October 6th, 2017 09:38

Other open app ecosystems

Bob Haugen
Bob Haugen Public Seen by 634

Nice image from the last one:
oae image

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 6th, 2017 09:48

StarCounter has a pretty different idea of "open" than (I think) most of us do. Freemium business model, Windows only (as of now), can't find their source code (or at least it is not prominently linked), and they seem to think that "open" apps should all use their framework...

Oli SB

Oli SB October 6th, 2017 09:52

glad you mentioned that too Bob ;)
https://starcounter.com/product/ says: "Starcounter is a combined in-memory database engine and application server for ultra fast development of high performance business applications. It is a true in-memory application engine. It was invented to let ISVs concentrate on building next-generation business applications without glue code, complex architecture, and expensive infrastructure. Less code. Better apps." and then wades into details of their proprietary systems and pricing - not much that's open about that imho!

The Mozilla post looks more interesting but is from almost 7 years ago! Anyone know if there have been any more developments of the OAE idea within Moz since then?


Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 6th, 2017 09:54

More from Mozilla:
* prototype
* marketplace
* utter failure

In other words, they gave up on the whole idea and now just want you to make progressive web apps on your own, but no longer in anything like an ecosystem. Not that their first set of ideas was an ecosystem, either: just a marketplace of apps. Not the same thing, if you ask me.

Simon Grant (Cetis LLP)

Simon Grant (Cetis LLP) October 6th, 2017 10:36

Surprise, surprise. How hard it is to conceive properly of something that merits being called an "ecosystem". To me, that seems beyond the reach of any individual; and equally beyond the reach of any hierarchy.

My guess is, thus, that an essential ingredient in the genesis of a planned ecosystem is that there needs to be a group of suitably talented people working together in genuine collaborative synergy. Of course, an ecosystem can happen without a plan, but probably won't display the characteristics that we value.

How to arrange?

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 6th, 2017 11:03

Firefox, ironically, crashed when I first wrote a reply here...trying again...

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 6th, 2017 11:10

We continue to work patiently toward this goal, although not much of our work has appeared in these Loomio threads recently. We have been buried in several related projects, all of which are feedins to OAE in one way or another.

We continue to think that the difference between a bunch of open apps, which are all wonderful, and an open app ecosystem, is that the apps work together for some ecosystemic purpose beyond the features of any single one of them.

So we work on apps for economic networks. I can imagine subsets of those apps which would manage alternative energy networks, or for educational programs. We are now working on something like that with http://learndeep.org/

I suppose purely social networks could provide other ecosystemic purposes, but not so interesting to me.

Simon Grant (Cetis LLP)

Simon Grant (Cetis LLP) October 6th, 2017 11:18

It's comforting to think of you, @bobhaugen and others patiently working away on this. You express the vision nicely: "apps work together for some ecosystemic purpose beyond the features of any single one of them."

My implicit question, which I will now make explicit, is: how does the way we work together affect the eco-systemic quality of our collective outputs? Or, more on thread: are there lessons we can learn from the most eco-systemic other other initiatives; or could we perhaps guess (no more) what doesn't work so well, by looking at their limitations?

Oli SB

Oli SB October 6th, 2017 11:22

"a group of suitably talented people working together in genuine collaborative synergy. How to arrange?"

IMHO this is task for the CTA - which is why I am still working on building something viable for this very purpose... as I see it the CTA's role would be to help coordinate (facilitate) a global discussion between "a group of suitably talented people working together in genuine collaborative synergy" to help define a 'road map' or some 'framework' or 'processes' through which such a groups could begin to define the tasks required to build a genuine OA 'ecosystem' :)

Simon Grant (Cetis LLP)

Simon Grant (Cetis LLP) October 6th, 2017 11:33

I'm easy about the name or banner we do this work under. And that's because, if we are working really well, the banner will not make any difference. What matters to me about the banner is the message that gives about the modus operandi -- who controls it; how it is governed; how decisions are made; how people express their care for each other and their listening for each other's views; how that care is enacted.

So how about looking first at the desired characteristics of the interaction and its governance, and then seeing which banner seems best suited to doing things that way?

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 6th, 2017 12:58

My personal plans in relation to this group include:
* Long-delayed signup for DigLife, to learn more about their setup, because from the chats and demos, it looked to me like they already got some flavor of an OAE working: different open-source apps with single-signon and navigation, with some degree of data-sharing and interaction between the apps, including a bot that can do some of the integration. That's a very superficial overview. I'm sure @jimwhitescarver could do better.
* Try the Communecter vocab mapping tool to map between an API using the ValueFlows vocabulary and the Gitllab API.
* This last will be done in the FairCoop context, which has their own suite of apps with single-signon, but so far, no data-sharing. And some people who are falling in love with the OAE idea, although they have not connected here yet.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 8th, 2017 12:39

Now I will also need to try https://disroot.org/ , prompted by @strypey

And I think also start a catalog of different OAE flavors or types or approaches or ideas about what that phrase might mean...

Like, for Mozilla, it seemed to mean an app marketplace. For Starcounter, a marketplace of possibly non-open apps using their possibly non-open framework.

For Disroot and DigLife, it means a bunch of open source apps tied together by a dashboard and single-signon, and at least in DigLife, some data-sharing among the apps and a bot that works in at least some of the apps.

We think we are working toward a somewhat different flavor but haven't gotten there yet (but it will include the DigLife approach, too - might even be able to live in either of Disroot or DigLife, I don't know yet).

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 9th, 2017 02:56

From the description given by @bobhaugen here, StarCounter sounds like classic openwashing. They are talking more about "apps" in the marketing sense of the word, the little hooks you try to get onto people's devices so you can track them and bug them with constant notifications, making your service as addictive as a slot machine. Whereas I think we are using "app" as a shorthand for "an internet-based service provided by a hosted instance of a particularl software package".

The Mozilla proposal sound like it's using "app" in the same sense as StarCounter. Their call is for more independent app repos like F-Droid, which was released a couple of months before this Mozilla blog post. This would have been about the same time the iThings and Android took over the handheld market, and the now defunct FireFoxOS project was being gestated.


Draft October 9th, 2017 04:34

@bobhaugen I've added it to the list of the potential partners we could work with (at different level) : https://cloud.communecter.org/index.php/s/CanHl03CCNB8lip

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 10th, 2017 00:14

If you haven't already, you could also add IndieHosters, OpenMailBox, and Cozy Cloud. Really surprised to see that SandStorm isn't on the list too.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 10th, 2017 11:06

Another couple of candidates:
* Gibberfish are planning a similar system to Disroot.org, but with a particularly focus on privacy and encryption. They are currently in private beta and I've applied to be a beta tester.
* Comunes Collective: developers of a number of commons-orientated, collaboration platforms, running on free code, including OurProject and Kune (a fork of Apache Wave I believe).

Jim Whitescarver

Jim Whitescarver October 10th, 2017 12:49

DigLife.com has great potential but is not that much further along in reality. I am happy you will join as connections will enable us to do more together than we might accomplish independently. There is a wealth of good work in progress.


Draft October 10th, 2017 20:00

@strypey The list for the wep app is here : https://cloud.communecter.org/index.php/s/LdblWQikmlbAZVv

We didn't put sandstorm anywhere cause we know them too much :D


Mikey October 11th, 2017 22:34

hey, if anyone hasn't already, i recommend checking out Scuttlebutt!

it's an off-grid social network for the counterantidisintermediationists. but much easier to explain and understand while using it.

it's a living and active community-driven ecosystem, this generation of the network has been alive for over 2 years now, we currently have ~100 people actively using the system every day.

daily active users

soo.. come join or something, if you want. :heart:

p.s. @bobhaugen we miss youuuuuuuuuu.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 12th, 2017 02:13

As I've said before about DigiLife, as soon as they replace their use of Slack with a self-hosted, free code chat system (eg Riot/ Matrix, or Patchwork/ Scuttlebutt), I'll start to take an interest.

EDIT: added Patchwork

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 12th, 2017 02:39

I'm coming back (finally gave up on fixing my old computer and ordered a new one), and am talking to @ivan116 about using Scuttlebutt for an Open App Ecosystem substrate. He's also seduced a couple of other people from FairCoop into the scuttleverse.


Graham October 12th, 2017 07:45

DigLife doesn't use Slack. Currently using Mattermost, which is open source

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 12th, 2017 23:48

Hmm. My mistake, sorry about that. Will post a correction on my blog. I was looking at the DigitalLife homepage yesterday and I thought I saw a reference to Slack. Now I don't see it, but I don't see a reference to MatterMost there either.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype October 12th, 2017 23:53

RiseUp has a list of 'Radical Servers', who host internet services for activists. Most (if not all) of them use free code tech, although often it's very old tech (eg SquirrelMail for webmail and GNU MailMan for email lists). Some of the folks involved may be interested in what we're trying to achieve with the Open App Ecosystem, and will certainly have experience to share about deployment, security, and long term maintenance.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen October 12th, 2017 23:57

We saw a demo, and mattermost was definitely their chat app.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype November 9th, 2017 07:37

I'm on an email list called CommonsCloud hosted by the folks from the Free Knowledge Institute. They are also working on a sort of open app ecocsystem, and have been testing Cloudron as a platform, which from what they describe seems similar to Sandstorm.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen November 9th, 2017 13:13

Cloudron is very interesting. As probably would be the mailing list. @strypey do you advise signing up?

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster November 9th, 2017 17:03

I signed up, will check it out.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype November 10th, 2017 02:37

Definitely @bobhaugen, they are a friendly bunch doing strongly aligned work. Might be worth inviting them to join this group too.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen November 10th, 2017 12:25

Go for it, if you know anybody there.


Draft November 11th, 2017 20:46

I follow @bobhaugen on this , this group is pretty neutral and accept anyone, so I think it's the good place to connect people who's working on the open app ecosystem. Working all together will arrive in a second time, but the moment we are all in the same place, we can start thinking about how we could work together. Which would be great !


Draft November 29th, 2017 01:31

@bobhaugen Seems like open app economy is at its beginning (I can't see anything concrete about it, can't even contact them), unless it's part of https://starcounter.com/ ?

So my question would be, do you know them ? Cause at first view, they don't seem very open, but I could be wrong, what do you think ?

Also, I didn't quite understand their solution, what is it ?

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen November 29th, 2017 12:36

They are not very open: they are misusing the word. As I said upthread, they have "freemium" business model for their app infrastructure, which is not open source, as far as I can tell. Free for non-commercial use, pay for anything else. They don't belong in the OAE. I mentioned them because I was looking at other claimants to some name like OAE.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen November 29th, 2017 12:40

@ahdinosaur - see https://github.com/nanomonkey/ssb_valueflows
Just getting started.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen December 15th, 2017 12:45

This is really interesting. Hat tap to Cannecy in Sensorica.
https://framasoft.fr/ more explanation

It's a huge collection of curated and hosted open source software-as-a-service. I wonder what it would take to tie several of those apps together into an economic network?

Tibor Katelbach

Tibor Katelbach December 15th, 2017 12:58

Hi Bob
Framasoft is a great NGO helping and promoting opensource software in france
They are planning in 2018 to put all the software on a younohost distribution of Linux
with a self hosted environment connectible with other similare instances

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen December 15th, 2017 13:22

Do you know any of the people?

And do you know if they are doing any integrations of the various apps, maybe like what DIglife is doing?

Oli SB

Oli SB December 15th, 2017 21:37

sorry, slightly off thread but, does anyone know how I can contact someone from Scuttlebutt?

Tibor Katelbach

Tibor Katelbach December 15th, 2017 21:40

Sure pierre yves is one of the leads on the team , i'll connect you guys asap

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen December 15th, 2017 21:41

@olisb who do you want to contact about Scuttlebutt, for what purpose? Lynn and I and @ivan116 are all on the network. @ahdinosaur is one of the devs.

Oli SB

Oli SB December 15th, 2017 21:47

thanks @tiborkatelbach ... hi @bobhaugen, I am just wondering if they might like to join the CTA...

Oli SB

Oli SB December 15th, 2017 21:53

ditto, does anyone know anyone at https://blockstack.org ? (for the same reason @bobhaugen ;) )

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen December 15th, 2017 21:57

What is http://collaborative.tech/project/cosystem ? Is that a renamed Open App Ecosystem, or something else?

Oli SB

Oli SB December 15th, 2017 22:05

that's what I was just wondering! I think it must be https://www.communecter.org it was added by @draft


Draft December 17th, 2017 09:35

Actually it's just some idea on the paper right now, I renammed it "appi" for now, it's just a code name (it's not very concrete/important for the moment, but I think it's good that it exists in the https://collaborative.tech website). But my will now is to make an event with everyone that wanna create this open app ecosystem, this event would be a workshop to work on this idea for 1 week to make it real !

I'm gonna create a thread on the loomio group when it will be more concrete.


Draft December 17th, 2017 09:36

@olisb Actually it's not, I'll create the communecter project at some point, if no one else make it.

Tibor Katelbach

Tibor Katelbach December 17th, 2017 12:58

Bob , You are right Initially, cosystem was the name we gave the ecosystem that got together for a few years in france with an oae approach. Then It fell a bit a sleep. i'm not quite sure how @draft sees a difference between co ( the short name for communecter ) and cosystem, i only see whats the same since both originated from the same source. Maybe we are learning about a fork today ? ☺

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype April 28th, 2018 13:25

A couple of other projects that might be worth making contact with to be involve in OAE stuff, QBix decentalizd CMS platform and Salut à Toi, a French group working on a federated social network using XMPP (wonder if they're in touch with FramaSoft and XLabs?). Also, has the Comunes collective who run OurProject.org and Kune.cc been mentioned here yet?

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype April 28th, 2018 13:28

Also, the group who work on Mov.im, and the various groups working on Slack-a-likes.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype September 12th, 2018 08:25

Another community project running services based on free code apps is Teknik.

Jon Richter

Jon Richter October 17th, 2018 18:18

Unfortunately the cloud.co.tools (formerly cloud.communecter.org) links do not work due to some "unauthorised WOPI host" (whatever that may be) while trying to display the spreadsheet. Is that the Collabora interface, or even LibreOffice Online?

I'd suggest to keep discussions about hosting groups in

About Cloudron my comment from

still applies.

Danyl Strype

Danyl Strype January 7th, 2019 20:44

Not sure if they've been mentioned here yet or not, but May First/ People link are one of the older US hosting services, serving websites and open apps for activist use. They have some ambitious upgrade plans that may be of interest to folks in this group. Some of you might be able to help them with advice on your experiences with specific software, and vice-versa: