Diaspora open source code released to developers

The source code for the Diaspora has been released to allow the social networking site to be developed.

Touted as an alternative to Facebook as users protested against privacy settings with ‘Quit Facebook Day' in May, the site was announced and now the code is open to ‘anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control'.

The site creators Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer, and Ilya Zhitomirskiy said that Diaspiora was a ‘distributed network, where totally separate computers connect to each other directly, will let us connect without surrendering our privacy', according to PC Mag, and said that from now on, it will be working closely with the community on improving and solidifying Diaspora.

Launching the code, it said: “We began the summer with a list of technologies, a few bold claims and the goal of making an intrinsically more private social network. The overwhelming response that we elicited made us realise that technology wouldn't be enough.

“Even the most powerful, granular set of dropdowns and checkboxes will never give people control over where their content is going, let alone give them ownership of their digital self.

“We live our real lives in context, speaking from whatever aspect of ourselves that those around us know. Social tools should work the same way. Getting the source into the hands of developers is our first experiment in making a simple and functional tool for contextual sharing. Diaspora is in its infancy, but our initial ideas are there.”

The concept will see status messages and photos shared ‘in near real time' with a users friends though a function called ‘Aspects', while users can also add friends across the internet no matter where the Diaspora ‘seed' is located.

It said that it is working on Facebook integration, internationalisation and data portability for the alpha launch next month.

The group said: “Much of our focus this summer was centered around publishing content to groups of your friends, wherever their seed may live. It is by no means bug free or feature complete, but it is an important step for putting us, the users, in control. Developers, our code is on github, our tracker is public, we have a developer mailing list and we are happily accepting patches.

“Feel free to try to get it running on your machines and use it, but we give no guarantees. We know there are security holes and bugs and your data is not yet fully exportable. If you do find something, be sure to log it in our bugtracker and we would love screenshots and browser info.”

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