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  1. +1 −1 dump.json
  2. +5 −5 index.html
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2 dump.json
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10 index.html
@@ -90,17 +90,17 @@
<meta charset="utf-8">
</head>
<body>
- <article style="margin:10em">
+ <article style="margin:10em auto;width:30em">
<h1>The Polyglot approach to the federated social web</h1>
+ <h2>How do you mean, polyglot?</h2>
+ <p>A polyglot is someone who speaks multiple languages reasonably well. Imagine we want peace on earth, and we decide that the way to achieve it is to make sure everybody can talk to everybody. One approach to this would be to develop Esperanto: a common language that is easy to learn for everybody, regardless of their native language. So far, a lot of work on the federated social web has followed the Esperanto approach.</p>
+ <p>Another solution is to realise that we can be a network of friends first, regardless of which languages (if any) we have in common. Granted, if two people have no languages in common whatsoever, they can only wave and smile at each other and that's about it. But now imagine someone who speaks 5 or 6 languages (a polyglot). Such a person will be able to make a lot of friends on a lot of continents. Without those people from different continents having to decide to teach Esperanto in their schools.</p>
+ <p>The polyglot approach to the federated social web recognizes xmpp, all the layers of the OStatus stack, but also email, and web linking as protocols ("languages") that can at one point or another help one application understand the information that another application (on another server) is exposing.</p>
<h2>Why propose a new approach?</h2>
<p>For a few years now, many projects have developed distributed social networks. These are in general server-side web applications which allow users to interact socially with each other, but in a way where different user accounts need not be hosted on the same server. There are about 40 different projects like this, including StatusNet, Diaspora, Friendica, BuddyCloud, Crabgrass, Apache Wave, to name but a few. If you include the ones that do not expose a web interface, then there are even more.
</p><p>Because there are so many different such application, the 'federated social web' effort was started, to make not only servers that run the same application compatible (for instance, a Diaspora server is compatible with another Diaspora server), but also servers that happen to run different software (for instance, making a Friendica server compatible with a StatusNet server). A lot of compatibility can be achieved by using existing protocols and formats, like xmpp. A notable effort to define what a server should support in order to be compatible with other application is the OStatus stack.
</p><p>Despite the apparent dichotomy between the xmpp and OStatus, and despite the fact that only a subset of typical social application functionality was being described by these proposals, some valuable progress was made on this topic over the last two years. But in the end, it turned out to be quite hard to agree upfront on what federation protocol each server should implement. Choosing this protocol and agreeing on a choice with all parties involved is hard, and this is not a top-down organization; each application has its own development roadmap which often understandably takes priority over the more idealistic and long-term federation efforts.
</p><p>In the late spring of 2012, some people started asking how we can move on from where we are now, as it was unclear how, if, and on what timescale the different application development teams would move any closer to each other on xmpp and OStatus. One thing we came up with in this discussion was that one social web does not have to mean one federation protocol. It can be a polyglot web.</p>
- <h2>How do you mean, polyglot?</h2>
- <p>A polyglot is someone who speaks multiple languages reasonably well. Imagine we want peace on earth, and we decide that the way to achieve it is to make sure everybody can talk to everybody. One approach to this would be to develop Esperanto: a common language that is easy to learn for everybody, regardless of their native language. So far, a lot of work on the federated social web has followed the Esperanto approach.</p>
- <p>Another solution is to realise that we can be a network of friends first, regardless of which languages (if any) we have in common. Granted, if two people have no languages in common whatsoever, they can only wave and smile at each other and that's about it. But now imagine someone who speaks 5 or 6 languages (a polyglot). Such a person will be able to make a lot of friends on a lot of continents. Without those people from different continents having to decide to teach Esperanto in their schools.</p>
- <p>The polyglot approach to the federated social web recognizes xmpp, all the layers of the OStatus stack, but also email, and web linking as protocols ("languages") that can at one point or another help one application understand the information that another application (on another server) is exposing.</p>
<h2>Search as the cornerstone</h2>
<p>One thing that is needed to make the whole web feel like one big social space, instead of facebook being one closed space, twitter being another, etcetera, is to create one big Mapa Mundi: a map of the world. We may not be able to talk much to many of the people in Sulawesi, or participate in their conversations, but at least we can see they're on the map, and it makes us remember we are all part of one world, and maybe one day we will take the step to learn a new language. At least by having a map of the whole world, we're not excluding any continents a priori.</p>
<p>UserAddress is a search engine that can discover users as long as they are discoverable through one of the following languages:

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