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[Social-discuss] Future of GNU social

From: Blaine Cook
Subject: [Social-discuss] Future of GNU social
Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 08:22:54 +0100

Oops! I sent this a few days ago, but Ted just pointed out that I
missed the Reply-All button.

On 28 May 2010, at 22:50, Ted Smith <address@hidden> wrote:

> On Fri, 2010-05-28 at 18:45 +0200, Dan Brickley wrote:
>> In fact looking at it does seem to be the kind of
>> higher-level integration you're asking for:
> It's clear to me that the most "free" social network possible is
> composed of programs running on the end-user's own computers,
> communicating over a peer-to-peer network that doesn't require constant
> uptime. This gives a user of this network maximal autonomy and privacy.
> I don't think OStatus can be used for this, because to me, it seems that
> OStatus depends on HTTP as a transport protocol. It might be possible to
> hack in a peer-to-peer network, but it would take a lot of work -
> probably more work than just finding those social networking primitives
> would.

In terms of actual deployments, so-called "pure" P2P networks are just
a transport layer plus a DHT for DNS-independent routing, and a heap
of code for getting around the fact that most users live behind NAT

If you can offer users the ability to serve HTTP requests this way,
then they can absolutely host their own nodes (e.g., with Tor hidden
services). Users with public facing servers can host their own nodes
with no problems whatsoever.

Perfect is the enemy of good. I applaud the GNU folks for choosing to
double down on a living ecosystem that can offer the freedom that we
all seek, and that already has dozens if not hundreds of contributors
and significant mind-share across small and large organizations alike.
I can only hope that the Diaspora folks will choose the same path,
since our shared goals of free communication are only achievable
through cooperation.


PS: please don't stop thinking about and experimenting with better,
more perfect systems. While many will choose practicality over beauty,
the experiments at the edge give us understanding. Things like
RedPhone wouldn't be possible with continuous creative thinking.

As an aside, I wonder if the principles used to enable RedPhone
couldn't be applied to OStatus and related protocols (hint: they can

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