You can choose yuno.domain.com  Go to this site. You will see something like this

Prrparation

  • Create a user :  This part is quite esay no needs more explaination
  • Click Domains  and add –> I have a domain. –> add yuno.domain.com and mastodon.domain.com

Then return to the domain and edit.

configuration DNS

Change the dns according to the model.

; 1.2.3.4 is your IP address just replace it with the ip of your server
@ 3600 IN A 1.2.3.4
* 3600 IN A 1.2.3.4

; XMPP
_xmpp-client._tcp 3600 IN SRV 0 5 5222 domaine.com.
_xmpp-server._tcp 3600 IN SRV 0 5 5269 domaine.com.
muc 3600 IN CNAME @
pubsub 3600 IN CNAME @
vjud 3600 IN CNAME @

; Mail
@ 3600 IN MX 10 domaine.com.
@ 3600 IN TXT "v=spf1 a mx ip4:1.2.3.4 -all

Go to the DNS of your domaine and change it.

Attention a DNS change can need time. be patient.

Go to a command line to your server and run this command for you domain and subdomains

sudo yunohost domain yourdomain.tld cert-install --no-checks

Installation

Now the hardes part is done. Simply run this command

sudo yunohost app install mastodon

If it does not work you still can run this command

sudo yunohost app install https://github.com/YunoHost-Apps/mastodon_ynh.git

After replying to questions at the end you have your mastodon at

https://mastodon.domain.com

 

https://yunohost.org

Cloutstream

One more ActivityPub project. Create a professional network to replace Linkedin. CloutStream

Take care it is not CloudStream but Cloutstream. I don’t know what the name means. It is php based on laravel and let’s follow that project…

What CloutStream Aims To Do

CloutStream is a web platform similar to LinkedIn and other professional networking sites without the user data and privacy violations. The goal is to focus on people coming together who are passionate and engaged in their lines of work to create connections to new colleagues.

The technology behind CloutStream is part of a growing movement of web platforms that are offering everyone a way to start migrating away from walled-gardens such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram who are in the business of selling your data as a product.

How Does This Work?

CloutStream is open to the public to download and install on a web server. The owner of a CloutStream instance chooses what the focus of this instance should be (programming, photography, etc), they set the rules of conduct, and they open it up to public registration.

Every time someone creates a new instance of CloutStream, all other working instances begin communicating with each other and sharing posts from members all over the world!

If you want to follow the project @cloudstream

 

It was an excellent project but the founder resign

Pixelfed

Pixelfed want to be an alternative of Instagram. It will be federated with ActivityPub like Mastodon, Pleroma or many other plateform. Untill now you didn’t have any similar app as Instagram.

 

The only tools that could be similare was quit.im based on Gnusocial

It was a good start but Gnusocial seems to be slow developped and they didn’t have implemented ActivityPub yet.

 

Pixelfed was on early developpement today (end of July 2018) but we can start using it with few instances already available.

What is interesting is that the creator Daniel wanted to polish the look and feel. Contrary to other libre project that code the core first and then try to make a good design at the end, here you have a polished application. Many option are not open yet. You still can publish pictures, you have filters, you can comment and follow and been followed.

The federation is not open yet. That means that you cannot follow people from other instance.

If you are curious and want to create an account, you can find instance at the federation

 

Hubzilla 3.6 Released!

Mario wrote a notice to inform us that Hubzilla 3.6 is out.

The most notable change in the Hubzilla 3.6 release is probably the refactoring of the various activity filter/order options. Basically we got rid of the network tabs and replaced the functionality with two new widgets in left aside – activity_order and activity_filter. The order widget takes care of the various order possibilities – by commented date  (default), by posted date, by date unthreaded. The selected order is saved in the config and thus persistent.
The new filter widget displays all enabled filter options (privacy groups, personal posts, starred posts, forums etc.) in one widget. A new filter by contactname feature has been added and the notifications for unseen forum posts are now displayed in the notification widget. The privacy group management has been moved to the the panel chanel menu (your profile photo in the panel) and the management tool has been refactored.
The tags/mentions have been refactored and you will notice that the appearence of autofilled @mentions in the post editor look better readable now @{somechannel@somehub.org} instead of @channelname+365 before the change.
The cart addon has received major updates and has now support for paypal payments with automated fulfillment options (add buyer as contact, add buyer to privacy group and for admins only – change service class). A new gallery addon has been introduced to provide visitors of your channel a possibility to comfortably browse through your photo albums.

Other notable changes:

 

  • Webpage menus are now editable by visitors with webpage write permissions
  • Improve new channel creation workflow
  • Implement reset button for the post editor
  • Provide a general purpose GDPR document
  • Implement messagefilter for pubstream and sourced messages
  • Add supported federation protocols to siteinfo
  • Implement admin delete of files, photos and posts

Hubzilla is a powerful platform for creating interconnected websites featuring a decentralized identity, communications, and permissions framework built using common webserver technology.

If you want to know more about hubzilla read the article of Sean The Do Everything System A in depth review of Hubzilla

 

Read more

Mastodon 2.4

Eugen the creator of Mastodon published an article about Mastodon 2.4

Delete and redraft

Possibility to delete and redraft a post. : If we want to correct something, edit is not possible but you can delele and republish the post.

Hide network

Mastodon now has an option to hide who you follow and who follows you from your profile.

Language filtering

We’ve added the ability for people to select a default language for their toots to override automatic detection (therefore reducing false positives) and we turned the opt-out system around into an opt-in one.

