Eduardo Mercovich
@EduMerco@playground.bonfire.cafe
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968, I work in research and design of complex socio technological systems and towards a more fair and regenerative society.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
@BonfireBuilders I had a conversation with a global network organisation today which has local hubs....
Doug, that seems super interesting and very well aligned indeed.


Your mention of language barriers also makes me trigger another small limitation on other microblogging services that Bonfire could make better: the ability to express the language used, per post.


Many people (me included) uses 2 or more languages.

  • If the language setting is in the configuration, there is only one.
  • But if it can be set by post, I can express when I'm posting in Spanish and when in English, so people can filter those.

WDYAT?

It may be better to put this in a shared pad to work among various folxs, but let's start here the talk and see WDYT... :)


** Generalisms...

Communication today has so many channels/media that fragmentation is a serious issue for many people and organizations. Today is common for groups to talk via more than one of many methods like Slack (or similar channel based chats or CBCs like RocketChat, Zulip, Mattermost, etc.), Whatsapp (yuk!), Telegram, Signal or Matrix, Email, maybe Google Talk, Discord (or similar services like Guilded) and more. Classics are still there for those that appreciate them, like XMPP. And may the Earth spirits prevent you from having to use Microsoft Teams. There are even more and newer ones, and very interesting ones as Scuttlebutt...


Each channel has it's own characteristics that results in some weaknesses and some strengths. 2 of the most used are:

+ Email :: An ordered conversation. (perceived as) solid, slow, known, trustable, deep, completely interoperable, with an order based on folders. Keeps threading. Young people don't use it for communications (only as account for other services).

+ Instant Messaging (IM) ordered as channel based chats (CBC) :: a river that flows endlessly. (perceived as) easy, fast, because of that quite superficial, with an order based on people/group. While possible, not much threading used really (doesn't keep context well). Young and old people uses it a lot because it's easy and fast.


The proposed hypothesis here is that an activity server with some pluses as Bonfire is developing may be a bridge between these 2 universes; in other words, a sweet spot between email and IM/CBCs apps.


What is good about e-mail as a medium? In my opinion, the capacity to be precise in which you include or not in the conversations, and the possibility of having deep conversations (may be derived from an open UI and the non-synchronous expectation?).

What is good about IMs as a medium? They are easy and fast.


Where does Bonfire fits in here? I think that in a sweet spot in the middle with the best of each media. :)


Bonfire:

- is fast :: with a good mobile app or in a browser it allows for fast and simple replies is someone needs them. And if you put notification for everything, it's almost like any IM.

- allows a lot of precision in terms of destinations :: individual people, groups (circles), the whose instance, the whole Fediverse, only self defined interested people (with hashtags or themes) and permissions (what are now boundaries). These can be -or not- listed just as channel based chats do, but can include more than one destination (something channel based chats can't do, you either write in "Dev" or in "UX" or in "General", or copy the message and follows each copy thread).

- keeps context :: this doesn't needs anything from the user, just hitting "reply" means the server keeps the thread and that those threads can be named and addressed.

- allows serious replies :: it's editor is generous and allows quotes.

- interoperates :: with any other ActivityPub talking services. Like email, you are not bounded by your domain and the same tool can be used with close or far away, know or new ones.


** Bonfire for an organization

Additionally, Bonfire has some benefits for any organization:

- it's safe :: it keeps the information (and can be backed up) in the server, so it doesn't depends on the backup of any device or person.

- it's sovereign :: with a minimum of technological knowledge any organization can have it's owns safe space for communication.


** What is done and what it may need to serve this communication needs?

TBD

Some things can make this possibility a reality faster.

- A great mobile interaction :: for many people, this is a must. Notifications should be precise and customizable. Writing should be generous. Audio messages must be allowed?

- Others? :: ...

So basically, if you have a specific app/platform you'd like to try this with, it should be...
Those are great news!


In our particular case, Moodle will be used but it can go both ways. Moodle can id Bonfire or viceversa. It looks like Moodle can take Open ID info (see moodle.org/plugins/auth_oidc).


But also Bonfire can take it from Moodle.


Anyway, I'm happy that it's something going on and I would be happy to help with tests (or other things that don't require programming). 😅

Authenticating Bonfire users from other sources


If it's not the time to ask this I'm sorry and please simply dismiss this post.


Imagine that you already have a community working on a CMS or LMS (like Moodle, Wordpress, Discourse, Drupal, etc.) with a bunch of users and a way to manage them (create, give roles/permissions, delete, etc.).


Is it, now or planned in a near future, a way to somehow connect that with a Bonfire instance so we don't need to have double users, one in each platform? Or -in the other way- can Bonfire provide this authentication? One platform to rule them all, one platform to find them, one platform to bring them all and in the Fediverse light bask them? 🤣


In brief: can Bonfire accept/provide identification by/to other sources?


Thanks a lot, and I hope this discussion opens some possibilities. :)