[jdev] buddycloud update, and what next?

Simon Tennant (buddycloud) simon at buddycloud.com
Wed Jul 7 11:06:10 CDT 2010

We've been quietly working away on buddycloud.

Now we're looking for feedback on our very very alpha version of the 
web-client at http://buddycloud.com and also get ideas on what to work 
on next?

The website and mobile clients are built atop XMPP where users can log 
in an participate in their own channels 
(http://buddycloud.com/user/buddycloud.com/simon), friends channels, or 
topic channels (http://buddycloud.com/channel/football) and share 
location in a meaningful way ("I'm at home").

The basics of buddycloud are channels and location:

buddycloud channels are built atop pub-sub and let you bring your own 
jid to the party. A channel is somewhere between Twitter posts and IRC 
conversation. The distinction depends on the particular channel and the 
moderation team running it. Originally buddycloud channels were built on 
MUC, then we tried using PEP. After much client and backend reworking, 
we've settled on pub-sub as a much more flexible and robust solution. 
  Using pub-sub also works better for mobile users who need a 
low-overhead re-sync when they come back online.

Location (think "I'm in East London, UK") and place (think "I'm at home 
sweet home") sharing are done using bookmarks of surrounding WiFi, 
cell-id pattern or GPS coordinates (we're not really fans of the 
check-in madness and you don't need to become a mayor of anything). 
Location uses XEP-0255 and XEP-0080.  We're also working with the W3C's 
location sharing and still keen to push the 
http://oslo-protocol.googlecode.com for federated location sharing.

We continue to believe that many social networks should exist and 
federate with each other using open protocols like XMPP or the work of 
the Ostatus team. Users should own their identity and content and 
control their own privacy. We've tried to buidl buddycloud along these 
lines and we are participating in the Ostatus summit to see how we can 
make this happen for the non-XMPP world too.  This is our rough idea of 
how things should work; I'm sure that there are some good jdev minds 
that might want to add to this.

We think our next step is to enable any XMPP server operator can run 
their own channels and location components and to finish up the Android 
and the iPhone clients (also all XMPP transport).  The Nokia client is 

All code is opensource and we are keen for more participants to join us:

- web-clients, widgets and the mobile clients are all on 
- Smack for Android improvements are hosted on http://asmack.googlecode.com

We are also looking for help, especially as we add more web 
functionality. The next less-fugly version looks like this: 
  and should be out in the coming weeks.  If you'd like to join in or 
just watch progress we hang out in MUC: seehaus at channels.buddycloud.com

To quickly summarise what turned out to be a much longer email, please 
share how you think federated social networking built atop XMPP *should* 
look and what you would like to see as a next step.


Simon Tennant

mobile: +49 17 8545 0880
office: +44 20 7043 6756
office: +49 89 4209 55854

xmpp:simon at buddycloud.com
mailto:simon at buddycloud.com

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