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A lot can be said about moxie's web3 post.

I'd like to consider just one sentence here.

"People don’t want to run their own servers, and never will."

First part is true. But why?

Even my grandma can install android apps. Apps have become so easy because big tech pushed for it to be. Big tech never developed the concept of set-top box-like homeservers, not in their interest. If pushed like apps, homeservers would be easy too!

People don't want to? They never were given a proper chance to!

Ergo, if development effort was put into making homeservers as easy to set up as a set-top box, people maybe would run their own servers.

So they never will? If we push for sane decentralization with solid tech for at home, they might just in the future.

"People don’t want to run their own servers, and never will."

=

- People don't want to drive in cold-fusion-powered cars, and they never will.
- But we don't have the tech to do that at the moment.
- Yeah, they really don't want to drive in them.

@yarmo It came so close to happening... nobody hesitated to run napster for reasons of 'but servers are hard'. But the ISPs would not play ball.

@feonixrift @yarmo napster... quake... i think some folks were even running ragnarok online on their own computers back in the day

@yarmo exactly, and the reason we haven't had the tech is because of the business models that are most profitable under current laws and pitiful regulation.

I'm hopeful Safe Network can change this. The network becomes the server and people have the choice to pay for their use either by running a node on commodity hardware (old PC or laptop, even Raspberry Pi) or purchasing tokens from others who do.

Should also be possible to earn doing work on smaller devices (eg mobile providing mesh etc).

@yarmo I don't think people will ever want to host their stuff, no matter how easy it is.

@person @yarmo some will never want to, some will never not want to. I think eventually you'd have little clusters or co-ops of folks who want to host, and take on the hosting for those who do not. But not at the scale and mostly monetary incentive of a proper hosting company.

@yarmo I’ve often pictured people using a raspberry pi in home with their own services. Unfortunately there is a lot to over come. Ignoring the Limitations of pi and setting up software. Let’s pretend that’s fully solved.

The part that’s hard is making it just “work” if they decide to leave the house still be able to access their stuff.

@geekgonecrazy oh yes, there's a lot to overcome. My server likes to crash when I leave.

But that's the thing: I can install apps with a single button on my phone. All the stuff that happens behind the scenes: the builds, the dependencies, the versioning, the delta updates. So much automation to allow the one click process.

(Oversimplification)

Surely, if as much care was put into homeservers, there'd be little we couldn't solve: DNS, network, backups, server restarts

(Conjecture galore :/)

@yarmo this is certainly true! If we wanted it bad enough it could be so. Site.js and YUNOHOST are a couple of great projects in that direction. Maybe embracing something like WireGuard would have with that sort of connection back

@yarmo big tech is not a uniform group either (in terms of hardware footprint and business model). Apple could do easy-to-install ubiquitous fediservers like as a weekend project.

Is it really not in their interests? Not clear.

Everybody bought into the idea that extreme centralization is actually a stable long term pattern.

The rear end of the winner-takes-all pattern is that winner must suppress all. Not very stable.

@yarmo

and that is as relevant (if not more) than license compliance

@yarmo
>Ergo, if development effort was put into making homeservers as easy to set up as a set-top box
Freedombox https://www.freedombox.org/

@yarmo how good are Linux distros at it? I mean, they're already doing this job, really the concern is if they fail sometimes.

And the other problem is dealing with the internet, like getting a domain name, constant IP, etcetera?

Federated systems don't solve this for people, but other decentralization bittorrent or tox.chat do.. yggdrasil-network.github.io/ can pass along any server, which is nice. (even with occasionally-down servers suppose might use it with RSS or something)

@yarmo with yggdrasil, do wish they had a commandline argument to turn sharing local servers. Can do that in the config by setting `IfName` to "none", or using the IPTables instructins in the FAQ
yggdrasil-network.github.io/fa

@yarmo Free (a French ISP) put a fair bit of functionality in their router boxes, including file serving and a torrent client. And ordinary people use it, because it's easy to set up.

