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Re: Privacy Respecting Replacement for facebook groups

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Privacy Respecting Replacement for facebook groups
Date: Sun, 4 Oct 2020 15:02:41 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.14.0 (2020-05-02)

Those are nice references Jim, thank you.

Let us also mention that basic collaboration on any file need not be
in real time, it is very simple to send the file to collaborator, for
review and revisions, and to send it back to other collaborator for
review and revisions.

That need no server, or revision system, it just needs way of
transmitting files over network, such as email, chat, or some FTP or
cloud storage, it would work even by sending USB stick by postal mail.

Right now I cannot imagine the use case where two people would be
writing on the same file in the real-time.

* Jim Garrett <> [2020-10-04 05:33]:
> I wouldn't negate anything that's been said already, but would offer
> some additional possibilities.  Friendica perhaps most directly
> resembles Facebook;

They wanted to resemble Facebook, it is very obvious. System works
well, I have tried.

Person asked for simple thing, like chat, no big setup, I have
recommended XMPP, yet friendica on many servers also offer group
creation. As long as it is hosted by somebody else it is never enough
private, as server administrators can enter into the data.

> Wordpress recently launched "P2" which appears to be sort of a cross
> between blogging and messaging, which could be good for asynchronous
> communication.  I've tried it a bit and it doesn't seem to be working
> as advertised; has anyone else tried it?  Currently it's available
> only from Wordpress but they say it will be released (under what
> license?).

It is proprietary software obviously. If it become free software or
not, we do not know, if they would like to make it free software, they
would announce it, but they did not.

> Nextcloud's latest release is organized to be a team collaboration
> platform along the lines of Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.

I have no idea of that software as since 2 decades I am using free
software, and I do collaborate with many staff members and they
collaborate between themselves, major communication type we use is
email and XMPP chat, then comes Mumble voice speech server, that is
about all. Email we use mostly with encryption.

Tasks and expenses are handeld in Org Mode tables and in accounting,
such are sent by email semi-automatically to staff members who then
review the tables and send them back. If I would have real-time
editing, I would not know who edited what, at what time, which is
important in editing expenses tables.

> You might be interested only in group messaging, but others might want
> to consider that there's more a group might want to do:

> - Work collaboratively on documents

It is easy to work collaboratively on documents, as that is how
programmin is done by using various revision systems, which are best
for collaboration.

I would like to know the real world use case for online real-time
editing of documents, as that is something I still do not
understand. That sounds to me terribly foolish and
untrackable. Imagine 3 people working on one document, I cannot even
drink a coffee that something does not change without my control, so I
guess without the revision system that is not practical, mostly

> - Collaborate on a web page, such as for an event, and then publish it
>   to the public

That is great, yet let us also talk about that in simple manner,
people have today Markdown editors on every type of device, they could
simply prepare the file, send to other person for review and revision,
who sends the file to third person and similar. Or there can be main
editor who is accepting portions of the article into the main file. No
need for any squabble (a quarrel about petty points), and there is no
need for centralized server.

In my opinion, people are complicating things without reason. Central
server like NextCloud is necessary for larger organizations.

> - Manage invitations to an event

Let me mention the traditional way, make a list of people and simply
inform them, no need for software installed on server.

I remember there were much better free software for file management,
not as good and not as well integrated as NextCloud, I remember Owl
file manager over WWW and it was
easier to install then NextCloud.

I am using NextCloud in our group, and I am not satisfied, it is
bulky, it has too frequent updates, updates can fail, I do not
consider it really stable and is not fast for me and never was. Online
Android-based applications are terrible, mostly not working, they are
not reliable. I can wait for new version, new version maybe works
maybe not, next one will not work for one or the other reason. It is
definitely not for beginners.

NextCloud received a lot of popularity as it is competing with let us
say proprietary clouds, but document management and collaboration
existed long before NextCloud.

There are other collaborative file management software that could be
easier to install:



Krystal document management:

There are many others, which may be more suitable for some serious
collaboration online then NextCloud.

I would myself, simply setup:

- git or any other revision server

- have staff members learn the workflow of editing and pushing files
  into server

- using Emacs to do the editing

That can then work for anything, for web pages, new articles, just
anything. As we are speaking, one person is receiving thousands of
images over ethernet by simple scp transer, and rotating them, imagine
if I would be using NextCloud for such task, I would get crazy and
everybody in team. But using simpler tools which are already there,
one can collaborate very well.

scp or secure copy from OpenSSH suite is one good system for

UNIX or POSIX or POSIX-like file systems are good systems for

File managers today can bind to remote servers over scp/ssh lines,
that is good system for collaboration.

Installing ssh on server is so much easier than installing complicated
web based whatever.

Society is more and more lacking insight and intellectual sharpness.

> Lots of different systems offer one or more of these.  Figuring out
> which does best, or how to get the most with the fewest different
> platforms, is not an easy question to answer.  Friendica does many.

There is no need to integrated everything into everything. Compare it
to real life, papers are not integrated to be accessible from every
drawer. Friends are not friends to each of us, and not each person
need to know what is going on with other person. Equipment, tools,
resources are separated and there are separate ways of interactions. 

> I think many platforms would be easy to use once properly set up,
> though people would need to sign up, which is a barrier to entry.
> We should probably create a wiki page with a table of functions x
> available software.

Good idea, but please start with simplicity.

File system is basic collaboration

NFS and Samba is network file system, it is also basic collaboration,
mostly inside of local area network, which is used internally.

SSH file system is for collaboration and document management over

VPN is used to secure private networks.

Files are edited by text editors and various text processing

Mounted file systems can be easily accessed by users, edited,

Revision systems are mostly used for collaboration and editing of
various files, but are not well known to general public. Yet that is
most simplest and most safe, stable way for editing files in
collaboration. Once workflow have been learned, person can perform.

I have staff members who had no previous knowledge of computers. I am
focusing on their workflow, they learn the workflow well, the can


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