So my next question is a bit philosophical: Can I count on disroot to last? I mean no disrespect, it’s a great project, but voluntary projects don’t always survive in the long run. My point is this: corporate sites like gmail, bookface and dropbucks will still be there in 5 or 10 years (barring catastrophe). So if friends who haven’t been in touch for a couple of years try to find me, they can always email me on gmail, for example. If I start migrating all of this to disroot, how certain can I be it will still be there in a few years’ time? Will the infrastructure last even if there aren’t lots of users and some of the creators move on? Thanks.
Great question, thanks for asking. I can give you my personal answer on this one, but I think we should write a statement about it as a disroot team also.
For me, (and I think others in the team too) we started disroot out of a personal need for such platform. (we’ve run similar “test” project in the past which we re-branded into disroot to become truly independent). We never were in favor of corporate emails and other such services. We’ve been always using volunteer based infrastructure. At some point we decided that we would like to create our own platform. Mainly not to depend on others but also because of the fact all those alternatives are usually closed for public account registration. We wanted to share our platform with people who don’t have geeky friends who host mail servers, owncloud instances etc.
So as far as I’m concern disroot isn’t going anywhere. It is my primary email address, xmpp account and d* account.
Would we just kill it? I don’t think so
I think we have something, big corporations don’t. We believe in what we do, and the change of current status-quo. Going back to the roots, to how the internet used to be. For giants like google only profit matters. If their service won’t bring enough money they will simply shut it down without looking back. Just look at all the services shutdown by google until now.
We are not focused on getting as many users as we can, otherwise we shutdown the project. This is not our goal.
In fact we want to focus on convincing other collectives/groups out there to follow our initiative and create other, similar public nodes* to re-create decentralized and federated nature of the internet.
Our growth is based on how much money we can get from all kind of sources (mainly donations from users and groups, personal investments). If we can’t afford more servers to serve more people we will simply shutdown new account registration until we have enough resources to expand the server infrastructure.
Besides, small platform with small amount of users is easier to maintain
Of course I can’t tell you 100% we will stay no matter what. But that’s the case and risk with any opensource/volunteer project. We started disroot with “long run” in mind. From my side I can tell you, disroot is my baby and I believe in it’s success (or however you want to call it).
You don’t kill your babies.
Thanks Muppeth, I think that’s as good as it gets. What I’m hoping to do is close my dropbox, now that I can count on disroot’s ownCloud and also SpiderOak to save stuff - the only problem is sharing with people who only use dropbox, but we’ll see. I think I’ll try to empty my gmail but keep the account open with minimal use, and use no other google stuff. Still no solution for facebook, too many friends use it.
You can share stuff from owncloud via public links.
Yeah, that’s a good question, especially since the primary problem with the FOSS “community” appears to be AADD. It really gets to you after a while. Those people just don’t stick with anything for very long. It’s not in their nature.
I’m not the one doing it of course, but it appears that at some point Disroot would reach a stage of merely requiring routine maintenance and more or less take care of itself as long as there was a solid internet connection and resources adequate to run the traffic.
Where I’ve been bitten before was on stuff that had a known drop-dead date that users weren’t aware of, like when the principals were due to graduate and wouldn’t be hosting some project on the uni servers any longer. That’s been a while, though, and I don’t put myself in a vulnerable spot with any free service in any case. I keep my mail and data on my own servers and clients (though I realized the other day that for the first time in over thirty years, I no longer get personal email anyway…odd).
I gather that Disroot is actually a group effort, which is a help. I’ve seen wonderful one-man-band projects abruptly sink without a trace due to illness, divorce, unemployment or some other life crisis. Happens all the time, sadly, and overnight. Gone.
I disagree that Disroot would ever be left in a state of routine maintenance only, since the projects it is comprised of are constantly changing and each new change may require downstream changes as well. It needs to be kept up-to-date to be secure and to connect with other instances across the different platforms. But to an extent, you are correct, maintenance requirements may change over time.
Running such project requires quite some time as there is always something to do or improve.
At this moment we are investing our time into behind scenes work in order to automate as much as possible so that the boring, routine maintenance tasks are easy and fast. This will enabe us to invest gained time to do fun stuff later on, plus will enable us to share it with others who are interesed in running similar platforms.
Thanx for the good work. I really appreciate your efforts to create and maintain disroot.org
I have only just found disroot.org, and will begin to transfer emailer-contacts as soon as I get thunderbird setup. I trust that it is OK to mention “in passing” that I use disroot.org as widely as is polite.
I like that there are no aspirations to grow into a google/gmail clone. However, some growth in the size of the community might help, provided that the admin does not swamp things.