For those of you that don't know, I've been spending the past few months
working on my independent implementation of the OSW protocols using
Clojure and Tigase. One of the differences between my application and
the standard osw-openfire-plugin implementation is that I include an
integrated HTTP server. What this offers, that the current
implementation does not is the ability to serve published posts as HTML
pages and Atom feeds even to non-authenticated users.
This has brought up the question of the expectations of privacy with the
current implementation. Up to this point, communicating over the OSW
network has felt like a private little group. You know the people that
are subscribing to you and you didn't expect anyone other than your
followers to ever see that post. This means that people have undoubtedly
said things meant for their followers that they never expected to be
made available to the world at large. (and especially not Google)
These posts were never private, they've always been (last 20, at least)
available to any user with an XMPP account and a client capable of
sending raw XMPP stanzas, (not to mention full OSW clients) but the
privacy through obscurity of a OSW network vs the wide open nature of a
web page and (eventually) full integration with OStatus is quite a
So I guess my question to my fellow OSW users is: Have you been
operating under the assumption that your posts were limited to your
current subscribers? Would you be offended if a cached copy of your
(everyone) posts appeared in the public inbox list of one of your
Diana mentioned needing a new level of privacy to differentiate between
"public" and "public to my network". There is also the concern about
legacy posts. Diana advocated the current status of "everyone" being
defined as "public to my network" and "public" meaning "public". I have
argued that "everyone" translates to me as public, and that there needs
to be a sort of meta-group for "subscribers".
For reference, here is what the current ACL rules look like:
What are your guys' thoughts? I think easy access to posts and
integration with OStatus servers is going to be vital, but I understand
the desire to keep some of the historical posts private. (I am, in
general, pro-living publicly)
Alas, I don't have comments working, but the post that started this can
be seen here (if running):
Sent from phone, please pardon brevity and typos.
We probably have a small enough user based right now that we can make this switch and make the default for all users to be public...
This does bring up an interesting issue with security. You can specify
privacy all you want, but once you allow that post to go to a different
server, you can not trust that it will stay confidential.*
*: I pledge that I will not intentionally violate the privacy of other
> Diana mentioned needing a new level of privacy to differentiate between "public" and "public to my network". There is also the concern about legacy posts. Diana advocated the current status of "everyone" being defined as "public to my network" and "public" meaning "public". I have argued that "everyone" translates to me as public, and that there needs to be a sort of meta-group for "subscribers".
If you go back to a previous post , you will see this:
How it works:
The user experience is dictated by the client, so different clients may expose none, some or all of these concepts, depending on what their aim is. The protocol itself enable to grant/deny actions to subjects. The actions and the subjects are extensible, so that some server and clients could add their own logic if required.
A subject could be:
- 'network' (e.g. limit to 'vodafonernd.com' to keep inside the company firewall)
- 'contacts' (anyone being in your roster)
- 'group' (e.g. a roster group. You could tag some contacts as 'friends' and limit sharing to them)
- 'relationship' (the users with who you have a confirmed relationship)
- 'individual' (a specific user JID)
I would assume that "everyone" takes on the normal semantics of "public".
I vote for "everyone" to mean all subscribers and "public" to mean
just that. I think it will be less confusing when compared to other
This does bring up an interesting issue with security. You can specify privacy all you want, but once you allow that post to go to a different server, you can not trust that it will stay confidential.*
*: I pledge that I will not intentionally violate the privacy of other user's posts.
I think the most important question rather than the label itself, is
what people feel about the activities they have published until now.
Whether they feel the current "visible to everyone" meant "everyone
following me" or that it meant "the rest of the world, I don't mind if
it's publicly accessible via a permalink!". Should we make everything
with the current visibility "everyone" available via a public feed
that others can subscribe to? After all, if someone starts following
me today, they will be able to see all the activities "visible to
everyone" I posted till now (well, the last 20, or everything if we
actually had Result Set Management).
We can make "everyone=anyone=public" and then come up with a new
"followers=subscribers" level of visibility if the current labeling
doesn't convey the appropriate meaning. I think the labeling itself is
less important than whether OSW folks feel comfortable with everything
they've posted until now being made publicly available. I'd be happy
to hear as many voices as possible on this one.