debian.social: a site to simplify communication and content between project participants

Debian social

Recently, the Debian project developers released through a statement the introduction of a set of Debian social services to be hosted on the debian.social site and whose main objective is to simplify communication and content exchange among project participants.

The ultimate goal is to create a safe space for developers and project supporters, where they can share information about the work that is being done, demonstrate results, communicate with colleagues and share knowledge.

 

Currently, the following services are launched in test mode:

  • pleroma.debian.social: (used by Pleroma software) - a decentralized microblogging platform reminiscent of Mastodon, Gnu Social, and Statusne
  • pixelfed.debian.social: (used by Pixelfed software) - A photo sharing service that can be used, for example, to publish photo reports.
  • peertube.debian.social: (used by PeerTube software) is a decentralized platform for organizing video hosting and video streaming, which can be used to host video tutorials, interviews, podcasts, and developer meeting and conference recording reports. For example, all Debconf conference videos will be downloaded to Peertube.
  • jitsi.debian.social: (using Jitsi software): a system for video conferencing over the Web.
  • wordpress.debian.social: (using WordPress software) - A platform for blogging developers.
  • writefreely: (used by WriteFreely software) - This is a decentralized system for blogging and posting. Experiments are also being carried out with the deployment of a decentralized blogging system based on the Plume platform.

In a distant future, The possibility of creating a messaging service based on Mattermost is not ruled out either., a communication platform based on Matrix and a service for exchanging sound files based on Funkwhale.

Most services are decentralized and support federation to interact with other servers. For example, using an account on the Pleroma service, you can track new videos on Peertube or images on Pixelfed, as well as leave comments on decentralized Fediverse networks and interact with other services that support the ActivityPub protocol.

As such the platform has only been released, but has not been launched as there are still some problems to be solved.

E.g. of current known issues that Debian developers intend to resolve before entering a proper beta phase, mention the following:

  • We are still working on moderation policies, CoC text on sites, etc. If you'd like to help with moderation, join our IRC channel
  •  Server load is currently higher than normal, we are about to finish importing all the latest Debconf videos to Peertube
  •  Pleroma has some suggestive images that we prefer to remove
  •  Peertube gives an internal server error when uploading an avatar containing transparency
  • We have yet to figure out how to deal with some GDPR style requests better. For example, if a user requests a copy of all their data for now, we expect such requests to be so few that we can process them manually.
  • Various little CSS issues

How to get an account on debian.social?

To create an account on the services, intends to create an application at salsa.debian.org (an account at salsa.debian.org is required).

Although the developers mention that they are still working and that the service is not yet accessible:

It is still early for us and there is still a lot of work to do. In the long term, we plan to authenticate these services against salsa.debian.org. Some services are part of the way, others may take more time and collaboration with upstream.

In the meantime, you can request an account for one or more of the services at salsa.debian.org, thereby matching the social platforms to your salsa account. We will gradually add accounts as we feel more secure in the service on a first come, first serve basis.

Finally, if you want to know more about the proposal from the Debian developers, you can check the release on the Debian mailing lists. The link is this.


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