I just received the news that the Federated Networks Association is probably folding. More details here:
The potential demise of the Feneas.org services reminds me again that the success of federated networks depends on reliable instances, and avoiding re-centralization requires more instances, not bigger ones. This means server-side software needs to be as easy as possible to set up and maintain, and we need easy access to ways for people to learn how to host servers.
I got the email some days ago already. I’m surprised that the post you tooted was posted 8h ago and not days ago.
Also in their email they never mentioned anything about lack of Sysadmin. I was on their Matrix channel for so long and even asked questions but I never ever got a reply. If they were looking for sysadmin, I’m sure there were multiple volunteers including me.
@Mehrad I'm not checking my email often atm. You're right that they didn't specifically mention the sysadmin load, but I think that's implicitly included in the comment about the bulk of the work falling on the two founding members.
> If they were looking for sysadmin, I’m sure there were multiple volunteers including me.
It's not too late to volunteer. But keeping the services going means either keeping the org going, or moving them to new governenance/ funding.
Yeah the devil is in details. I’m living in Finland, so I can potentially help some parts of the administration (as I have been board member of certain legally registered clubs), but my Finnish is not good and I cannot handle the legal paperwork (basically once or twice a year there should be reports sent to tax office and etc). I could help in sysadmin part, I could help in community management, I could help partially in legal stuff, but they never asked for such things.
@strypey @onepict what they want to do now is to throw the org and they are hoping that someone catch it. Basically fully off-loading all responsibilities on others in one go. This is a bad sign from where I stand. For this reason I already moved my accounts and data out and I stopped my membership auto-payment.
#it is hard to see Feneas in this situation, but they were not responsive (my questions still exist in the Matrix log and in their email@example.com email), they are not
@strypey @onepict exactly my point. They almost don’t care what happens after throwing it up in the air. I have lots of respect for Feneas, but I really cannot empathise with them when they never communicated properly, never responded to emails when Searx was down, and are not communicating properly on what are the minimum requirements for others to adopt the org. I left the matrix channel yesterday or the day before and there was literally zero messages. So yeah, they are “not attached”.
@strypey It would be a great boost if anybody running a Linux at home could easily and safely self host some kind fediverse instance. There are two main choke points it seems: 1) there is no self-contained package that would allow that (docker could help) and 2) the hassle and insecurity of exposing a home server, domain names, certificates etc
@strypey I'd be keen as hosting my own if the learning curve weren't so steep. Still, I'm open to the future possibility.
It seems to me that what would make a huge difference would be if someone like @PINE64 would sell a reasonably priced router with enough power and storage to be a basic family server with @yunohost pre-installed. Just plug it in, set your ISP modem to pass through and you have a working server. It could automatically open the right ports, use the new auto dns setup. Referral fees from in device domain purchases through a privacy friendly registrar could help fund.
Easy is a must here.
@Blort @strypey @PINE64 @yunohost there is this https://shop.nitrokey.com/shop/product/nextbox-116 but it's waaaaay too expensive for what it is:( Plus it's only nextcloud, which is a good start but a yunohost install would do so much more!
It's definitely part, and an important part, of their success. We can't ignore that they successfully communicate their unique benefits through wide communication channels, while piggybacking off other successful projects with adoption and then following up with well funded distribution channels. Much of this we can do too, but only if we're thinking about these parts as well.
For example, we can communicate the unique benefits of a box like this as well, but only if we as a community get past the ideas of marketing being some sleazy manipulation technique we want nothing of, and focus instead on clear, honest and simple communication of the benefit of what we offer in the language of the people who would benefit the most.
We can piggyback of other successful projects, especially if we collaborate with projects that have gotten larger adoption while holding values shared by the community of a project like this (eg Nextcloud, VLC, Ubuntu, Wikipedia, Firefox - still). Even if any of these projects aren't your personal favorite, they all have a voice that can reach people, and sympathy with the values of a project like this.
And as to funding, while probably the most divisive of what the centralized models do effectively, We have opportunities, too. There's selling the hardware itself, including upgrades. Donations. Opportunities for paid support a la #Nextcloud. Referral fees for things like domain purchases and maybe a VPN. Crowdfunding to add full time developers (a la #Godot / #Krita / #Blender). These are just some ideas (not all need to be used) but many others exist.
@linus I'm not sure if by "public IP address" you mean static IP address, in which case, you are definitely correct. I personally don't have a static IP address. I need to install ddclient to regularly update my dynamic IP address. Once again, this should be something setup and executed automatically, which is entirely possible.
While @freedomboxfndn and @yunohost are critical pieces of the puzzle, they can never be an entry level solution by themselves. Why? Because if you want to make it easy enough for the average person, you can't expect them to need to learn about port forwarding on their specific model of router before they can even get started. The server needs to be plug and play which means being able to modify the router's ports and firewall automatically as needed.
I've loved #Freedombox and #Yunohost. They do great things. Both took me considerable time learning about modifying my router configs, opening up ports, port forwarding etc, to a level people outside tech circles just wouldn't bother with. What I wished for was something I could just plug in and have a webpage I could share with others. The strength is not a server, but a server and router working together to make the experience easy and automatic.
Yunohost already has a feature to auto-config domains, with a couple of registrars, and a plan to expand to others. Many registrars already have apis that let you purchase domains through them, often offering a referral bonus. Choosing the right registrar and then using the api, the project could let users register a domain through the interface and then set up the dns automatically.
The more difficult part is that everyone has a different modem with different interfaces for enabling pass through. That's just a single on/off setting though, that people's ISP support could walk them through.
Perfect zero knowledge needed may not be possible, but that doesn't mean we can't make something great that only needs a tiny fraction of the knowledge needed now. #Yunohost already did it once. We can take it even further.
@Blort @miklo @strypey @freedomboxfndn @PINE64 Theoretically we also do support plugging a VPN from the FFDN folks (through the .cube format and also now .ovpn). This allows to entirely bypass commercial ISP restrictions and have proper internet connectivity and exposure for your server, no need to configure the router. The drawback though is that you have to subscribe and pay a fee to a VPN offer (though not just any random VPN, gotta be a dedicated IP etc)
@Blort @strypey @PINE64 @yunohost sounds great in theory, but nowadays, many ISPs are switching to DualStack-lite, where you don't get your own IPv4 address, only IPv6, and you can't switch your modem to bridge mode (at least that's how UPC does it). You'd need to ask the ISP to switch you to IPv4-only first, and only then activate bridge mode. It's starting to become complicated.
@strypey @wolf480pl @Blort @PINE64 @yunohost Having an IPv6-addressed server could make it difficult for IPv4 clients to connect, that's the best I can understand. Can't stuff an IPv6 address inside IPv4...
Glad to hear the IPv6 transition is continuing though, once we're through it things'll be much easier!
@strypey In France we have the FFDN and the CHATONS, who are federations of little organizations with these competences. So you don’t have to teach everyone how to host and manage servers (FFDN is about ISPs, but the idea is the same), without having to much centralization.
The CHATONS are recent, I don’t know if it’ll work in long term, but the FFDN is a good example of the Federation model.
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