 

Friend finding

The biggest challenge of any social network is, unsurprisingly, the “network effect”. It becomes more useful the more people that you care about are on it. Another one is surfacing interesting content, which is tangentially related, but a topic for another article/release.

You can now create personalized invite links. Send the invite link to your old friends and followers, and they will be able to sign up on the same server as you and automatically follow you straight away.

 

To get started with Mastodon, you can sign up for free here or here, or dive into the deep end of choice by browsing the list of servers here. Or, use the bridge tool to find where your Twitter friends are and sign up there.

 

Read more

 

Hubzilla is moving to framagit

You all probably already noticed that GitHub was recently bought by Microsoft. See here https://blog.github.com/2018-06-04-github-microsoft if you have not.

After a brief orientation period the Hubzilla community decided to move the sourcecode to an independent, freedom-loving GitLab instance at Framasofts https://framagit.org/

To get the latest and greatest Hubzilla code, you need to point your installation to the new sourcecode location. This is pretty simple:

cd into your Hubzilla root directory and execute this command:
git remote set-url origin https://framagit.org/hubzilla/core.git

For the addons: cd into your Hubzilla addons directory (probably extend/addon/hzaddons) and execute this command:
git remote set-url origin https://framagit.org/hubzilla/addons.git

Please do the same for the widget https://framagit.org/hubzilla/widgets.git and theme https://framagit.org/hubzilla/themes.git repos if you already added those from GitHub.

The GitHub repos will not receive any updates anymore but will stay intact for a short transition period.
Issues and bugreports should be reported and discussed at https://framagit.org/hubzilla/core/issues for core and https://framagit.org/hubzilla/addons/issues for addon issues.

Friendica 2018.05 released

Friendica is one of the oldest federated social network. If you open an account on friendica you can communicate with all federated social network who use ActivityPub, Ostatus and Diaspora protocol.

In may the community informe us of a new version 2018.05

They works hard for compatibility issue of php and on GDPR. Here is a short list of main changes

– Translation work : Friendica now has 20 languages 11 have more then 80% of the core plattform translated (DE, EN, EN-GB, EN-US, ES, FI, FR, IT, PL, RU, ZH-CN).
– New module for Terms of Services for your node that can be activated from the admin panel.
– Many utility scripts are now bundled in a console that can be found in the bin directory.
– Security : When entering a new password, the choosen one will be checked locally against a database of exposed passwords.
– As libravatar is closing their service a new alternative to the gravatar service based on David Revoy’s cat-avatar-generator: the catavatar.
– The long deprecated themes frost( and frost-mobile have been removed.

Read more about that version

French goverment will use Matrix Riot to replace Whatsapp

According to a recent report, the French government is currently developing an end-to-end encrypted alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram that its officials could use without worrying about foreign spying.

A Matrix/Riot-Based Chat Application

Although the French government’s spokesperson said that the government’s app will be based on open source software found freely available on the internet, she declined to name it. However, Matrix developers have confirmed that the app in question will be based on the federated chat Matrix protocol (a more modern XMPP/Jabber competitor) and, more specifically, on the Riot client, which uses this protocol.

Riot also comes with built-in support for the double ratchet end-to-end encryption algorithm, also used by Signal. Riot uses a variant of the double ratchet algorithm called Olm for strong end-to-end encryption for private conversations between two individuals, and Megolm, a variant for end-to-end encrypted group chats.

Megolm has variable privacy options in its library that developers will have to tweak before deploying. The reason for this is that some developers may prefer additional user convenience over maximum security.

Taking Control Of Own Data

The recent Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal seems to have reminded the French government and others, too, that you don’t have much control over your data if it’s being stored and processed by someone else. The French government will be able to fully control the Riot-based application by using open source code with its own modifications, if needed, and then run it on its own servers.

The French government’s spokesperson said that eventually this app may be available to everyone. However, French citizens will need to consider the fact that the app could also make enable their own government to spy on them more easily.

If the app’s source code remains public and transparent, and end-to-end encryption is enabled by default, it may not be a significant concern. It may still be preferable for citizens to use some other secure application developed by a non-profit group, whether that group is French or foreign.

 

What is Matrix

Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over IP. It can be used to power Instant Messaging, VoIP/WebRTC signalling, Internet of Things communication – or anywhere you need a standard HTTP API for publishing and subscribing to data whilst tracking the conversation history.

 

Know more about Matrix

An introduction to the protocol that powers Hubzilla

The world is full of protocols. Some are loosely defined by society, and some are rigidly defined by their architects. In many urban environments, for example, there is a protocol for how you ride an escalator: if you choose to stand, you stand on the right side so that those who choose to step can get past on the left. If you ignore this protocol, you may get some annoyed looks but you will still get where you are going. More rigid protocols, such as the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) that governs most communication on the web, can be much stricter and more elaborate. If your browser puts one semicolon in the wrong place you can forget about seeing those cute cat videos.

 

Read more

Riot.im

Riot is a place to chat. But it brings much more than just a chat room. You can chat with one to one or add people or  join chat room or create chat room.

All is federated and you have a name like user:server.com So you can add people from other servers. The first server is matrix.org.

Additionaly you can share files, images and make audio or video calls. And you can add widget like etherpads for example

This alternative can easily be used like watsapp or such centralised app. You have to know that watsapp belong to facebook and all is heard by NSA or other surveillance services.

If you are not convinced, all is very secure decentralised and encrypted end-to-end. And of course this is opensource. Try it on riot.im/app/

 

You can use application on your smart phone too of course.

If you want to try go to riot.im

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