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The World changes. It evolves. But not always the way we expect or even want. Sometimes things devolve, just like that.
The Internet was, once, a collaborative place where each one of us could contribute somewhat to pass the word ahead. Right know, it is becoming a place where some Monasteries are gathering all the information available, some of them are trying to restrict the open access somehow or, worst yet, getting burnt now and then, and we are loosing all that knowledge (had you read The Name of the Rose? Or perhaps watched the movie? Highly recommended!)
There's a lot of efforts World wide to overcome this problem, all valid, legit and needed. But not exactly sufficient, IMHO. This Confederation is my answer to fill the gaps.
With confederated services being provided by many (semi-anonymous but controlled) providers, the fall of one single provider will not compromise the system. And even if the Confederation itself became compromised, all that is needed is that the current providers reorganize themselves in a new one (and everybody will have just to update an URL in their own systems).
This "confederation" thing is what make that happen. While a Community solves a lot of problems, it can have some weakness: they usually are formed around a single person/entity/institution that, once goes belly up, lead to the dissolution of the community with, usually, a heavy loss of content.
Forums, databases, file repositories. We are loosing all of that as the times goes by and the Maintainers loose interest, time or resources to keep things up. Some of them manage to pass the baton to the next guy - but not rarely this new guy is not up to the task and the Community around him just capsizes slowly.
So "Communities" are good to gather people, but aren't the best solution to preserve content as the time goes by: we get a single point of failure.
This "confederation" thing of mine has the presumption to propose a solution for that single point of failure.
A controlled group of (confederated) people with resources available gathers together in order to keep some services running: file repositories, (some) databasing, search engines, mirroring and even things that I can't imagine now (somehow a Internet Radio come into it!) can be served by many appliances around the Globe, and then such Communities could benefit from them. Many different communities can reuse such services, each one in his own way - and if by some reason one goes down, the content is still available to the next guy wanting to run his own.
Such group should be "confederated" in the way that one can leave the group at any time, but can be back later the same way. The entering and the exiting of collaborateurs are controlled (but not necessarily restricted) so we can prevent abuse and others unsocial practices: a malicious guy, once detected, can be banned from the Confederation for good.
A fully detailed description of the services can be found here.
If you want to use or maintain your own box:
If you have a sparing Raspberry Pi, a 2Gb (or greater) SD Card and want to get into business with the less effort possible. :)
Yes, I know. The latest Raspian is already using Stretch. But I'm sticking with Jessie for the time being until someone figure out a safe and solid way to rip out SystemD from Stretch without rendering the box unusable and I have time to test the thing correctly.
This section is Work in Progress.
Link to the Project and Documentation, also WiP.
This ongoing effort would be not possible (or at least, would be very hard to reach the current level of functionality) without the great support from the following people: