If only... A Fediverse dreaming exercise 😉

So, some time ago we used to socialize a bit, even play games!
So, in the spirit of that time, I’d like to propose a different kind of game for you all :slight_smile:

I was talking with @weex, and I mentioned one of my “Some day I’d like” projects, and I started wondering.
Is it possible that I’m the only one with thoughts like that? Certainly not!
So now I’d like to ask you.

Imagine, that you can finally realize your project. Or rather The Project. You know, the one you always wanted to do, but didn’t have time, means, skills, there were other urgent matters… THAT project.
What would it be? Would it be Fedi related? If not, maybe it could be supported by federation, or maybe it could enchance Fediverse?

Tell us!

I’m really curious to hear about what awesome project you’d create if you didn’t have to worry about your limitations

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Yes, I like this topic. I do a lot of fedi-related dreaming and have a lot of project ideas that I drop around everywhere to people, hoping they’ll be inspired to think of what federation support could bring to plans they have themselves.

As for some plans I have myself… I won’t disclose them as yet as they require a fedi that doesn’t exist at this moment in time. I want these plans to unfold with the values and culture we hold dear, and stuff to remain free and open and non-commercial. But they’ll only be possible if fedi manages to tap deeper into its full potential, and my advocacy is dedicated to unleashing that.

As for the shorter term I’d like us fedizens to dream about what Social means, and forget about the traditional social media when doing so. It totally limits creativity and we’ll only create derivatives of what already exists. In other words “Social Networking Reimagined” … this goes far beyond Microblogging. Think of all that is social IRL.

As for games, here are opportunities. Low-hanging fruits. A simple game can be played with just pen and paper, or online with toots and boosts. I am hoping that @houkime will pick up the FediJams again. They were also planning to build a federated alternative to itch.io

With games we can all come closer together. Just look at Wordle, a simple game. Make some of these that are tailored for federation.

Also I’d like to see all the fragmented initiatives to become more aware of each other and more cross-pollination to occur. There’s tons of people doing tons of stuff and tons of other people who do not know about that. Some time ago I mentioned 🌏 Sci-Fi Labs Federated Worldbuilding here, and this is something we may tailor for the fedi too. I also think of Alternate Reality Games where we weave fediverse into real-world activity in exciting ways.

Wanted to add to the mention of games played with pen and paper. There are several pen and paper games and wikipedia even documents some of them including peg solitaire, bulls and cows, battleship, tic tac toe and 3D tic tac toe, dots and boxes, hangman, etc. It’s nice to have the documentation of how to play the games either in the Public Domain or with CC or permissible licenses so people can share the rules. Have also seen https://www.freeboardgames.org/ mentioned on Mastodon. Looks like an interesting alternative to the closed source online game sites I usually see mentioned by groups.

As to the mention of a federated alternative to itch.io, would love to see an alternative that just shares FLOSS game options and gives links to the source code. There are some lists for finding games such as Libregamewiki List of open-source video games - Wikipedia https://osgameclones.com/ There’s also a project someone started on github to collect source for several FLOSS games. He eventually wants to offer executables for the source as well. Dennis Payne is giving a talk at LibrePlanet on Free Software Game Restoration if anyone’s interested. Dennis Payne is also working on the Gamerzilla project ( Gamerzilla ) which might fit in very well with Fediverse development. I also thought the Rogue Class Linux distribution was very interesting. It had a wide variety of games and worked in framebuffer with no X Windows or Wayland support.

I have a strong interest in FLOSS games, but my preference is for lightweight Open Source C based games. My taste in games is very different from the average person so it makes it difficult to find and share games. I prefer games that make you think to action or adventure games. I have several lightweight FLOSS games I’ve collected over the years. I patch them as needed to fix memory issues and clean up various bugs. I’ve ported some so they work with later versions of various libraries. I’ve done a lot of work on games like Tuxmath. Unfortunately, the modifications often don’t get accepted upstream and I’m the only one who gets to make use of them. Wish there was a better way to share improvements and bug fixes.

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The project that I would really like to complete would be a better way to share the FLOSS programs I enjoy and like to use. I’ve tried to come up with several ways to do it but haven’t found the right solution yet. Thought about just distributing the programs. Of course, you need to distribute the source as well then. While distributing might work for Windows or people using Wine, it can be a mess when dealing with Linux. Was investigating different ways to distribute software on Linux from container based solutions to static linking, using a compiler like musl and limiting all dependencies on the operating system to even possibly creating my own Linux distribution and sharing my favorite programs that way and many other possible solutions. I’ve tried packaging projects for other distributions, but just don’t seem to find a Linux distribution out there that’s a good match for my particular software preferences. While you have more freedom to mix and match programs of choice on Linux, it’s still hard to replace certain programs if the distribution isn’t designed to support those types of decisions. For instance, choice of compiler library (uclibc, glibc or musl) can affect who can use and run a program. It’s even harder to find a distribution I like now that I’ve spent years developing my own software build system which includes some minimal package management features. I really like my system better than the ones available on other Linux distributions and typically the build system/package management part of a distribution is the one part that you can’t easily swap out with other options. That means keeping my development separate from the rest of the operating system or using a version of Linux that’s more minimal like Linux From Scratch.

Would be nice to work on these type of things with others and share source, build scripts and modifications to software more easily. Would be nice to be able to share the modified programs with others, but most Linux users only want to run something that’s provided by their Linux distribution from it’s official repositories. There are some distributions with user repositories like Arch Linux, but then I hit issues with I’m not using the same package management tools. If it’s not your operating system of choice, there are problems with dependencies such as libraries. I thought that perhaps webassembly would be the solution to sharing programs with others. Most of the software I prefer would probably work with webassembly or can be ported to work with it. However, I’ve yet to find any good development tools for webassembly. I’ve downloaded bits and pieces that do part of the job and created a few simple webassembly programs but don’t have the right toolchain in place to create anything complex. I’ve also looked into possibly porting some of the programs I like to Android and sharing them that way. F-Droid is supposed to provide a FLOSS way to share apps. However, I haven’t found any information on how to integrate NDK development with projects like F-Droid and there’s little interest in porting FLOSS software to Android. There seems to be a preference for new development rather than modifying programs already out there.

So, my dream project would be a way to share my favorite lightweight FLOSS C programs including all my modifications and patches and build system changes and improvements with others and to be able to have them share suggestions for other lightweight programs of interest. The main limitation is how to find a decent method to share this type of software with others who have similar interests including those who may not be able to compile and build their own programs.

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That’s super cool! What first comes to mind is something Git-based

Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of git. I have not been able to get an update to Tuxmath code I forked to upload to github. All I get is errors. Tried working with one of our local computer groups and they didn’t have any luck debugging. I did think projects like fossil were interesting and a good possible alternative to git. At this point, I just upload a lot of my patches directly to the web so people can download them if they want. Doubt anyone’s even looking at them though. Since I typically work with original source plus patches which are already in patch form, sometimes a version control system can be overkill. In my case, the version control system would basically be tracking differences in patch files not source code. So you end up with patches of patches.

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I have to admit, I’m really not that much of a programmer, but it sounds absolutely fascinating!
Where can one find your works?

You can find some of the stuff I’m working on here: Laura Michaels' Pages - LM Ports Still have to figure out a decent way to share executables with people for those who aren’t comfortable compiling. I experimented with trying to create some deb files for Tuxmath at one point, but never heard back if anyone was actually able to use them. Need to update a lot of the stuff I’ve uploaded, but since no one’s really been using them, I haven’t really gotten around to it. I prefer working with cross-platform programs, so I also have tons of FLOSS builds that work on Windows and would probably work with Wine.

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If I had a magic wand and could bring some project into existence, here’d be a couple:

  • Web of trust-based moderation for the fediverse - moderation is a blocker for creating greater interconnection between instances and my theory is that WoT is the most scalable possibility.
  • Digital camera that cryptographically signs every photo/video it takes - This addresses the problem of authenticity in a world of deep fakes, old, and doctored images and video. If the camera signs it with a user’s key who has reputation at stake and consumers of media start to demand this kind of signature, then we can say, yes I trust this video as much as I trust this person. Also links with WoT above.
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Though it is a slow-moving initiative and not yet launched, I am involved with setting up the crowdsourced Social Coding Movement that will leverage the Fediverse and highlights the huge part of free software development that is social in nature. Initiatives such as yours can benefit from that.

Other than that there’s bringing Murmurations concept to the Fediverse as an “RSS on absolutely freaking steroids” that also has use cases to what you are interested in doing.

I felt the same way about not just git but all source control as an individual programmer. Being able to go back in time felt like a nice trick but wasn’t worth it. Even after having paying customers, I was perfectly happy emailing zip files and unzipping them to deploy.

It’s only when I got a job working in a team of developers that I started to see the benefit. Git commits provided an easy way for deployment scripts to pick up a particular piece of code, run it on staging, then on the production machine. It also let us work together, reviewing each others patches and deploying our work on the same codebase, rolling back when necessary, but everyone else being able to move forward with their own stuff after rollback. So I’d say git is good if you want to make it easier to work with others.

I now consider git to be essential as the predominant form of course control that FLOSS uses and a key way to keep distributed software development from devolving into total chaos. Going a bit further, I feel that git and github’s pull requests simplify enough of that that we can be more adventurous up the stack in doing more forks getting more fluid about which fork of any library we wish to use and build communities of people who all have their heart’s content of say in code.

Guess I can add another dream, which is more tactical and that’s that C4 (Collective Code Construction Contract) become more widely used in FLOSS and that it acheives that use by proving a competitive advantage. In the ideal, it’s something that tips the balance for many more people from proprietary to free software.

Great topic @makarygo This dreaming stuff is fun! :relaxed:

I’ve used version control to restore some projects for work more than once. I’ve been trying to promote the use of version control at my current job for 15 years and they’re still not willing to use it. We do have the ability to spin up whole snapshots of a Linux machine though if we need to restore something at work. I do like certain version control systems especially if they’re easy to build from source themselves. However, just do not particularly like git.

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