Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Diaspora Code Trial

I downloaded the Diaspora code the day it was released and installed it onto an OpenSUSE Linux computer.  The install was relatively straight forward.  The instructions provided are well written and clear.  While they are written for Ubuntu, Fedora and Mac OS, they are easily applied to other distributions - at least those with good package management and repositories with a wide range of applications.

I had to install MongoDB and update a few Ruby bits and pieces.  I also had to install libxslt before RubyGems would compile.  OpenSSL, ImageMajick and Git were already installed.

This is pre-alpha code released for developers.  Some people on various blogs don't seem to realise this and have been complaining about the lack of expected features.  Pre-alpha isn't expected to be complete or almost complete code.  It's been released to get developers interested in the project so that development of those missing features can get underway.

That said, the basic system does work.  I can sign on to it, add friends (being other accounts I have created as I haven't set my system up to allow it to access the Internet), upload photos, leave status updates and so on.

The really good feature is that you can separate your friends into "Aspects".  This allows you to keep friends, family, work colleagues away from each other.  People in one aspect will not see updates posted in another aspect.  This gives you the separation and privacy that social networks like Facebook do not.

The next release will be in October and will include Facebook Integration, Internationalisation, and the export of your data.

So far Diaspora looks quite promising.  I don't see it as being the "Facebook Killer" that some have touted it as but it will provide people like me who have a greater sense of privacy something to use.  In addition, it's existence may push Facebook and others to provide the separation they currently lack.

Diaspora's blog post on the release.


PG said...

i like the idea of aspects, one thing i dont really like is the work meets friends and family, on facebook. PG

Thrash Cardiom said...

I'm fairly pleased that I didn't give the application access to the Internet or allow other nodes in. Apparently the code is very insecure. Somewhat surprising in something that is supposed to be strong on privacy and security. However, no doubt the developers, both original and those getting on board, will work through the various issues.