GNU consensus' Frequently Answered Questions
GNU consensus is an umbrella project to
facilitate coordination of free software social networking projects to
encourage freedom, privacy, public space, and decentralization.
What are you going to do, concretely?
Our intent is to bring people around the table, and figure out a
common strategy to reach our common goal: user freedom, and
empowerment through free software.
We believe that the
tests came with good intent, but were a bit too large a scope, and
too specific. We want to propose simpler tests, that do not impose
a pre-defined vision of the business logic of social networking
software, but build on simple concepts, one at a time.
The starting point is "Hello, world.", or:
A should send a message to B saying "Hello,
world." We leave to the coders the choice of the technology, and
let them report what they used to achieve this basic
inter-operability. In this first test, we're not interested in all
the gory details of identity, objects, messaging, etc. One baby
step at a time. The first step is to start working together.
In other terms, we want to transition from a barely working
federation, to a complete inter-operable federation, and from there
transition to a fully peer-to-peer implementation. That is an
omni-directional endeavor, and we need to reach a consensus for
Are you crazy?
"You're never gonna survive, unless... You get a little
Where is the code?
Please have a look at our Stakeholders page.
Why do you recommend GPLv3+ and AGPLv3+?
We want to ensure that every stakeholder invests their energy
knowing that everyone else is working for freedom. We don't
impose the GPL on our partners. Some use Expat
License, others the Apache2 License. But
all do work for freedom.
You're promoting federation: isn't it what Faceboogle want?
We're promoting federation as a transitory state toward true
peer-to-peer social networking. Facebook is monitoring a
billion users. They need to break free.
You're promoting OStatus federation: isn't it broken? Why not use
<insert your favorite protocol here>?
OStatus was a good start. Many prominent free social networking
projects support it. New promising protocols are appearing, such as
pump.io, tent.io, and new
experiments are made, such as
my-profile-project.org, and the Smallest
Federated Wiki, etc.
We hope they all will be willing to work together to define ways to
Isn't federation flawed? How can I trust a commodity server?
In that sense, yes. You can't trust a server controlled by a third
party. That's why we're looking at peer-to-peer solutions in the
long run, and promote user control of their data, and end-to-end,
But not all use-cases require that amount of privacy. Federation
makes a lot of sense for affinity groups, public contents, and
local communities. We don't believe in
We're expecting to work with the Freedom Box
Foundation to reach a critical mass of users so that
"commodity servers" reach our homes at an affordable
price. Obtaining a legal protection of our own data, for the sake
of the constitutional privacy of our homes, is an integral part of
What's the problem with Facebook?
Schrödinger's cat is alive, or dead: nobody knows until an observer
actually opens the box. In any case, the cat is
Cousin Avi: Open the cat.
Bullet Tooth Tony: What do you mean
"open the cat"?
cat | open
Couldn't get a file descriptor referring to console
Please send your questions to the mailing list.