librelist archives

« back to archive

Questions regarding profile migration

Questions regarding profile migration

From:
Eren Inan Canpolat
Date:
2013-11-14 @ 22:03
Hello,

I'm writing a blog post about Friendica (and decentralized social
networks). I have some questions and I hope I can get answers to them here
(the IRC channel at Freenode didn't seem very active). My main concern is
related to freedom of speech. So I'm trying to figure out what may happen
in case of government suppression.

1. If I have an account on a server and then that server goes down forever,
is there a way to migrate my data to another server? Or is my data lost
forever?
2. Is it possible to distribute a profile on several servers so that if one
is down then the others still have the data?
3. If an account gets suspended on a server for some reason, could that
account be continued on another one?

Cheers,
Eren

Re: [friendica] Questions regarding profile migration

From:
Mike Macgirvin
Date:
2013-11-15 @ 04:25
> Hello,
>
> I'm writing a blog post about Friendica (and decentralized social
> networks). I have some questions and I hope I can get answers to them
> here (the IRC channel at Freenode didn't seem very active). My main
> concern is related to freedom of speech. So I'm trying to figure out
> what may happen in case of government suppression.
>
> 1. If I have an account on a server and then that server goes down
> forever, is there a way to migrate my data to another server? Or is
> my data lost forever?

> 2. Is it possible to distribute a profile on
> several servers so that if one is down then the others still have the
> data?

> 3. If an account gets suspended on a server for some reason,
> could that account be continued on another one?
>
> Cheers, Eren


Hi Eren. Doesn't look like anybody picked this up so I'll give it a go.

Friendica provides account migration tools. So yes, your data can
migrate to another server (#1). There is a caveat - you must export your
account data before the server goes down forever.

Questions 2 and 3 aren't directly handled by Friendica. The answer is no
on number 2 and for number 3 again it's an issue of having a backup.

But allow me to qualify. I was the original author of Friendica and I
left the project over a year ago to work on fixing a lot of problems
like this. The result is "the Red Matrix" - which is currently in
developer preview. It provides completely nomadic identity so that your
account isn't tied to a "server". It can float. It can be cloned across
any number of machines so if one goes down you still have your identity
and relationships.

What we discovered in Friendica was that sites do tend to come and go
and the thing that caused the most consternation was trying to preserve
your friendships when this happens. People would have to start over
making friends with everybody again. I had some friends in my friend
list 7-8 times.

It's also very hard to synchronise all your content against an
indeterminate number of servers. So the redmatrix philosophy is that
your relationships and personal settings are the most important bits to
save. We synchronise these in near real-time to everywhere your channel
is hosted. We also sync your conversations and private mail. But things
like photo albums, events, web pages, and file storage don't get synced
(at this time). All your friends have seen your existing content - so
this isn't nearly as important to us - and most people have more than
one copy of their photos lying around. (In the future we'll be able to
save these as well, but we had to start somewhere).

So in the redmatrix all 3 questions are affirmative, though we're still
working on preserving "all your data". Your relationships are the most
important thing. If your "main site" goes down (for ten minutes or
forever) you can go to any clone of your channel on any server and keep
communicating as if nothing happened.

I keep a USB drive on my keyring with my redmatrix identity on it, and I
update it once a month with any friends and personal settings I have. So
in a pinch, I can go to any redmatrix site at any time and load my
identity and relationships and settings and keep going. But most of us
keep at least one channel clone in another country in case something
happens. I used my clone channel last week when my service provider had 
a brief outage. None of my friends even knew there was a problem.

Anyway, I hope this answers your questions. Most of the current
decentralised "social networks" (Diaspora, Pump.io, etc.) have similar
capabilities to Friendica and just provide the ability to backup and
restore on another server. We've also got some preliminary info on the 
Red Matrix at http://redmatrix.me .

Thanks,
Mike Macgirvin


Re: [friendica] Questions regarding profile migration

From:
Eren Inan Canpolat
Date:
2013-11-15 @ 16:54
Hello Mark,

Thank you for your detailed explanation. It definitely answers my question.
I wasn't aware of Red Matrix earlier. I will start reading about it right
after sending this email and include it in my post. From your description,
I already like the approach. I agree that carrying identity and
relationships is the most important part of decentralized social
networking. When it comes to synchronizing other data, the first thing that
comes to my mind is having a synchronization utility locally on installed
on the PC (similar to the Dropbox client) to keep a copy of the data shared
online.

If I'm allowed to deviate a bit from the original topic, I would also like
to ask about more resources targeting non-tech-savvy audience regarding
decentralized social networking. To me, this area looks like a heavily
technical topic and I wonder if there are work groups who are dealing with
non-technical aspects of the problem.

Thank you,
Eren




On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 5:25 AM, Mike Macgirvin <mike@macgirvin.com> wrote:

> > Hello,
> >
> > I'm writing a blog post about Friendica (and decentralized social
> > networks). I have some questions and I hope I can get answers to them
> > here (the IRC channel at Freenode didn't seem very active). My main
> > concern is related to freedom of speech. So I'm trying to figure out
> > what may happen in case of government suppression.
> >
> > 1. If I have an account on a server and then that server goes down
> > forever, is there a way to migrate my data to another server? Or is
> > my data lost forever?
>
> > 2. Is it possible to distribute a profile on
> > several servers so that if one is down then the others still have the
> > data?
>
> > 3. If an account gets suspended on a server for some reason,
> > could that account be continued on another one?
> >
> > Cheers, Eren
>
>
> Hi Eren. Doesn't look like anybody picked this up so I'll give it a go.
>
> Friendica provides account migration tools. So yes, your data can
> migrate to another server (#1). There is a caveat - you must export your
> account data before the server goes down forever.
>
> Questions 2 and 3 aren't directly handled by Friendica. The answer is no
> on number 2 and for number 3 again it's an issue of having a backup.
>
> But allow me to qualify. I was the original author of Friendica and I
> left the project over a year ago to work on fixing a lot of problems
> like this. The result is "the Red Matrix" - which is currently in
> developer preview. It provides completely nomadic identity so that your
> account isn't tied to a "server". It can float. It can be cloned across
> any number of machines so if one goes down you still have your identity
> and relationships.
>
> What we discovered in Friendica was that sites do tend to come and go
> and the thing that caused the most consternation was trying to preserve
> your friendships when this happens. People would have to start over
> making friends with everybody again. I had some friends in my friend
> list 7-8 times.
>
> It's also very hard to synchronise all your content against an
> indeterminate number of servers. So the redmatrix philosophy is that
> your relationships and personal settings are the most important bits to
> save. We synchronise these in near real-time to everywhere your channel
> is hosted. We also sync your conversations and private mail. But things
> like photo albums, events, web pages, and file storage don't get synced
> (at this time). All your friends have seen your existing content - so
> this isn't nearly as important to us - and most people have more than
> one copy of their photos lying around. (In the future we'll be able to
> save these as well, but we had to start somewhere).
>
> So in the redmatrix all 3 questions are affirmative, though we're still
> working on preserving "all your data". Your relationships are the most
> important thing. If your "main site" goes down (for ten minutes or
> forever) you can go to any clone of your channel on any server and keep
> communicating as if nothing happened.
>
> I keep a USB drive on my keyring with my redmatrix identity on it, and I
> update it once a month with any friends and personal settings I have. So
> in a pinch, I can go to any redmatrix site at any time and load my
> identity and relationships and settings and keep going. But most of us
> keep at least one channel clone in another country in case something
> happens. I used my clone channel last week when my service provider had
> a brief outage. None of my friends even knew there was a problem.
>
> Anyway, I hope this answers your questions. Most of the current
> decentralised "social networks" (Diaspora, Pump.io, etc.) have similar
> capabilities to Friendica and just provide the ability to backup and
> restore on another server. We've also got some preliminary info on the
> Red Matrix at http://redmatrix.me .
>
> Thanks,
> Mike Macgirvin
>
>
>
>