Imagine if they made it possible to have server apps ... That would absolutely be something normal people would use.

@yarmo do we need to create a yunohost boxed product ? sounds to me like the idea of #freedombox still waits to be fixed. (... by us)

@stereo yunohost is already (I think) *the* solution for people with minimal tech skills.

But you still need significant tech skills.

Freedombox came close indeed. Something like that but with yunohost. Sounds great honestly!

But I don't think my parents would be able to work with such a device. Somehow it should also internally take care of buying domains (or be assigned some organization's subdomain), DNS automation, router port config...

@yarmo instead of one laptop per child, its one yunohost per family. #oypf

@yarmo @stereo Yunohost takes care of domain if you want. You can choose a subdomain under .nohost.me, noho.st or ynh.fr. It's dyndns and you don't have to set up DNS records or anything, it's all handled for you.

For the problem of port-forwarding, there's the internetcube project where you can get a yunohost box (on a open hardware SBC) with vpn so you have a fixed IP through that with ports open, https://internetcu.be/

It's how I got started and it worked pretty well. Of course, there are still problems with it. There are some non-profit ISP's who provide it, but you need to find them and hope there's one close enough to where you live. And although things are made much easier, I think you still need at least *some* interest in self-hosting. It's definitely not on the grandma-can-install-an-app level.
@Yarmo I diagree with Moxie on a lot of things, but on that aspect actually think he's spot on. Most people do not have an interest in running any sort of server. (Some of us do, but that's our problem.)

What he does not seem to grasp is that it's not a choice between only a few giga-corps hosting everything and everybody hosting their own. We could (and should) be able to have many smaller groups, organizations and even companies hosting interoperable services.

In the web's early days we used to have that. People weren't running their own servers, but you normally got an email address and a home area on your local ISP's server(s) when you signed up. It had it's disadvantages if you wante to switch ISP, but were still better than what we have today.

@harald fair point.

In the extreme "people do everything themselves", I'd try to avoid the heavily loaded "running a server ". I just imagine a little box you turn on and voila, mails and chat messages are now stored on it as soon as you scan the box's QR code in your apps.

The way tech is in its current state, I agree with you, the better model would be to pick a local hoster and pay them for their interoperable services. Like @ChatonsOrg 's model.

@yarmo @harald @ChatonsOrg

I hate to bring crypto into it but check out getumbrel.com/ which sells a personal server appliance with many FOSS apps. The hook is that you can mine bitcoins.

@nilesh I didn't know about umbrel but look at that! A neat little device that you put in your home, stays on, and runs services that you want!

Not fan of the crypto side of it but regardless, it's a beginning!

(Product taken at face value, gonna dive deeper into it)

@harald

@yarmo @harald

Yes, it takes nothing more than packaging a better app store for server applications.

Umbrel's store/dashboard is available with non-commercial license. But Debian/Raspbian could have built this long ago. github.com/getumbrel/umbrel-da

@Yarmo Yeah, I like the Chatons model too. Would be nice to be able to build up something similar other places.

I agree however, that to get home hosting more viable work to make it simple is needed. But again, perhaps a hybrid model is needed. A box/service you can buy from a lokal entity that you can place at home, but that is maintained/updated etc by professionals.

Working in IT security myself, I have a hard time to beleive we're anywhere near a point where people without a certain level of tech competence are able to run a server on the internet safely. Just look at how the IoT space has been completely pwned by the DDOS as a service crime gangs.

@yarmo they run their own Alexa server quite happily.

Or perhaps that's more like letting Amazon run their server for them?

@yarmo we get a glimpse of what could be if we look at game server hosting. Casual players would just host a game server because it just requires running a binary. At worst you have to fiddle with ports on your computer/router.

Alas even this is a dwindling practice as even online games become more centralised in order to maintain artificial scarcity of assets you have to buy (microtransactions)

@yarmo I feel like #yunohost is going in that direction. Though I am much of a tech person, so not sure if this'd work for others as well.

@yarmo
>People don't want to? They never were given a proper chance to!
Indeed. And it has consequences more dire than we think of.
"Many gardeners simply believe in the power of fertilizers because they are exposed to advertising.
Phosphate, we have been told, helps grow healthy roots.
Unless you dig up roots, who can really tell?
But I am a believer. Boron is needed for pollination. O.K. And Calcium or magnesium has something to do with preventing spots on tomatoes.
Why does it matter?
Although gardening is all about growing plants, many gardeners don't understand how nutrients actually work, how they get into plants, and what they do thereafter, you won't have to rely on someone else who is only guessing what your plants need. You will know something about how fertilizers work and whether what you are paying for is worth it. Information is power."
"Teaming with nutriants" page 15.

@yarmo @hbenjamin the risk profile for running servers is different to apps, while they could definitely be easier, I'm not sure it's possible to get to that level for servers.

@yarmo

Yet, one of my favourite parts, is there, right at the beginning:

"..I have not found myself particularly drawn to “crypto.”.../...I don’t share the same generational excitement for moving all aspects of life into an instrumented economy."

... says the guy who helped developp a new "MobileCoin" ponzi-shit to run on the centralized platform he owns...
archive.is/YZ6At

(while he promised 7y ago #Signal would be usable without disclosing a "strong selector" phone #....)

@jz the post has a bunch of "pearls" like that but indeed "not particularly drawn to crypto" made me reread the sentence twice.

@yarmo "People don't want to run their own computers, and never will"

-- from an alternate universe where the internet came in about a decade earlier

@yarmo Never given a chance is true. But this doesnt change the fact that (now - at this time) they dont want to.

Managing traffic to get to your server, setting up your security and organizing your incoming / outgoing, setting up OS and applications, maintaining, updating, resolving dependencies, ensuring proper uptime, paying the bills for hardware, power and services, etc. etc...

Why would anyone want to when they could just push a button on their phone?

@Ged @yarmo

An infuriating points in M's take:

There is either *the user*, alone, individual, in their corner, or...

*the corporation*, benevolent like Signal Corp., making for everyone the choices of "easy" (to the detriment of anonymity/pseudonimity, decentralization, empowerment, etc. cf. mamot.fr/@jz/10040650553305833 ).

It is some hyper-capitalist bullshit myth!

"User" is not alone! they have a family, a crew, association, neighborhood, municipality.

At all these levels we can mutualize!

@Ged @yarmo

That's a common trick of "good speakers" (ie. people using rhetorical tricks to convince you of something): cornering the audience into a binary choice.

Do you want to run your OWN server, alone by yourself? NO!

So you agree that [whatever we present as the only alternative, ie. let the corporation make "easy" and chose for you.]

We must stand against such polarizing binary crap!

Our humanity and capacity of action lie into what is diverse, not binary.. ironical for nerds! ;)

@jz @Ged @yarmo Personally I think all this crypto/blockchain related concepts are not going to work, because it is simply just too complicated - if we want everyone and their mom to use this technology, it needs to be as simple to setup as wordpress is.

Corporations do provide that ease, just create your account and you are part of the ecosystem, and that comfortability is what needs to be defeated.

For them it's not about the tech, it is about how I can use it to connect to others.

@jz you're so right. Only, its not that easy. From my first hand experience:

After WhatsApp revised their pri. pol. last year, I've been raging for people to move to a free alternative. Ive written blog posts, moved my family to XMPP, done YouTube videos on "free" chat programs and so on...

Want to know what I accomplished? Nothing. No one cares... Not only that, people think I'm exaggerating and continue using WA.

It may be my failure, but this is not a one way highway...

@yarmo

@Ged @yarmo

Hey! Don't be too hard on yourself!

Nobody has the capacity to change the whole world by themselves.

We can only try our best, do what we feel is right, and stand hard against the temptation of the compromises and "easy" paths...

You moved your family to XMPP. That's an achievement! 🎖️ Maybe they each will move one person, and so on..?

Acting where we have an actual capacity of action is what keeps us going, against the depressing forces of our opponents with deep pockets...

@jz yeah dont get me wrong. Im not saying I give up; Im just sharing my perception of what society looks like.

From what I see, hardly anyone cares about ideas any more... Concepts like "freedom," "equalty," "justice" are just words that do not arouse feeling. Its sad.

Given the circumstance, I dont believe many will be applying to their ISP for a static IP (and pay extra for it), let alone setup a home server (for freedom) when Zuck is already giving them what they need...

@yarmo

@Ged @yarmo

Also we need to ebrace "failure". For often the definition of "success" is owned by our opponents and their cybernetic machines that count everything on Earth. Let's aim for quality not quantity!

"Failing" at getting quantity at anything is a step towards learning how to do it better, even if only for ourself.

Here again the main objective is to not *let ourselves be discouraged* by the machines-and-their-numbers of our opponents, who tell us when we "succeed" and when we "fail"!

@Ged @jz @yarmo

Hey!.. Forgive me to point it out, but it's obvious your mistake. If you had've done PEERTube videos it all would have worked out great!
😜

@keith if only that be true 🤔 well its back to the drawing board then 😊

@jz @yarmo

@Ged @yarmo
This is a REALLY good description of why running servers is not fun - anymore.

Further to what @jz points out, it's worth stopping for a moment (or longer), (re)thinking about the WHY of any of it.
From the point of view of my work in a fragmented oft-disconnected world off of the beaten track of the data-highways, there may be no other choice but to run servers! The good thing is that a not-connected space is also a less hostile place; a good space to learn to have FUN again.

@keith but isnt the argument about being "free and connected?" Pardon me for this but maybe could I be missing something?

@yarmo @jz

@jz @yarmo I'm a sociology student and @mwlucas's Absolute OpenBSD was one of the easiest books I've read in years, I was reading 500-pages books when I was 10 years-old, come on Moxie

@yarmo Because there's a vast difference between running an app with someone else's server behind and running a server 24x7, including making sure the software remains up-to-date, data gets backed up properly, hardware is maintained and replaced, anti-abuse measures are in place and updated (see spam protection for e-mail), responsibility for abuse happening nonetheless is handled, ... . I think our biggest problem is mistaking "installing" a server with actually "running" it.

@z428 @yarmo Yes, but similar maintenance are done on phones anyway: keeping your apps up-to-date, backing up photos on cloud, getting a new phone every few years, and deleting junk regularly (SMS and email). (Handling first-party abuse is probably not applicable to small private servers?) The problem is these processes are still bothersome for the public, yet they could be improved with public interest. See also YunoHost.

@austin And most people, for that matter, still are totally overwhelmed by these processes on smartphones, like (Signal, Threema) losing their accounts and their full history whenever they move to new hardware. So most non-tech folks in my environment either don't do that or give their phones to their phone shop of trust for doing migrations (leaving out SMS deletion for a moment, this seems an entirely different level). I actually know Android users who never installed app updates. 😐

@yarmo

@austin (And even YunoHost is complex. It's in some way complex to techies who have never been into hosting infrastructure before, and arbitrary "smartphone" people usually don't even have the slightest clue what a "server" is and what that "hosting" possibly could be.)

@yarmo

@yarmo people don’t want to run servers because it’s not as easy as installing an app

That’s why I’ve been saying that installing #Mastodon and #Pleroma need to be as easy as installing #PLEX. Like, that software is a server, but it’s so dang easy to install, and accessible to #Windows and #MacOS users, not just #Linux users

@yarmo maintenance? It can be a chore.

Other thing that comes to my mind is consumer mentality. Consumers are not builders and that is fine.

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