Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 16 Feb 2019, 08:33

Ok, so this is something I am currently thinking about...

Overall I am quite happy with Hubzilla on social.freegamedev.net, but there are several features that are simply not needed (all that website creation stuff) and the theming support is also quite limited. And as much as I like the idea of nomadic identities, it is not that useful as a feature if it is not widely supported (And Friendica can export and import accounts with automatic notification, thus that is almost as good).

For those that are aware of the history of Hubzilla... it was created out of another project called Friendica (as a friendly fork) to more or less create the above features that that not really needed for this community in my opinion. The reason I didn't consider it originally was that when I first installed Hubzilla, Friendica didn't support the currently most hyped ActivityPub standard. Otherwise Friendica is actually a bit nicer in many aspects such as community forums etc. See a full list of features here (Most is actually the same as for Hubzilla given their common history)

However this has now changed: https://friendi.ca/2018/11/18/activityp ... friendica/

And the same time the upstream development of Hubzilla, namely the Zot6 development is going in the direction of breaking ActivityPub compatibiltiy.
Since Hubzilla isn't totally following this upstream development, it might be that they will keep their current zot4 backend or fork the current zot6 that is also found in the sister project Osada, but overall it seems like a good point in time to reconsider Friendica. (Edit: for the time being zot6 is an additional protocol in Hubzilla and some compatibility with ActivityPub will be retained, but I a bit sceptical for the longer term prospects)

Some additional points why Friendica might be better:
- Developers take EU/German law requirements better in account, and as you might be aware, FGD has always been hosted on servers in Germany and is currently not fully compliant with the GDPR. So that is a rather vital concern.
- Better theming support, which would allow us to use it as the main portal on freegamedev.net most likely
- Somewhat better XMPP integration (a feature I would really like to push in the future to link up various chat communities)
- More standard forums and thus could solve our discussions about what should replace these old phpBB boards (see as an example: https://forum.friendi.ca/directory )
---- Edit2: Needs an update of an addon though, see below
- Edit: Actually has an option to cross-post to Blogger which would really make it easier to maintain the FreeGamer blog!!! Google broke that long ago...
- Edit2: More external client options and higher likeliness that the Mastodon API will be implemented in the future I guess.
- Edit2: maybe better ActivityPub support for the Planets (forwared RSS issue in Hubzilla)

I need to check in how far friendica is usable without JS, but for sure it has some nice desktop and mobile clients that would allow people to use it completely independent of the actual website. But I think the default theme should work reasonably well without JS. Anyone willing to confirm / test this and maybe also check if it is usable through TOR? Personally I don't see this as a total blocking issue, but it would be nice to figure out given the recent heated discussions we had about this.
Edit: The new default theme "frio" uses bootstrap and requires JS to some extend. However users can switch to other themes that do not seem to require JS.

Any additional thoughts?
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby dulsi » 16 Feb 2019, 15:48

I join an now you want to change it, :)

I don't really have a preference. I do want you to have something available for the beginning of March. I was asked by my local linux group to do a talk on Hubzilla/Mastodon/etc so it would be helpful to have something to demo.
dulsi
 
Posts: 237
Joined: 18 Feb 2016, 15:24

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 16 Feb 2019, 16:37

Better now when there are still few users ;) And it is a very recent Hubzilla upstream development which is actually the opposite of what I was expecting :-/ I can kind of understand the logic behind it though, it is just not what I think is suitable for this community right now (i.e. we need more federation not less).

But both Hubzilla and Friendica are actually very easy to host (most shared php + mysql hosts will do), so why not have your own instance for the linux user group?
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Egberto » 16 Feb 2019, 17:33

I don't know much about social networks, so I trust your decision. :)

I'll wait for the availability of this new option to do the switch.
User avatar
Egberto
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 15:20
Location: México

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 16 Feb 2019, 19:31

Got carried away a bit and installed it already... still quite a few settings to do before I can enable public registration though. You can already access my profile here: https://freegamedev.net/profile/povoq
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby GunChleoc » 16 Feb 2019, 19:41

Looks good.

Personally, I don't like it that forums look just like blogs. It's very hard to see thread topics, and which topics you're already read - I guess I prefer the classical view that phpBB provides.
User avatar
GunChleoc
 
Posts: 409
Joined: 20 Sep 2012, 22:45

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby dulsi » 16 Feb 2019, 20:00

Julius {l Wrote}:But both Hubzilla and Friendica are actually very easy to host (most shared php + mysql hosts will do), so why not have your own instance for the linux user group?

Because I've thought about doing it for a while and never got around to it. Having freegamedev host it allows me to try it without a lot of effort. :) I also think it is useful to be on a server with a lot of game developers so that searching for tags might find something interesting. I'd like to see us start doing #screenshotsunday where we post screenshots of something we are working on. (Granted maybe you don't want to encourage that due to disk space usage.)

I doubt my linux user group will have many people join. The group I go to is not very technical. I don't expect them to be that interested in the fediverse.
dulsi
 
Posts: 237
Joined: 18 Feb 2016, 15:24

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 16 Feb 2019, 20:03

GunChleoc {l Wrote}:Looks good.

Personally, I don't like it that forums look just like blogs. It's very hard to see thread topics, and which topics you're already read - I guess I prefer the classical view that phpBB provides.


Really just the default bootstrap theme so far.

I'll set up some test forums tomorrow and see what options there are to make it a bit more forum like. There might be an option to collapse the comments like in Hubzilla. What I like is that there is a forums only directory view: https://freegamedev.net/forumdirectory
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby GunChleoc » 17 Feb 2019, 16:26

If you could get a per from thread directory (for the threads) going as well, that would be perfect - that way, you could use 2 piece of software for 2 purposes and have a lot less work :)
User avatar
GunChleoc
 
Posts: 409
Joined: 20 Sep 2012, 22:45

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 17 Feb 2019, 16:53

Not 100% sure what you mean :)

Principally we need someone with php/CSS coding experience to update the forum directory addon of Friendica:
https://github.com/friendica/friendica- ... mdirectory

I also made a issue request to at least fix the layout with the new frio theme: https://github.com/friendica/friendica/issues/6674 (Edit: fixed in dev-branch)

Would be great if someone could give updating this addon a try. IMHO an ideal opportunity to make it look as by your expectations ;) I might get around to it eventually, but for sure not in the next few weeks :(
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby GunChleoc » 17 Feb 2019, 17:51

I mean not look like a facebook page/blog, but look like a forum. Sorry I can't explain it better.
User avatar
GunChleoc
 
Posts: 409
Joined: 20 Sep 2012, 22:45

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby onpon4 » 17 Feb 2019, 18:04

Is registration disabled? I didn't see a "Register" button.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 17 Feb 2019, 18:10

@onpon4 Yes, still disabled until I smooth out a few issues and make the final decision if this is worthwhile as a public beta test.

@GunChleoc Ahh, sure. Yeah at least like in Hubzilla to be able to collapse comments would be nice, especially if we want to move the planets... But I can't find that option for now :(
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby onpon4 » 17 Feb 2019, 18:25

How difficult would it be to wrap whatever you want to collapse in a details tag in HTML given the way Friendica works? That would be a pretty elegant solution for doing that.

By the way on the JS front, I should chime in that I once tried Friendica a few years back and found it to be mostly usable without JavaScript, but the one problem I kept running into was it was using these stupid yes/no slider things in the configuration page that required JS. I don't know if that's still there, but if it is, the solution then would just be to replace those with proper checkboxes.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 17 Feb 2019, 18:57

Ughh... yes those sliders are still there (also in Hubzilla :( ). Otherwise there are definitely themes to choose that are very light on the JS requirements.
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby onpon4 » 18 Feb 2019, 06:03

Yeah, the good news is (as far as I could tell, could be wrong) those stupid sliders seem to be a part of the theme, so modifying the theme should do the trick.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 23 Feb 2019, 08:25

As I can't get the Planets to work reliably on Friendica I am kind of torn on staying with Hubzilla and optimizing it instead. As it stands the Planets are probably the main use case and otherwise take up has been very slow. I just hope that somehow the interoperability issues of the planets with Mastodon will be fixed in the future. (Edit: on the Friendica side they are trying to address it, on Hubzilla side this is a known problem that hasn't been addressed for various reasons since quite some time...)

Also cross posting to Blogger is actually not working with Friendica either.
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 23 Feb 2019, 12:50

dulsi {l Wrote}:I do want you to have something available for the beginning of March. I was asked by my local linux group to do a talk on Hubzilla/Mastodon/etc so it would be helpful to have something to demo.


Please use the HubZilla instance to showcase. The Friendica one has issues :( Maybe I'll be able to update to HubZilla 4.0 before the end of the month also. The 4.0RC1 got released last week.
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 11 Mar 2019, 18:47

https://freegamedev.net/forumdirectory/

Would be the current look of federated forums on the Friendica platform. Not super happy with the fact that the treads themselves are not fully collapsible, but overall it is ok. Note that this isn't meant to replace more traditional forums.

RSS aggregator accounts (Planets) are being worked on, but I figured out on how to make them work with Mastodon (ActivityPub) etc. but it has some draw-backs. Overall the Planets would probably run well on Friendica as well.
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby dulsi » 11 Mar 2019, 22:50

Julius {l Wrote}:
dulsi {l Wrote}:I do want you to have something available for the beginning of March. I was asked by my local linux group to do a talk on Hubzilla/Mastodon/etc so it would be helpful to have something to demo.


Please use the HubZilla instance to showcase. The Friendica one has issues :( Maybe I'll be able to update to HubZilla 4.0 before the end of the month also. The 4.0RC1 got released last week.

Car died so I didn't do the talk. Rescheduled for the beginning of next month.
dulsi
 
Posts: 237
Joined: 18 Feb 2016, 15:24

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 12 Mar 2019, 14:43

dulsi {l Wrote}:Car died so I didn't do the talk. Rescheduled for the beginning of next month.


In that case I might after all be able to give you access to the Friendica platform for show-case. Unless you are actually interested in showing the more niche features of Hubzilla like nomadic identities, privacy groups and wiki/website creation. IMHO for the general audience Friendica is probably the better choice (also less likely to see some embarrassing federation issues with Mastodon etc. :) ), but Hubzilla has some really cool tech in the background, so it it not like I want to discourage you to show-case that.

P.S.: Friendica now works with the Fedilab (formerly Mastolab) Android client: https://fedilab.app/
Edit: https://github.com/friendica/friendica/wiki/Clients
(DiCa is probably the most convenient as it shows threaded conversations well: https://dica.mixi.cool/ )
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby dulsi » 12 Mar 2019, 15:04

Julius {l Wrote}:In that case I might after all be able to give you access to the Friendica platform for show-case. Unless you are actually interested in showing the more niche features of Hubzilla like nomadic identities, privacy groups and wiki/website creation. IMHO for the general audience Friendica is probably the better choice (also less likely to see some embarrassing federation issues with Mastodon etc. :) ), but Hubzilla has some really cool tech in the background, so it it not like I want to discourage you to show-case that.

The group is not very technical. So my talk will only be very basic. Explain some of the problems with Facebook/Twitter. Show how to use Hubzilla or Friendica. I'm not particular which system I show.
dulsi
 
Posts: 237
Joined: 18 Feb 2016, 15:24

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 23 Mar 2019, 14:30

I updated the Friendica installation to the newest 2019.03 release and also opened registration on a approval basis. If any of you are interested in testing it, please register here: https://freegamedev.net/register and mention your nick from this forum for me to approve it manually.
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby charlie » 24 Mar 2019, 12:32

Signed up! I need to participate more. WIll start trying to do so.
Free Gamer - it's the dogz
Vexi - web UI platform
User avatar
charlie
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2063
Joined: 02 Dec 2009, 11:56
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Evaluation of Friendica as a platform

Postby Julius » 24 Mar 2019, 14:49

Great... I would be especially also interested in thoughts comparing Hubzilla and Friendica and and federation issues with other services (Mastodon, Peertube, Funkwhale Prismo etc.). I think Friendica should overall be a bit easier and more federation compatible but this is only my initial impression.

Edit: I hope to enable Redis caching/locking/session-handling in the coming days, which should also make Friendica faster & more responsive... this option isn't really available for Hubzilla. Edit2: not possible due to a missing php-redis package on the managed server I have this running :cry:
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2426
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron