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Social Networks Open Source

First Community Release of Diaspora 111

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the triple-encoded-smoked-salmon dept.
New submitter Jalfro writes "Following premature rumors of its demise, the Diaspora core team announce the release of 'It's been a couple of exciting months for us as we've shifted over to a model of community governance. After switching over to SemVer for our versioning system, and plugging away at fixing code through our new unstable branch, we're excited to make our first release beyond the Alpha/Beta labels.'"
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First Community Release of Diaspora

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  • Yawn... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah this will go nowhere.

    I'll give them points for trying though.

    • "This week we're releasing almost completely unusable alpha code, but on the bright side, the tshirts with our new logo should be shipping within a month!"

      • by Seumas (6865)

        "This week we're releasing almost completely unusable alpha code, but on the bright side, the tshirts with our new logo should be shipping within a month!"

        That sounds pretty much like what could be said in September of 2010 [].

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Are you unaware that Diaspora is not only usable, but has a number of federated pod servers such as

          I'm sick of people assuming that Diaspora is the same as the first alpha release. That's like judging Linux 3.6 by looking the very first Linux tarball. It's had an entire community contributing to it since the code was made public on Github two years ago.

          • by Seumas (6865)

            Agreed, but the significant difference is that people actually use linux.

            Both, however, face a similar sort of uphill battle with features on their side, but complexity against them.

          • by DrXym (126579)
            Diaspora would get a LOT more pods if it was a no-brainer to set up and install. That's what they need to hammer on. The more schools, universities, companies, libraries, groups and individuals they have running pods, the faster and more popular it will become.
    • Meh. It looks like Google+ to me if I didn't care or know about the backend.

    • Why do people like to criticise diaspora so much -- it's currently running with 2 million users ( and anyone can sign up just by going to, seems to have been working fine for some time for me. Sure, it won't take over the whole world, but neither did linux or android at first, maybe one day they all will. In the mean time there's some quite fun geeky banter on the streams there, think of it as slashdot with media clips while it's still growing. Much more inte
  • by humanrev (2606607) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:23PM (#41591559)

    I know version numbers are all relative and aren't supposed to have much meaning on their own, but their first official non alpha/beta release being marked as version kinda tells me a lot about what confidence the developers have in terms of the security and functionality of their code.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's totally ridiculous.

      That would imply America On-Line had an elite crack development team

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:58PM (#41591815)

      Having googled semver, I think the version number may have something to do with this. []

      • by humanrev (2606607)

        Thanks for that. Seems to explain a lot and rid me of my ignorance.

        Thought somehow I got modded to (Score:5, Insightful) in the space of around 10 minutes so I can't complain either way. :)

        • by Lost Race (681080)
          You were right, version numbers really are like body language: whatever you "read" from them is your imagination, projection, or wishful thinking.
          • You were right, version numbers really are like body language: whatever you "read" from them is your imagination, projection, or wishful thinking.

            Really? Body language actually says nothing about what the person is feeling or thinking? That should be news to behavioral scientists around the world, you should spread your knowledge.

    • Either that, or version could mean version 2 in binary, and in that case, that could help us foretell how usable the application will be for the average Joe-the-plumber on Facebook.

      • by humanrev (2606607)

        But wait... Joe-the-plumber wouldn't even be aware of Diaspora, much less have any need to use anything other than Facebook. Think we're getting our audiences mixed up there - this would be strictly for nerds.

    • by gshegosh (1587463)
      Look at how confident Firefox developers are!
  • Great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:30PM (#41591597) Homepage Journal

    I think.. wtf is Diaspora? I know i could go look it up but i shouldn't have to.

    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Osgeld (1900440) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:34PM (#41591627)

      not that the summary or the blog care to tell you, but after googling its a open source facebook wanna be.

      I really hate it when people want to tell everyone about their new whatever, and dont even bother to tell you WTF it even does

      • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

        by LordLucless (582312) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:50PM (#41591751)

        A little more than that; it's also supposed to be a decentralized facebook wannabe. The idea is that people can run their own node (I forget what the diaspora term is), and the system as a whole is composed of those interconnected nodes. Because you control your own node, it's impossible for any of your personal information to escape without your explicit permission.

        Personally, I think the initiative and work involved in setting up a node (even if they get it to the relatively trivial, it's always going to be harder than just signing up) is going to necessarily impact adoption, and it'll never get off the ground. Unless, of course, you have someone configuring and hosting your node for you, in which case all advantage is lost (you're still placing control of your information in the hands of a third party).

        • by Dekker3D (989692)

          The advantage is that you can choose to do either-... set up your own node for security, or use someone else's to connect to your Diaspora-using friends.

        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          As I understand it, there only needs to be 1 technical person to set it up for each community. So once it is set up, the rest of the community can use it without any technical knowledge at all.

          I really like that aspect of it, and the fact that you have your data in-house (or at least in your control).

          Even non-techies care about the privacy aspects of social networks - when the risks are explained to them.

        • by fikx (704101)
          if someone else sets up the node for you, you at least have a choice of who to pick to do it....kinda like how email works : I don't run my own email server, I let my ISP do it for me. If they don't do a good job, dump 'em and get a new email address
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Personally, I think the initiative and work involved in setting up a node (even if they get it to the relatively trivial, it's always going to be harder than just signing up) is going to necessarily impact adoption, and it'll never get off the ground

          There's a whole bunch of reasons why Diaspora is a non-starter.

          First, they're moving to a community release NOW. They should have made the community release at the same time that they brought up their site. Second, the requirements [] are offensive. Social networking is relatively simple, it's the amount of data to deal with that makes it complex, not the actual tasks. We've had fora and the like for ages. Everything the typical social networking site does could be handled by a typical PHP CMS (e.g. Drupal or

          • Those requirements look pretty modest to me. They can all be installed on any half-decent linux distro with a single apt-get install command, or similar. Yeah, your average PHP shared-host won't be able to run it. That's because your average PHP shared-host blows, not because the requirements are particularly exotic. They're all freely available, well-known projects, with well-supported packages.

            And trying to build anything more than what it was designed for (ie: a simple, content-based website) on top of D

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Drupal is incrementally approaching professional frameworks like Rails and Django with each revision, but its doing so slowly, and it is still very much a CMS trying to be a framework.

              I don't disagree with that, but nearly all the functionality is already there (or I wouldn't suggest it.)

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          people can run their own node (I forget what the diaspora term is)


          You can buy them with bitcoins.

        • by riondluz (726831)

          " Unless, of course, you have someone configuring
          (and hosting) your node for you"

          Like Ubuntu, RH, Slack,.... ?

          Seems to me that if a webapp like this was bundled into any distro along with a configuration script that it would be trivial to setup a home node

          • For all those people running Linux at home, yes. I hardly think that's critical mass for a popular adoption though.

    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dagger2 (1177377) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:40PM (#41591679)
      It's an AGPLed [], federated [] social network/protocol [], kinda like a cross between Facebook [] and e-mail [] or XMPP [].
    • by humanrev (2606607)

      I think.. wtf is Diaspora? I know i could go look it up but i shouldn't have to.

      Really? You're a Slashdotter and haven't glanced at or read at least one other Diaspora story here?

      That's like me asking for clarification on what BitCoins are. Some things you should just KNOW by now. :)

    • by rbrausse (1319883)

      I think.. wtf is Diaspora?

      TFS is wrong and should have used the product name correctly. You wouldn't be baffled if the submitter (or editor) just wrote "diaspora*" :)

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Monday October 08, 2012 @06:36PM (#41591655)

    ...when announcing that Version X of something is released, to actually spare 3-4 words in the summary to give us readers a clue what the flying fuck the "something" you're talking about is, so we can decide whether we want to read further?

    Even TFA manages to avoid saying what 'Diaspora []' actually is or offering a link back to a descriptive page.

    (To save others the trouble of Googling it's either an open-source social network, a freeware Battlestar Galactica game, a migraine-inducing SF Novel by Greg Egan or something to do with Jewish history... By a process of deduction, I'm going with the former...)

    Come on guys, the point of a news site is to tell people things they don't know,.

    • Actually, it's all of the above. It's an open-source social network of migraine-inducing jews who all play the Battlestar Galactica game. Currently, there's only one member, Greg Egan.

  • Come on. "It's" means "it is". The article should say "its" instead, since that is the possessive.

    I realize I may be a bit of a stickler here, but Slashdot is a major news site (the only one I personally check with any regularity), and professionalism means not mangling the language. Especially not in ways that make already common mistakes look acceptable. Copy-editing is important.

    • For reference, I mean when saying "it's demise" (sic), which should be "its demise". Saying "it's been", as in "it has been", is fine.
  • by Cruciform (42896) on Monday October 08, 2012 @08:11PM (#41592425) Homepage

    Most of the visible posts are complaints about the summary not including a description.
    That would indicate that the posters are too lazy to check to see if someone else had already posted it.
    Pots meet kettle.

    You're not perfect.

    And Diaspora has been covered on here many times, so at least the submitter and the editor have an excuse.

    • by Cruciform (42896)

      PS. Articles come with tags. Some are jokes but others are quite useful in seeing the history of coverage, or explain the topic in depth. Click and enjoy.

  • What's it look like? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kwerle (39371) <> on Monday October 08, 2012 @11:34PM (#41593449) Homepage Journal

    I know what a facebook page looks like. I know what a G+ page looks like. I know what a myspace page looks like.

    What does a diaspora page look like?

    Do I have to create an account to see one?

    I really am asking for something that simple. I'd like to see the public portion of a diaspora page. That's it.

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      What does a diaspora page look like?

      It looks like whatever the owner of the pod you are on wants it to look like. Pages on the [] pod look very similar to Facebook. Other pods might appear differently. I would expect that eventually the pod code will support themes so that the pod owner can have his site appear however he wants. The point is that you aren't stuck with a single social media overlord. Don't like the terms of service or the terms have changed for the pod you are on? Move your profile to a different pod. Worst case

      • by kwerle (39371)

        Really? Not one, simple, concrete example? That's all I'm looking for. Just one.

    • Mine looks like this: []
  • It's been so long now that I honestly forgot what it is supposed to be. I mean I now know what it is thanks to the comments here and some research on my own, but all I can remember from the first time they announced it's creation was I was so disappointed that all I could see is a webpage with vague promises and platitudes and an email update feature that was not working. So from then till now, I honestly forgot what it was supposed to be.

    For that matter I even forgot the name.

  • by cerberusss (660701) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @07:09AM (#41594897) Homepage Journal

    Chrissake, this installation is a royal pain in the ass. The number of convoluted steps is just plain crazy.

    First, I have to walk through a long, loooong installation instruction for Debian here []. Then I turn to the Notes on installing and running [], only to end halfway with a crazy error message.

    diaspora@sirius:~/diaspora$ bundle install --without development test heroku
    Fetching gem metadata from []......
    Fetching gem metadata from []..
    Fetching []
    error: while accessing []

    fatal: HTTP request failed
    Git error: command `git clone '' "/home/diaspora/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p194@diaspora/cache/bundler/git/markerb-6697fe76410a3ed08ce3f5fd8ee64ebddd200665" --bare --no-hardlinks` in directory /home/diaspora/diaspora has failed.

    Compiling Ruby from scratch, installing cruft in /usr/local, installing something weird called RVM.... What the fuck happened to ./configure && make && make install?

    • The first problem was that for some reason, I had to re-run "sudo dpkg-reconfigure ca-certificates".

      Then I got an error "markerb ArgumentError: invalid byte sequence in US-ASCII" after the command "bundle install --without development test heroku" tells me:

      Using markerb (1.0.0) from [] (at master)
      ArgumentError: invalid byte sequence in US-ASCII
      An error occurred while installing markerb (1.0.0), and Bundler cannot continue.
      Make sure that `gem install markerb -v '1.0.

      • by jandrese (485)
        You could just self sign a cert for now. If it's just for you and your close buddies they can accept the self-signed cert, just warn them that their browser is going to call you a thieving lying scumbag before they go to your site.

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan