1 (edited by auanta 2023-03-28 00:18:24)

Topic: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

Hello all,

I have been doing extensive research on various no to low-cost, low overhead, privacy respecting, software libre communication apps and services for marginalized communities to stay connected, instead of using the usual social media which is nonfree and with algorithms that only further marginalize.

Many of them have some fatal flaw or another, so it is always difficult, like one working with Java or another needing NPM, some sounding good in theory but in practice are inaccessible, or another collecting loads of metadata, or funded by shady entities. It's not easy making things accessible for non-technical, low-income people. All the dead ends such agony. I didn't create a whole spreadsheet but I probably could.. Anyway, this has been a project over various years on and off, and finally I found some satisfying solutions that currently work well, with no unacceptable setbacks, and would like to share.

I think more people should consider trying Jami, it is a GNU app, p2p, with IP address protection enabled by default using dhtproxy. It contains a central directory as well. (You can self-host the proxy and account registration if you want.) I remember when it first came out, it was called Ring, people were very excited to see it working. Well, it still had its bugs at the time, but I can say from testing recently it is working enough to bring my whole family, friends, community, etc, onto it. And with the backing of it being a GNU project, it looks like a safe time investment.

I also think, if the Hyperbola devs would consider it, it would be a good idea to try out Jami today to see if it would serve your needs as a replacement for IRC+Mumble, but that is totally up to your preference. I of course have no part in it.

Bonus: There is another tool that also has easy adoption for those people just looking to share info on the 'web' but maybe don't like the web as it exists. Gemini offers a really simple way to share content over the web, without all the hassle and dangers of HTTP, CSS, Javascript, etc, and you can subscribe to new posts from your fav pages. It does however require technical knowledge to host your own gemini server, it is not p2p. But it's not extremely difficult to host, anyone can write gemini content (it's as easy as markdown), and this is totally optional but many people will find it easy to even construct their own gemini client. Gemini already exists in the hyperbola repos. From browsing perspective it is elegant, and I will be experimenting with hosting.

Another software that I find to be useful for overcoming some of the marginalization and oppressiveness that happens in social media is RSS/Atom/etc, correct application of these can help bring a community together across various parts of the web and beat the algorithms. Because sometimes, we must stay connected, in spite of bad habits using proprietary stuff. However, this is not an endorsement of using proprietary, only a way to navigate that situation. In the end, a community should try to get away from proprietary stuff, but this takes time. Using some conversion tools, you can generate RSS/Atom feeds for sites that don't have them.

To my knowledge, none of these services/apps have the problematic antifeatures that Hyperbola have wisely noted about various software. And of course, they are available on all platforms!

Anyway I hope that this helps, happy hacking smile

jucheti ambe isï
-
"Mucha gente cree que Software Libre es Chávez y cuatro locos más ahí, dándole a las computadoras. No… ¡Es la Independencia lo que estamos buscando! Eso es un cañón. Así como Bolívar ... para derrotar al Imperio Español, ahí están ... nuestros hombres y mujeres armados con las armas de la inteligencia y el saber, para lograr la independencia científico-tecnológica" - Hugo Chávez

2

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

We have tried to add Jami, but it was and is impossible about its dependencies being wide to big and nevertheless using unwanted parts like D-Bus and avahi. And trying to patch those is also a neverending work as with the next version it will be not clear if those patches even work or it would be again impossible to add the application.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

3 (edited by anthk 2023-03-28 08:26:51)

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

On Gemini, there's a nice program called "gplaces" which is pretty minimal and the usage it's pretty
much the same as Teletext to European users in order to follow the links.
There's always Lagrange for the graphical user.

On Jami, yes, there's everything said about DBUS. But if Jami uses standard protocols (I use it uses SIP), maybe you
might want to use pjsua from the pjproject package as it's compiled against SDL2, Video4Linux and libav* and for sure it has video support. Not for your family, but it your peers use libre distros with GNU Jami, you could still use Hyperbola to get connected with them.

4

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

We have gemini within our repositories. You can even host your own server therefore:

https://www.hyperbola.info/packages/?so … p;flagged=

We have also Asterisk here working for more. Jami even now utilizes NodeJS (optional for the moment).
Lagrange is not possible to be included as there are no ports to be find for OpenBSD.

Especially that is important as we cannot add Linux-only packages.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

5

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

On Lagrange, there's a port in -current I think, but 7.3 -release it's about to get merged into -stable
so the package would be stabilized and usable as a basis for Hyperbola.

https://openports.pl/path/net/lagrange

Openports.pl it's maintained by solene@, a great OpenBSD collaborator. It's recommended web
front-end to search for ports, as openports.se it's outdated.

6

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

throgh wrote:

We have gemini within our repositories. You can even host your own server therefore:

https://www.hyperbola.info/packages/?so … p;flagged=

We have also Asterisk here working for more. Jami even now utilizes NodeJS (optional for the moment).
Lagrange is not possible to be included as there are no ports to be find for OpenBSD.

Especially that is important as we cannot add Linux-only packages.

Something that is an alternative should be available somewhere though.

It's just a matter of both finding it and testing it and its dependencies to see if it can be used on the current, let alone the HyperbolaBSD version.

wink

HyperbolaBSD: The Future of Secure Libre Lightweight Operating Systems!

7

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

zapper wrote:

Something that is an alternative should be available somewhere though.

It's just a matter of both finding it and testing it and its dependencies to see if it can be used on the current, let alone the HyperbolaBSD version.

wink

Yes, there can be some alternative to be find. But to underline: This is therefore a work for the whole community to enumerate, approve, help packaging and test. It can't be alone the task of developers / packagers doing all tasks together. Reasoning here is: That at a point there will be a problem for example in testing. And that is absolutely important for a system marked as stable. smile

Fixing pjsua for example took me now several hours, so being able to add it. Possible nice addition, sure. Nevertheless: When having ideas for packages, I can just underline as always that there are possible ways to create and share them here in the forums so we can do that together.

And it is also important that we have the amount of packages being added under control. A system like Hyperbola with a small team behind has no time to add countless new packages for every release especially when those need later porting. Therefore always the callout: Please check for BSD-compatibility and ports. No port available or possible? Package cannot and will not be added!

I mark the points again: Yes, that "one package having a BSD-port should be no problem"-phrase is a common approach and understandable from the individual point of everyone. But please try to imagine that you would need to view this in a greater perspective. One more package? Possible more dependencies, possible more porting-efforts, possible more testing-efforts later on and possible more time consumed for waiting on a release when only a little number of people helping in tests. We add what we can, but it is needed to rise the warnings so it is not forgotten.

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

8 (edited by auanta 2023-03-30 04:26:57)

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

Oh, darn, avahi and dbus. Well... Yeah, that's not good either.

zapper wrote:
throgh wrote:

We have gemini within our repositories. You can even host your own server therefore:

https://www.hyperbola.info/packages/?so … p;flagged=

We have also Asterisk here working for more. Jami even now utilizes NodeJS (optional for the moment).
Lagrange is not possible to be included as there are no ports to be find for OpenBSD.

Especially that is important as we cannot add Linux-only packages.

Something that is an alternative should be available somewhere though.

It's just a matter of both finding it and testing it and its dependencies to see if it can be used on the current, let alone the HyperbolaBSD version.

wink

See but the problem is there's almost no real working alternative. I've been obsessing over it for years and these are the best I can recommend. I have many more criticisms of the available "alternatives" than recommendations. Name any app or service, I've tried it and I can explain what its issues were. From every angle - be it technical, ethical or practical.

I can confidently say I would have found it by now. But no, the situation we are in is someone principled and conscientious needs to have the skill to develop something that would be metadata-private, practical, totally libre, makes sane development decisions, and is following the old UNIX philosophy.

Well, XMPP deserves a mention, but the lack of encryption being on by default is a non-starter.

By the way, the only other thing I can say I'm looking forward to is the completion of GNUnet + chat apps using it. I know there has been work on that over the years, so far nothing usable. However I did see someone showing a demo of some type of GNUnet Messenger on the PinePhone in Feb 2023 so maybe sooner than later:

https://www.gnunet.org/en/news/2023-02- … 0.8.0.html

I wouldn't be opposed to some combination of XMPP+Gnunet either, if it existed.

Seems like, although development has been slow for years, they have stayed the course, and I can respect that. I don't see them taking shortcuts, which doom a project in the long run.

jucheti ambe isï
-
"Mucha gente cree que Software Libre es Chávez y cuatro locos más ahí, dándole a las computadoras. No… ¡Es la Independencia lo que estamos buscando! Eso es un cañón. Así como Bolívar ... para derrotar al Imperio Español, ahí están ... nuestros hombres y mujeres armados con las armas de la inteligencia y el saber, para lograr la independencia científico-tecnológica" - Hugo Chávez

9

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

The project GNUNet is nothing I would personal bet trust on. Reasoning is that they provide and include other projects like this "secushare". When you enter their website (I won't link them here) you will get a mixup of surely correct criticism and further hearsay. When slur-names (like "Faceboogle") are used for criticism (again in some ways correct) it can be underrun and misused. So the project is not doing anyone a favor doing so. Also most things within this sphere is marked as "Alpha" / "Beta" or "not ready yet". For me it is a sphere full with most empty promises and marketing: There is no "resist" within needed as even the wording "social media" implies something being not there ... social in its original meaning.

The only way is literally to switch all platforms off.
And there is from my viewpoint no difference between the closed or open platforms: Neither Mastodon nor Twitter needs to exist when we take communication serious and respect also the person on the other site talking. All of those platforms exist just out of one single reasoning as we seem to love flirting with our "digital alter ego". We love it pretending to be someone we are not in our normal all-day reality. That's for sure nothing bad in the first place, but when it is about information and communication this ends bad. The trust is then not existing. Before everyone feels offended: I have no other way as to characterize the general approach of those platforms. Sure thing is, that open and honest communication is also there existing. But why do we not transport this to more classic zones? Forums like this one, without "I like" or "I share". Just with the point to discuss.

I can only warn about the concurrent development and usage. There will be no turning back and resisting something we even have no further usage for is problematic. As noted: Jami is not any kind of possible application as it has enough problems to characterize. There is no further issue within IRC and / or Mumble itself, depending on for what purpose they should be in use. The rest depends on the individual interests besides the mentioned point about those platforms called in as "social" - they are not.

Conclusion (personal)
We should not try to find "alternatives" because the whole model is kind of damaged. There is NO social interaction for real on those platforms, neither the closed nor the open ones. The positive parts of those being open can be just circumvented and used also elsewhere. So personal preference: No resistance, just pure ignoring. We should not care about those here at Hyperbola. We have surely better and other things to do as to search for this. If somebody is interested within the development - which is for sure that point - you can always look on the examples like Mastodon (and derivates), Diaspora, Friendica, Hubzilla and more. But the problem is: You will never be able to resist or do something with just creating a pure copy of the known damaged ones. It will always end the same with only some minor different taste. Lies, propaganda, endless discussions with no solution and pure hatred / harassment included as we humans tend to use the easy way for describing complex situations without taking into acknowledge that they are complex and we have no easy solutions for them. You cannot use technical tools for a complex situation like social interaction and best way is always to discuss direct face to face but not with "I like", "I share" or a simple commentary!

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

10

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

On fora, we have too few FSF/Libre software related newsgroups,
everything else it's either on mail list or at IRC.

11

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

Why is there no non-GUI browser for gemini?

12

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

@schilling.klaus: You can propose a package for example instead of demanding an answer towards this question? Besides that you have surely a point this is not the way to work together. Please choose a better way next time and name a possible project you would see fitting here. Thank you!

-> https://forums.hyperbola.info/viewtopic … 5942#p5942

Human being in favor with clear principles and so also for freedom in soft- and hardware!

Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices: For a life of every being full with peace and kindness, including diversity and freedom. Capitalism is destroying our minds, the planet itself and the universe in the end!

13 (edited by zapper 2023-04-04 03:27:26)

Re: Jami instead of IRC and Mumble; Gemini and RSS to resist social media

@Throgh I do agree that it is quite wise to make sure it can be used for the new BSD variant and also, not to make you developers have to search for it.

This, should very much be a community thing, otherwise poop will hit the fan.

Things already are slow enough, due to not enough donations and development...

For those who have, thank you. I want this OS to be around for a mega long time, well, Hyperbola's ideals is more accurate. tongue

HyperbolaBSD is desperately needed given the range of nutty problems out there.

In any case, my earlier comments stand, before my 3rd edit. big_smile

HyperbolaBSD: The Future of Secure Libre Lightweight Operating Systems!