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Re: Federation protocols

From: Nick Jennings <nick@silverbucket.net>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 01:08:11 +0200
Message-ID: <CAJL4WtamBH6GRLtP_ctCdHu5SJEw66uS7MGVW0+qNYx_KBzF4g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak <rysiek@fwioo.pl>
Cc: public-fedsocweb <public-fedsocweb@w3.org>
Hi Michal,

 I agree with your concerns, which is why I've started the project
Sockethub[1] - taking a different approach to the problem.

 Instead of trying to heard everyone into a single protocol (which has so
far been attempted many times and things just seem to get worse), the idea
is to implement an open, polyglot service that can "speak" all of the
different protocols and APIs. Whether it be Friendica. Diaspora, StatusNet,
Facebook, Twitter, XMPP, or whatever other form of social messaging comes
into play down the road, I think it's important we start working to avoid
all of the programming work that gets thrown out the minute a new protocol
is adopted, rendering old code (old protocol) useless.

If we continue trying to write solutions that try to implement the
"kitchen-sink" (UI, UX, app logic, protocol support, server backend,
storage, scalability, federation) all while trying to remain innovative and
pertinent, with fast paced feature iteration, choosing a few protocols to
be "supported" (or inventing yet another new one), then this problem is
likely to continue.

On the other hand, if we can split our focus into building (A) applications
that are not married to protocols and implement as little as possible
outside of their problem domain and (B) a federated infrastructure that
apps can tie in with to communicate with other websites or services that
may speak any number of protocols or APIs, then we can start to show some
real adaptability and flexibility to not only keep up with innovation (the
private sector is always going to be able to move faster - and that's not a
bad thing), but also mitigate the network effect by not making it an "all
or nothing" replacement for sites like Facebook or Twitter.

I'm interested to know what you (and anyone else) think about this
approach, I'm still figuring a lot of this out for myself as well, and
appreciate feedback.

[1] http://sockethub.org

Nick Jennings

On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 8:26 PM, Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak <rysiek@fwioo.pl>wrote:

> Hi there,
> I'm #NewHere, to use a popular cliche on federated social networks. I am an
> active user of Diaspora, Friendica and StatusNet (soon to be converted to
> pump.io).
> I am also a stern proponent of free and open federation protocols and
> networks.
> For a while now I have seen Friendica as a great project, allowing the
> different federated social networks (Diaspora and OStatus-compatible) to be
> able to communicate and for a single, huge federated network.
> I am however baffled by the different approaches and protocols being used
> in
> distributed social network projects. With the introduction of Red, pump.io
> ,
> tent.io and other projects not exactly compatible with protocols already
> utilised, I feel we are not heading in the right direction.
> What I feel we need is a single, extensible, well-defined protocol, or
> suite
> of protocols, that we can build a single, compatible, interoperable
> federated
> social network upon.
> Right now we have OStatus, Diaspora's protocol, DFRN (used by Friendica)
> and
> the protocols that are used by Red, tent.io and pump.io, that I am not
> even
> sure are properly defined anywhere.
> If we do not get together and devise a single, workable protocol for all
> such
> services to use, the Network Effect will always work against us, instead of
> working for us:
> http://rys.io/en/88
> So my questions are:
>  - is this the right list to start this discussion?
>  - is there any work done in this regard?
>  - if some, where are we on that road?
> --
> Pozdrawiam
> Michał "rysiek" Woźniak
> Fundacja Wolnego i Otwartego Oprogramowania
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2013 23:09:11 UTC

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