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An honest question for Diaspora users

I haven't created a Diaspora account, so I don't know what's available on that platform versus this one. But in my search as a #gplusrefugee I'd like to have all the information feasible. So.

It seems that the choice of which "facet" of the Federation (Diaspora, Friendica, Hubzilla, Mastodon, etc.) one inhabits depends mostly on the features available in that particular instantiation. Some of that might depend on the culture of the individual node -- I admit that I've almost completely ignored the "Local Community" functionality -- but with the ability to connect with anyone anywhere in the overall Fed, that seems like a secondary concern at best.

Friendica seems to have some solid advantages over Diaspora, namely:
- Forums (equivalent to G+ Communities)
- The ability to edit posts and comments
- Threaded comments
- The ability to talk to more other platforms
So, for Diaspora users: why are you using Diaspora? What's "better" about that platform than Friendica that I'm missing? Thanks!

#question #Federation
#gplusrefugee #question #Federation Metaposting (x)
This entry was edited (1 year ago)

I tried Diaspora, Friendica and Hubzilla.

Well, what can I say... while Friendica and Hubzilla are definitely more powerful and have some functions essential to me (such as easier management of past entries) I just can't shake off the feeling of me working on some corporate CRM portal.

It is not complexity that turns me off but I just like Diaspora better in some strange "less is more" kind of way.

Also minimalism of Diaspora means it more compatible to other platforms than they are to it. E.g. if you edit your post on Friendica it won't propagate to Diaspora. If you play with categories and permissions of Hubzilla in certain way it will turn into weird links on other platforms.

One thing, though:
E.g. if you edit your post on Friendica it won't propagate to Diaspora.
That strikes me more as a shortcoming on Diaspora's side than Friendica's. Or is it the case that d* would be able to accept those changes but Friendica isn't sending them? (The answer to which is almost certainly "I don't know," but hey, it's worth having the conversation!)

I'm mostly here because I already knew of Diaspora's existence, and when Pluspora was launched, it seemed like the obvious step. Now that I'm learning about Friendica and Hubzilla, I'm really starting to wonder if maybe that's the better option.

I know it's possible to migrate your account from one node to another on the same platform, but do you know if it's possible to migrate from one Federated platform to another?

The problem is that Diaspora has not solved how to handle the propagation of post edits. If I recall, several years ago, an attempt was made that caused critical problems on the system. Obviously, until it works within Diaspora, edits from outside also won't work.

FWIW, I’ve heard tell from other developers in the Federation/Fediverse that the Diaspora developers have been less than collaborative. They didn’t document their protocol. So, the only way for other platforms (“facets”) to federate with it was to reverse engineer it. When developers on other projects have had questions/issues, the Diaspora team was reportedly not very open to discussion. There are, of course, two sides to every story but it does resonate with my feeling that Diaspora is a closed world.

Diaspora could, in essence, unite the Free Network by implementing the ActivityPub protocol. (While the Diaspira platform was first to gain popularity, ActivityPub is now the most common protocol and is what appears to be preferred by new projects.)

But everyone making this network possible is a volunteer. So, they get to make their own choices about where to put their energy. I have accounts on Diaspora, Madtodon, Friendica, Hubzilla, Osada, and Pixelfed. And so I’ve sought user help on all of them. Hubzilla (all protocols), Friendica (all... show more

@alysonsee As someone with accounts on all of them, if you don't mind my asking: which do you like best? And why?

I remember that there was a huge shift in the dev space when the OG dev team left Diaspora and all responsibilities shifted to the "Community". Things have been off the rails ever since.

@Scott Jordan That's not a good sign. Do you think that d* will eventually become abandonware?

@Trevor Schadt of course it is limitation of Diaspora, no doubt about that. And I am looking forward to the day edits become available (I hear they work on it).

However since I like to talk to everyone it is more reasonable to use minimal set of features which is compatible with all platforms rather than use something more advanced which will work unpredictably for others. For example if you use post editing your edits don't transfer to Diaspora. In best case scenario your subscribers will just get some garbled markdown or typos. Could be worse if you forget about this behavior and accidentally leak something you'd rather not.

Or you can just attach picture to your post in Diaspora and since it doesn't use separate permissions for attached images (which is also imperfect by the way) it will show up everywhere. If you just upload and attach picture in Hubzilla (and I believe Friendica too) and don't explicitly set its permissions as public in some cases it doesn't load in streams of other platforms.

If you mostly talk to people inside your platform it is not a problem of course.

@Trevor Schadt Maybe stagnantware. But since G+ announced that its long, slow suicide it started in 2014 is finally going to be successful, tons of folks leary of getting onto another closed system are looking at D* as a top contender for their home. And that includes lots of open source devs who want to get involved.

Other top contenders right now are MeWe and MeWe is a closed system but with great features and a polished UI. That will draw in "convenience" social users and topic-focused communities. Minds big draw is that it rewards the more polished content creators (bloggers / long format writing) and even pays if you can get a big enough audience.

Diaspora has the potential to grab a large portion also: techies, geeks, devs, you know, us nerds. Anyone who remembers G+ from early beta will tell you that one of the most amazing things about it was that it seemed like a community for geeks by geeks. Hell, most of the conversations we had were about the pla... show more

Hubzilla. Friendica is a close second. Both connect with all the protocols, so you can connect to users on all of the platforms and they all appear in your stream. My stream is a mix of Diaspora, Friendica, Mastodon, Hubzilla, Osada, and Socialhome users. But Hubzilla’s nomadic identity feature has come in so, so handy when my primary instance has had having performance issues. A couple months back, my Diaspora pod stopped federating, and pod users could only talk to each other. It got very quiet. It took the podmins a few days to detect it and sort it out. On Hubzilla, you can just go to your cloned account on another pod and pick up where you left off. To all of your connections, you still appear to be alive on the primary account.

I also actively use my Mastodon account on On Mastodon, the local timeline features heavily in the user interface. So, people set up instances around common interests—in this case dog lovers. Sometimes, mentally, I need a break and just want to be immersed in stuff that is enjoyable to me. So, I like having a site where I... show more

so, the question remains, how do i get a post on my pluspora to also post on my stream and vice versa? i noticed there are settings for this but nothing is happening on other platforms/social networks.

@goth1856 do you mean you have second account out there and you want to duplicate posts? Why?

People are already able to read you from Diaspora and if you add tags you should be discoverable from other pods by people searching/following them.

I went to Hubzilla and also to Friendica. None of them is as user-friendly as Diaspora. While I jumped right in with Diaspora, I felt lost on both Friendica and Hubzilla. And the cutsie factor on the test site definitively didn't win me over. But then again, I was never a fan of communities to begin with (I believe they were the beginning of the end of G+), so I am not missing much. I like it here. If others will move, then it's not an issue either because aren't the posts searchable everywhere on the Federation (or something along those lines)?

Yes, posts are cross-platform. The major thing I'm considering has to do with Forums, so, granted, it's not as much of an issue for people who don't care. But d* users can't post to Forums, which make them (in my opinion) a lot less useful across the entire Fed.

@Alexander , NO they can't.

so why aren't my posts showing up over at from here?

I've tried all three (well, four, if I have to count Pleroma). I'm staying with Friendica because it's user friendly, has more functions and federates more.

The ability to customize the look is also a big plus.

For me it's exactly what @Martijn Vos said. I already knew about diaspora* (albeit very little, from many years ago), so trying it out again was an obvious move to make. I'm not sorry I did; I've settled in fairly comfortably.

I didn't hear about Friendica and Hubzilla until afterwards, and trying those out also seems pretty obvious. However, since those will be brand new to me, I'm hoping my life will settle down a bit before I give them a whirl. There's still plenty of time for that, though.

I've had this account for about 7 years. When Di announced Pluspora, all I needed to do was log in and start adding my people as they posted about their new accounts.

I am using diaspora*, and I love it. One reason I use diaspora* is because that's what my pod is running. Also, I like the people on diaspora*. It's fine if you don't get it. I don't have much need of bells or whistles or groups. diaspora* is simple, minimal, pure, and powerful. diaspora* means something.


1. "I use diaspora* [...] because that's what my pod is running" is a tautology, not an explanation. If it's your pod, then why did you choose to install diaspora* and not one of the others? If it's not your pod, then why did you choose to sign up on that one?

2. "I don't have much need of bells or whistles or groups." OK, that I can appreciate; use the software that gives you the feature set you need.

3. "diaspora* means something." Please explain. I mean, I know what the word "disapora" means, but that's obviously not what you meant. (And please, if you could, try to be a little less haughty and patronizing when you do; kthxbai.)

I think it all boils down to personal needs and preferences, so @Αντισθένης took our arguments for Friendica or Hubzilla as a personal attack.

It wasn't, I promise.

@Asahel Diaspora does want to support editing. Early 2018 it was added to their protocol. The rest of it just hasn't been implemented yet.

I like diaspora*. I plan to keep using diaspora*. But since I also want to be able to stay in contact with people who prefer Mastodon, etc., having a Friendica or Hubzilla presence just makes sense. And that has nothing to do with how good diaspora* is, and everything to do with having friends who have different needs and preferences.

  • "I use diaspora* [...] because that's what my pod is running" is a tautology, not an explanation. If it's your pod, then why did you choose to install diaspora* and not one of the others? If it's not your pod, then why did you choose to sign up on that one?
I apologize for my hasty message. You are right. I should have explained myself. It’s my pod and I chose to operat a diaspora* pod for the reasons I listed for why I like diaspora*. Also, I don’t care for php, which I think is what Friendica is built on. I could be wrong. I found the support community for podmins to be very helpful in the past, and that was another factor. I guess it boils down to familiarity. Although this pod is newer, I operate another pod that has been around for a while, which also runs diaspora*. I suppose it would be nice to run instances of the other platforms, I have not felt compelled to do so at this point.
  • "I don't have much
... show more

Thanks. That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! And don't worry about the tone, we all have those days, and I probably reacted more harshly than I should have, and I apologize as well.

The first couple of days I was here, there were a number of "G+ers are all assholes, they're invading our sandbox, we don't want them here" posters that almost had me abandon the platform before I even got started. So I guess posts that come across as "we're just better here, you just don't get it" are a bit of a sore point.

It's all good. :)

I think it all boils down to personal needs and preferences, so @Αντισθένης took our arguments for Friendica or Hubzilla as a personal attack.
Sorry for coming across the way I did. I was tired and should have been more thoughtful.

No worries, we all have our moments. I do like Diaspora* btw. Clean layout, easy to use, stood the test of time as a project and inspired all the other. I kept an eye on it since it was announced in...what, 2011? Not sure, but it was the first as far as I know.

FWIW, @Trevor Schadt , I’m sure glad for the G+ers. Y’all have tipped the scales towards joy and politeness out here.

@alysonsee All I can say it's they're just as soylent green as everyone else.

One thing I was thinking about, and not sure if it's relevant to the consideration of the choice of platform, but it is relevant to the choice of pod is whether secure image proxies are used to display image content in your feed.

In my pod, and many other diaspora* pods that I am aware of, I proxy all images through my server to protect sensitive information of the users, such as browser details, ip address, cookies, and other info. Some diaspora* pods only proxy images from non-federation resources, and other diaspora* pods do not proxy image content at all. I have never really seen Friendica or Hubzilla admins discussing this issue, so it's not clear to me whether those platforms integrate with camo or some other secure image proxy (or whether they have it built in).

I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are, as well as from anyone familiar with this issue. I don't know what pluspora does, but it's something that I personally would consider when choosing whether to join a particular pod or not.


@Αντισθένης Your point about how to handle images is one I've been thinking about as well. At first, it seems to make sense to keep all images external as much as possible, simply to keep the pod as light as possible. Images can eat up a lot of space.

But privacy is absolutely an issue, and then it makes no sense to load images straight from Google or Facebook or wherever. Are other federated sites better? Usually probably, but you can't be sure.

@Martijn Vos Proxying images doesn't affect storage but your server generates much more traffic and can possibly take performance hit as well.

@alysonsee yep and this breaks federation with these platforms - images just don't show for them.

In fact this is the reason I chose Diaspora for now - while security by obscurity (in this case - randomized URL) isn't the best practice I find it sufficient for my needs and it beats incompatibility. If someone doesn't have access to the post it is highly unlikely for them to guess URL. If they do have access then they can leak sensitive information either way.

I can think of two scenarios where authenticated session is superior: ability to withdraw someone's permission to view the content and if someone's browsing history is compromised and they looked at direct links (for example logged in on public computer and then logged off).

Does that mean Diaspora users, or basically anyone not on Hubzilla, will not be able to see any images on non-public Hubzilla posts? Is there a matrix somewhere that details what cross-federation sharing works and doesn't work?

I admit I was wondering how you could possibly guarantee the privacy of non-public posts on a federated network. Sounds like it's a complicated problem that not every platform has quite figured out yet.

@Martijn Vos said ...
Does that mean Diaspora users, or basically anyone not on Hubzilla, will not be able to see any images on non-public Hubzilla posts?
Correct. Hubzilla does provide the ability to generate access tokens to pass out to non-Hubzilla friends. But this is, of course, hardly automated and so is therefore inconvenient.

I like that the federation platforms do not attempt to be “one size fits all” solutions. So, @Alexander has an option that is the best compromise for him, and I have one that suits me.

Discussions like this one reveal several preferences, issues or even glitches different platforms may have. Spiced up by some tech-savvy participants they are the base for my ongoing but not yet finalized decision making about which platform I'll eventually choose.

Thank you, y'all!

Now, why am I on a d* pod for the time being?
  • I even tried Friendica first but moved into here as "interim home". Great Friendica features, but a little clumsy on mobile, expecially when it comes to advanced formatting. -> Fr 1 : d* 2
  • Being a former G+er, I truly miss communities. They were a perfect collaboration platform for several projects. Sure, I joined hobbyists comms as well, but collaboration really stood out. Friendica forums may not replace them but forum-wise better than nothing. -> Fr 1 : rest of Fediverse 0
  • Test server(s): is open for a week. The Hubzilla test server for 10 or so minutes. Is there even a diaspora* test server? -> Fr 2 : rest of Fediverse 1 : d* 0
  • Diaspora
... show more

@Trevor Schadt
why does it matter that your acquaintances joined Diaspora versus somewhere else
Well, it doesn't, as ridiculous that may sound now. Or does it actually? Maybe it depends on the pod/instance we're on, or whether one uses the network on desktop or a mobile device...

Generally I'd assume it should work. BUT: As an example I cannot @ mention you correctly while I'm on mobile, the flyover to select your name won't show
  • is it a protocol compatibility issue?
  • does it result from us being on different platforms?
  • did my podmin decide not to implement special features?
  • would I have the same issues on a different Pod, a different platform?
  • maybe it's just because I'm using the default mobile version which seems to be quite simplified?
Let's NOT try to straighten all that out for now, please, but as long as things like this happen on the platform that offers the best ease of use, it is very hard to make an average G+ only user get their feet wet in "random" networks nobody knows. Don't underestimate the mass inertia.

maybe it's just because I'm using the default mobile version which seems to be quite simplified?
@Olaf Wendt, you got that right. Mobile view of Diaspora doesn't support mentions.

Some prefer using desktop version even on their phones which displays nice enough and all functions work. You can switch it in the navigation menu in the top corner.

@Alexander Unfortunately desktop version won't help, even after reloading the site: no autocomplete.

@alysonsee Yes, I remember Friendzilla being even more responsive on mobile with the autocompletion than d* on desktop. Good to learn that Hubzilla works that way as well.

I'm back on a "real" desktop now, glad to jot down some thoughts on the desktop/mobile issue and UX in general:

During another in-depth conversation I had the chance to learn from a dev team insider (or even member) that for the time being they have no dedicated designer for d*, therefore ui/ux issues tend to get postponed. Which is a bummer, because
  • if there is a mobile version of any site given, it should clearly state somewhere whether/how much features are simplified or limited.
  • as long as the mobile d* site won't provide core features like @
... show more

for a halfway decent legibility on a smartphone display in "desktop" mode, I'd need to crank up font size for the whole browser to about 400%
@Olaf Wendt I think you are doing it wrong :)

You seem to enable "desktop mode" in your browser app. Don't do that. Instead open Diaspora in mobile view as usual, go to the Diaspora menu (three bars button in the top right corner of your feed) and select "Toggle mobile" there. Font size will stay roughly the same but elements will change slightly, pictures will be in high resolution and mentions, mute/ignore/report buttons will work.

Oups, my bad...

I used to be aware of this but forgot, so by selecting the correct menu with a little less of a rush I might have saved quite a minute (or five). Thank you, now that looks much better!

PS Did you note the @ mention? It was done from mobile, hehe ^^

This made me take further steps:
  • Dandelion (Android d* app from f-droid) will go and won't be replaced, because apps are based upon the mobile site. Browser ftw
  • Hubzilla is gaining point over point, I'm just reading thru this highly recommended review by @Sean Tilley I just found via @phanisvara das
  • and counting..
We live in an interesting world, indeed.

Hmmmm... dandelion\* actually seems subjectively faster to load for me than using mobile view in my browser. I should probably test that a bit. That's unlikely to happen today, though; my brain is thick.

Long-time Mastodon user who just started dipping my toes in Diaspora again; after finding this post when browsing the #googleplusrefugee feed I've actually signed up for Friendica as well.

What I like about Friendica so far:

  • talks to both Diaspora and Mastodon (and more): I've followed both my Mastodon accounts as well as my Diaspora account just fine. I can't seem to find my account yet, but it just gained federation support this Christmas so that can probably wait
  • I can edit post and comments - I can vote comments up and down. Diaspora seems too spartan after that
  • OMG threading

What I like about Diaspora:

  • Dandelion* is quite nice. Haven't found a nice full-featured mobile client for Friendica yet, though DiCa is looking promising for such a young app (to follow a reshared post I still have to leave the app to use the mobile web view)
  • Markdown. I've gotten unfamiliar with phpBB, as an Oregon Trailer who writes code for a living

I was already here -- I've been a member of Joindiaspora since 2011, though I hadn't much used the service for much of that time.

Today I'd be taking a much harder look at Friendica and Hubzilla, which offer additional features. But Diaspora remains fundamentally sufficient, and time-proved, which isn't a bad aspect.

the issue remains if i post on pluspora then it should show up on on my steam at diaspora or other sites like libertree if i have given the permission to do - which i did. it would solve the problem of repetitive posting. but i disgress it not a feature that is working or working poorly.

also, hashtags are a pain the ass.

libertree was incompatible from day 1, why do you expect you can read diaspora*-posts there?

@Deus Figendi, you have what i said twisted. i expect to read my posts from dia; plus; etc on my libertree/frendica/whatever - I GAVE THE PERMISSION TO MAKE IT SO. DOES ANYONE HERE ENGLISH WELL?

if i post in place - a dozen other places should see it WITHOUT FURTHER ADO OR HASSLE. fucking simple. what is so difficult?

if ya don't get it, quit trolling me.

I see no reason to become rude.
It's true I am no native speaker but your English also isn't very proper!
So let's try to find out what you mean because to me it seems you just wrote the same (or in other words: I understood the same as before).

So… what I think you mean is:

* You write a post on pluspora
* You want to read that post on friendica servers
* You want to read that post on libertree servers
* You gave some kind of permission

So I'd like to know if I understood it right and where you have given what kind of permission… so in what way. Did you check any checkbox, did you write it into your post or is there a setting for this, did you configure something…?

and by "plus" do you mean GooglePlus or pluspora?
if i post in place - a dozen other places should see it WITHOUT FURTHER ADO OR HASSLE. fucking simple. what is so difficult?
Yea, that is simple. To do so you need to make at least 12 contacts on different compatible pods. Or you use a pod sending your posts to a relay-s... show more