Allegro.cc - Online Community

Allegro.cc Forums » Off-Topic Ordeals » FOSS - Social Networking software

This thread is locked; no one can reply to it. rss feed Print
FOSS - Social Networking software
Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
avatar

Any ideas? Certainly something must already exists that's better than e-mail, which explodes if you try to reply to older messages (as opposed to last on the chain) and doesn't support a very good method for embedded linked content like YouTube videos, as well as embedded data more than a few MB.

There's also no provisions for public vs private. groups, etc. Basically you just hope you don't accidentally e-mail the wrong person a thread full of quotes talking about said person or other sensitive information.

No live support for audio. (Of course maybe that's a different kind of communication).

Any ideas? Is there an open-source, private, FOSS equivalent of say, Facebook?
been using Discord, which is good for voice and supports chat, URL links, as well as some embedded content. Not really sure if it's designed for long-term stuff that you can search a year later to find your links/discussion/whatever.

A bunch of co-workers all use C3 which is some hideous, crashy, intruisive equivalent of Discord except it looks like it was made by "gamerz" and not professionals, so it's graphically akin to a motherboard manufacturer's overclocking tool. (Ugh.)

{"name":"gunners_med.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/b\/abd763cd706b3e3abb47a51be561e76e.jpg","w":299,"h":241,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/b\/abd763cd706b3e3abb47a51be561e76e"}gunners_med.jpg

It would be kind of neat if a software package supported both private conversations, as well as "public" ones that others could read, and/or (optionally) possibly reply. Imagine a Facebook conversation that non-elevated users cannot actually reply to (or they get their own chat).

[edit] Hmm, drupal sounds interesting... the Wiki and webpage certainly make it look established.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drupal

https://www.drupal.org/

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

m c
Member #5,337
December 2004
avatar

try something called "Tox"

drupal was around when I was in highschool

that was like 15 years ago

(\ /)_____#_____####__#
(O.o)¯¯¯#¯¯¯¯¯#¯¯¯#¯¯#
(> <)__####__####__####
Megabytes are where I keep my Data.

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

Certainly something must already exists that's better than e-mail, which explodes if you try to reply to older messages (as opposed to last on the chain) and doesn't support a very good method for embedded linked content like YouTube videos, as well as embedded data more than a few MB.

You and I must use different email protocols. The one I use suffers from none of these issues...

Drupal is a CMS. Think Django, WordPress, or Joomla. Do you want to build a blog or send a message?

Quote:

... except it looks like it was made by "gamerz" and not professionals, so it's graphically akin to a motherboard manufacturer's overclocking tool.

This is Hall of Fame material.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
avatar

Certainly something must already exists that's better than e-mail, which explodes if you try to reply to older messages (as opposed to last on the chain) and doesn't support a very good method for embedded linked content like YouTube videos, as well as embedded data more than a few MB.

Gmail does. E-mail does not.

Also, try replying to a middle comment on an e-mail chain with 600 posts.

Also, GMail splits e-mail chains every 100 posts and chugs to a stand-still while trying to load 100 post segments.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

You're replying to your own comment. Are you trying to say that Gmail explodes or that the email protocol explodes? In any case, it sounds like you're talking about a web interface. You shouldn't confuse that with the email standard.

The email protocol has shortcomings, but none of them have anything to do with restrictions on file size or number of replies.

{"name":"610823","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/2\/f\/2f747561b688cddd981b99899c78bd24.png","w":1194,"h":1012,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/2\/f\/2f747561b688cddd981b99899c78bd24"}610823

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
avatar

I'm saying that picture looks like a nightmare.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

You aren't saying anything, though. The best "social networking" software for you would be /dev/null. :-*

Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
avatar

Just write your own social network. Display the user's profile on the front page and call it "Boost My Ego". It'd be popular amongst the "selfie" crowd. ;)

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

There is a peer-to-peer social media network called "Diaspora". In general, you can either run your own server ("pod") or join a public one. Your posts are shared throughout the network. The main "weakness" to this system is that you seem to need to "watch" tags in order to get any kind of live feed. There isn't just a page where you see random, public posts that you may be interested in without expressing prior interest.. Of course, I also have no friends on the network so I guess that has something to do with it. That's it, everybody has to join Diaspora.

There is also a free alternative to Twitter called GNU social. My Android app misbehaves so I haven't had much luck with using this, but nevertheless I appreciate that people are making efforts to build this stuff.

All that said, a proper mail client should be able to maintain a mailing list thread with a graph of replies, etc. I've found that it works very well, but mailing lists in general require good mail ettiquette that the average person will not maintain without force (and you'd likely chase them off so it really only works well for technical boards). I rather enjoy mailing lists for technical discussion. Plain text, trimmed quotes, interleaved posts. No fat. Just lean meat.

I rather enjoy IRC for live social interactions. I really don't think that the modern incarnation of "social media" is a positive force in the world. It seems to cause more harm than good. If you really want to know what your friends are up to try giving them a call. :D

Also, try replying to a middle comment on an e-mail chain with 600 posts.

Sure, everything goes to shit if you reply without context or your context is a quote of the entire thread to date. Proper nettiquette dictates that you quote what you're replying to and include only the required part so that somebody that hasn't seen the thread in a week can immediately know what you're talking about and follow along.

jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
avatar

That's in theory. In the world of business, it seems people do what Outlook defaults to, that is, they top-post.

You don't deserve my sig.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

People are idiots. Of course, they do what the system defaults to. And that's to be expected. It doesn't have to be tolerated. There are far better ways to communicate, and since that's the whole purpose of the system you have every right to demand that people obey rules. Just as you would discipline them for posting racist or sexist shit, you can discipline them for top posting. Start with a polite re-education, advance to post limits or temporary bans, and ultimately ban them permanently. The only defense that exists for top posting is ignorance, and ignorance is no excuse.

jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
avatar

I rather get shit done than start lecturing non-IT professionals on netiquette. Generally in our company threads don't get that long anyway as we have a policy discouraging internal email and calling instead.

You don't deserve my sig.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
avatar

Personally, I hate phone calls unless absolutely necessary. I'd much rather have a clear understanding of what was set, than I can lookup at any date and know exactly who said what, along with supporting screenshots.

Especially with my ADD, I've started recording phone conferences as well as even Join Me sessions with Open Broadcast Software (OBS) Studio so I know EXACTLY what we were looking at, in a piece of code, when someone was going over something. You never know what'll be important till after you need it.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
avatar

I was working with a partner to add their service to our software, and they sent me an API. Every damn week they wanted to conference call, and refused to email any type of details. It was the most frustrating thing to have to deal with that, it took more than 12 months to write less than 1000 lines of integration code. Never again >:(

I should add that the bulk content of those calls, of which there were at least a dozen, was the exchanging of pleasantries. >:(

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
avatar

I've just been handed a project where the company has multiple conference calls a week... at 8 or 9 AM, with up to like twenty people on the call. Nothing. ever. gets. done. And EVERYONE has to have an Indian accent... except there are multiple dialects of Indians (Indians in the UK, perhaps?) and after one call ends, the Indians go "Did anyone understand what they [the other Indians] were they saying?" I've also been ACCIDENTALLY invented to conference calls with 10+ people and they were like, "Who are you and why are you here?" and I'm like "I don't know why, I was told to attent, so I clicked Attending and dialed the number." and it took TWENTY MINUTES of discussion for them to even realize I wasn't supposed to be in the meeting anyway.

Meanwhile, you've got to jump through hoops to request access to their servers with like 24-48 hours notice. So if something blows up, you can't even get access until X calls Y calls Z to get permission, AND THEY'RE ALL IN DIFFERENT TIME ZONES across the country.

Another client uses Citrix (RDP that only shows a single app) for Dynamics NAV (accounting/inventory software). The problem is, they've got a !#%!ING T1 line in the USA, and their NAV... IS IN THE UK. And the head of the IT department... IS IN CHINA. The latency is like 500+ms for any actions with NAV... actions which involve hours upon hours of data entry... and if ANY link goes down, you have to consult every break in the chain. Oh, and their new router, is run by a third-party company, that refuses to give anyone access. So if the ROUTER goes down, you can't even call and find out unless you're on the short-list of people with permission to ask. LIKEWISE, the UK Citrix is a VM. And if the VM goes down, YOU CAN'T EVEN ASK "is it even running?" without being on their approved contacts list. So they lost two business days of having NO NAV because we weren't allowed to even ask if the damn machine was on.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

jhuuskon said:

I rather get shit done than start lecturing non-IT professionals on netiquette. Generally in our company threads don't get that long anyway as we have a policy discouraging internal email and calling instead.

With incompetent people email tends to be a waste of time and vocal communication is the only reasonable option, preferably face-to-face because the phone can suffer from the same problems as email. I can somewhat understand a policy like that.

However, I can also refute it quite easily. One the one hand, at least in companies I've worked for, often the people you most need to communicate with are remoting or traveling most of the time, and their schedule is secret.

On another hand, if you have a vocal communication that isn't recorded by anything then depending on how busy your day is you can either forget or confuse the results, and worse if things don't work out you can be accused of being mistaken even if you did exactly what was agreed upon. There is certainly value in having a record of communication. And I think for competent people with written communication skills and typing skills using something like email or chat can be very reliable and efficient. You really need to pick your poison based on your target though. Again, competence level matters. Often, either due to incompetence or malevolence it seems, you cannot communicate the simplest idea in text and need to be face-to-face with somebody to get anything sorted out (and even then it can be a challenge).

Derezo said:

Every damn week they wanted to conference call, and refused to email any type of details.

I find it incredibly frustrating when people refuse to communicate through text. As I said, some people are clearly terrible at it so I can somewhat understand that, but just as I have to work at improving my body and vocal communication skills they should have to improve their written communication skills. The computer types out my pseudo-perfect grammar completely neatly and I never bandwidth to get my point across. I honestly struggle to understand how people can fail to understand the most basic ideas. I also note that they tend to respond with an utter lack of grammar or detail. Instead, you tend to get 1 or 2 sentences with no grammar that don't actually make any fucking sense. Again, is it malevolence or incompetence? Who is to say, but does it really matter?

Derezo said:

I should add that the bulk content of those calls, of which there were at least a dozen, was the exchanging of pleasantries. >:(

I have experienced this and it's a double-edged sword. On the one hand it really takes the pressure off when things are good, but when things are bad it really makes you regret all the waste. As the adage goes, "80% of life is showing up". While the sentiment seems to hold true, what does that say for the efficiency of most of the workforce? And what if we cut out the showing up part and only required the 20% of getting shit done? Imagine how much extra time you could have. Hell, you might even spend some of it getting more shit done! You could actually potentially get more shit done and have more free time! Well, we can dream. >:(

Just today I was tasked with triggering some code to generate a slew of emails within a test system. The software itself could benefit from much better design which would make testing easier, but alas politics and time prevent that from happening. In short, the software was rigged to route the messages to an "override" address instead of the business recipient because of the test environment. The address it targeted was setup specifically for test messages so any damage could be contained.

I thought little of it as I joked to some colleagues in text that I was sorry for spamming the group, while hoping that they already had some sort of filter in place to spare their inbox. Then suddenly one of them texts me, "uh oh, I guess somebody is complaining..." Again, not entirely unexpected. It certainly can be annoying, and for anybody that doesn't have filtering setup it could be downright infuriating. Except the complaint wasn't that their inbox was getting filled up. The complaint was that a ticketing system was getting spammed with new tickets.

The worst part was that the people responsible for the ticketing system were blaming development for it, which has no knowledge/control over the ticketing system in question, and were requesting changes to the email specs within the test environment to avoid the ticketing system's net. The worst part was that the complaint indicated that they believed the problem was the "FROM" address being a no-reply address, as if somehow the no-reply address was configured to source a ticketing system.

I could have reasonably replied with sensible retorts like, "how and why is this ticketing system automatically fed by test emails or no-reply emails?" or even "who setup and maintains this ticketing system?" Instead, experience taught me to say nothing, and bypass the person on the other end and see if I could either get answers from somebody else, or if necessary, pass the problem up the food chain. Fortunately, that seems to have worked to at least get this senseless task off of my plate, but hopefully to simply reconfigure the system in question and put the matter to bed. That said, I will not be surprised if a PBI comes across my desk to alter the "FROM" address in test environments.....

jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
avatar

It's not about competence. In a software company, maybe it is. Ours is a dairy facility, not a software company. We don't deal with Indian contractors. We do deal in a business where margins are slim, people are busy, raw materials are extremely perishable and the one thing we can't afford is downtime. When I call for a spare part, I'm most concerned with the ETA than a paper trail. Really can't trust a parts order for email, I want immediate confirmation that the parts order is underway, the best way to achieve that is to call the order in.

You don't deserve my sig.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
avatar

Sounds like your company could benefit from spare part forecasting so you don't worry about ETA at all. :P

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

jhuuskon said:

It's not about competence. In a software company, maybe it is. Ours is a dairy facility, not a software company. ... We do deal in a business where margins are slim, people are busy, raw materials are extremely perishable and the one thing we can't afford is downtime. When I call for a spare part, I'm most concerned with the ETA than a paper trail. Really can't trust a parts order for email, I want immediate confirmation that the parts order is underway, the best way to achieve that is to call the order in.

Certainly when time is of the essence a phone call or in-person visit is much more reliable. That's understandable. Mainly you can guarantee that the person even got the message, as well as verify their understanding of it. That said, there's no reason that can't also be accomplished with text messaging, again if the people involved are competent. Phones just tends to be better at getting attention than most messaging systems so if time is that critical it's more effective.

At the same time though, if time isn't critical then you can end up hurting the business by always distracting people with phone calls or visits right now when they might be trying to get other more important business done. Talking it out isn't always the best option.

jhuuskon said:

We don't deal with Indian contractors.

I don't deal with Indian contractors either. ::)

Go to: