W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-fedsocweb@w3.org > May 2013

Re: Federation protocols

From: Simon Tennant <simon@buddycloud.com>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 16:09:27 +0200
Message-ID: <CACEE+iN+z69aG8Cb3s_dODrksOoG1j+y937pSBZvNLmtD3D0jw@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-fedsocweb@w3.org" <public-fedsocweb@w3.org>
So it seems like the gist of feeling here is that we must create one open
standard and then crush Facebook. I'll stand to the side of that vibe
except to add that this will not happen. This is not a case of

1. create open standard
2. developers implement it/users leave facebook for an open standard
3. ???
4 profit!?!

Not going to happen. Facebook is offering huge value to users already on
their platform. We're the rounding error in terms of people that care about
privacy, federation and distributed network design. There are very few
success stories of open replacements replacing the closed incumbent by
matching them feature for feature.

Simply reinventing the posts, followers, wall model and writing up a
protocol will not work.

Instead, think about the tools and services and protocols that solve a real
developer problem. We solve this by:

1. Why are developers going to the Facebook SDK pages to build their social
products?
2. and what we can be doing to a) understand their needs b) offer an open,
hopefully federated, alternative that solves their needs quicker, easier
and in a more open way.
3. ???
4. (a higher chance of success).

This could be things like federated media sharing or quick ways to add a
social layer to their mobile app or game.

Anyway, my point is that this idea that a one-size-fits-all protocol just
doesn't work. We've tried it. Federating a bunch of social networks that
aren't solving a real user need (beyond privacy) is an exercise in protocol
masturbation rather than solving real problems and therefore have a chance
of being adopted.

I wish the world was otherwise. It's not and usually I find it easier to
change my approach than try to make the entire world change for me.

S.


On 31 May 2013 15:39, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
>
> On 31 May 2013 11:50, Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak <rysiek@fwioo.pl> wrote:
>
>> Dnia piątek, 31 maja 2013 o 06:59:52 Melvin Carvalho napisał(a):
>> > On 30 May 2013 20:26, 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?
>> >
>> > The web was designed to be social from day 1.  There are standards for
>> this
>> > kind of thing, but they are highly underused, with perhaps, the
>> exception
>> > of facebook.
>>
>> Are you talking about how Facebook uses XMPP? Otherwise, I don't see the
>> "open
>> social interoperable standard" in Facebook (although, granted, I'm not a
>> user
>> there).
>>
>
> There are many things about facebook that are not ideal, such as privacy
> issues and centralization, but it is a market leader and some of the
> technology is worth examining, imho
>
> There is the xmpp, but I'm more referring to how facebook uses web
> standards to federate.  Facebook federation is found on over 10% of all
> websites, so they must be doing something scalable.  The techniques are to
> leverage HTTP via the open graph protocol
>
> http://ogp.me/
>
> Notice that this is a protocol anyone can use, that is independent of
> facebook centralization.  It's also one of the few that follows web
> standards quite well.
>
>
>>
>> > There is a tendency to want to create, rather than, reuse.  However the
>> new
>> > 'protocols' tend to scale at most to themselves, and it's relatively
>> rare
>> > that heterogeneous systems can communicate.
>>
>> That is true, but that is *precisely* why we have working groups like this
>> one! Think HTML, XMPP, SMTP. Somehow it was possible to get these defined,
>> documented and rolled out across the web.
>>
>
> +1 im not against other protocols, but getting a good solution to html +
> http into wider deployment alone will be a big win, for the web
>
>
>>
>> > This group made a big bet on OStatus about 2-3 years ago, and arguably
>> it
>> > has not exceeded expectations.
>>
>> True, but:
>>  - it gained some traction;
>>  - it has important flaws (privacy-wise) that have been opointed out.
>>
>
> I think OStatus was a reasonable thing to bet on, and agree it had some
> traction.  However we've learnt some lessons in the last few years, and
> linked data has been steadily rising.  Consider the following chart:
>
>
> http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=ostatus#q=ostatus%2C%20%22linked%20data%22&cmpt=q
>
> Some of the founders of OStatus projects have moved on to other things,
> and I think it's time to give linked data a chance.
>
>
>>
>> Let's fix it. Let's choose a protocol that does not have these flaws and
>> put
>> our weight behind it.
>>
>
> I think James Snell has made a fantasitc update to activity streams
> (codename activity streams 2.0) which OStatus is based on, to include solid
> linked data principles:
>
> http://www.chmod777self.com/2013/05/time-for-updated-activity-streams.html
>
> There's even talk of this going through the IETF, which I expect would not
> take long
>
>
>>
>> > There seems to be an effort to steer things back to standards and best
>> > practices, from a high level perspective.  I'm optimistic that this new
>> > approach will lead to interop, for those that get on board ...
>>
>> I do hope so. Otherwise we have no chance to get people out of walled
>> gardens.
>>
>
> +1 :)
>
>
>>
>> --
>> Pozdrawiam
>> Michał "rysiek" Woźniak
>>
>> Fundacja Wolnego i Otwartego Oprogramowania
>>
>
>


-- 
Simon Tennant | buddycloud.com | +49 17 8545 0880 | office hours:
goo.gl/tQgxP
Received on Friday, 31 May 2013 14:09:58 UTC

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