Practical Technology

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Diaspora: It’s no Facebook… yet


Hundreds of millions of us use Facebook every day, but that doesn’t mean we like it. We like being able to connect with our friends. It’s the hoops we have to jump through to keep our privacy on Facebook that’s a pain in the neck. Diaspora, a home-grown, open-source project, is trying to answer that need with a social network that combines Facebook’s features with the users, instead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in charge.

Diaspora got lots of fans when its student developers announced their plans this spring, but until now Diaspora has little to show. Today, September 16th, that’s changed. Diaspora is now available as a developers’ source code release.

This is not, let me repeat, not a release for every-day people. It’s for developers who know their way around social networking technology in general and can program in Ruby and Ruby on Rails. If that’s not you, then stick with Facebook for now.

If you are a developer with the right chops though, the core Diaspora programmers has now opened their project to others. The code is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3). This is the GPL for server programs that are usually accessed with a desktop interface.

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