The diaspora* planet

blog posts by our community

diaspora* version released!

We did it! Six weeks after our first ideas to introduce a fixed release cycle, I'm pleased to announce we successfully finished our first minor release. This is our first release within a fixed release schedule and we are very happy that everything worked out well. In the last six weeks, we managed to collect 207 commits made by 21 contributors. While larger features like the chat or the full Bootstrap porting are still getting more and more stable in the develop version of diaspora*, we managed to include small but awesome features in this minor release.

A huge thanks to all the contributors from the whole community! If you want to help make diaspora* even better, please check out our getting started guide. Please read the changelog for more information about what has changed in this release.

Notable features
  • Aspect sorting is back again! #5559
  • Messages can get sent with Ctrl+Enter. #5910
  • It is now possible to follow and unfollow tags within the mobile interface. #5941

This release also includes a lot of fixes and refactorings on the federation modules, which should reduce the amount of failing jobs and increase the overall federation stability.


Update instructions are available as usual in the wiki. For those of you who have been testing the release candidate, run git checkout master before the update to get back to the stable release branch.

Our new release schedule

As you might have heard, diaspora* will now get released within a fixed schedule. If you want to know when the next freeze or the next release will happen, you can subscribe to the ICS feed. If you do not use a ICS-capable calendar or you just want to have a quick look, an HTML version is available as well. Our next release,, will get a candidate release on 2015-07-19 and should be released on 2015-07-26.

These are the changes made to diaspora*'s codebase during March, with 75 pull requests / commits from 14 different contributors. They will take effect with the release of diaspora* v0.5.0.0, which is coming really soon. We created a release candidate for this new version at the end of March; read this message to find out more about this.

Say a big thank you to everyone who has helped improve diaspora* this month!

This list has been created by volunteers from the diaspora* community. We'd love help in creating a development review each month; if you would like to help us, get in touch via the related thread on Loomio.

Augier @AugierLe42e
  • Darkened the border of the active comment input field #5724
  • Ported the notification dropdown, notification badge and global search to backbone.js #5707 #5761 #5788
  • Added a button to the single-post view to activate/deactivate notifications for the post #5722
Flaburgan @Flaburgan
  • Removed markdown code from the heading of a post #5730
  • Removed a superfluous border on the conversations page #5744
  • Replaced the 'Make Something' text on the registration page by the diaspora seed ball #5743
Aurélie Giniouxe @giniouxe
  • Moved the registration form to its own file #5764
goob @goobertron
  • Added tests for liking/unliking posts #5741
Jonne Haß @jhass
  • Explicitly set the log level for pods running in the production environment commit
  • Dropped a hack for embedding youtube videos which is now working without this hack commit
  • Tried to make our tests faster by using DatabaseRewinder instead of DatabaseCleaner to clean the database between test runs #5719
  • Removed a few unused files commit
  • Made the photo and profile export features use the same queue on the server to generate files commit
  • Fixed a possible bug in the photo export feature: now we check if the original file for a photo really exists before adding it to the export commit
  • Reduced the gap between publisher and stream #5740
  • Updated jsxc, the JavaScript XMPP client commit
  • Updated OpenGraphReader #5759
  • Added Ruby 2.0 support to a database migration commit
  • Modified a database migration to shorten indexes for tweet IDs commit
  • Added a Ruby styleguide and enabled Ruby linting commit commit
  • Updated Rails #5802
  • Updated the translations commit commit commit
  • Made the website use the reshare received by the server instead of the one cached on the client side when adding a newly reshared post to the stream commit
  • Updated a lot of Ruby gems #5812
  • Refactored the error pages (400, 422, 500), which used to embed images from non-existing URLs. Now the error pages are precompiled after each update. #5817
  • Replaced the default home page with a regular view. Before, the page had been static and contained embedded images from non-existing URLs. #5822
Lisa P @lislis
  • Improved the hover effect to show additional participants of a conversation #5776
Marcelo Briones @margori
  • Fixed the photo export feature #5685
  • Added rounded corners to avatars #5733
Martha Thompson @MothOnMars
  • Added specific error messages when an attempt to change password fails #5580
  • Added tests for roles (admin, etc.) that a user may have #5792
Pablo Cúbico @pablocubico
  • Ported the remaining stream pages to Bootstrap #5715
Sam Radhakrishnan @sam09
  • Unified margins for lists in posts #5721
SansPseudoFix @SansPseudoFix
  • Fixed the color of focused links in the header #5728
  • Fixed content overflowing containers in the desktop version #5731 #5752 #5767
  • Fixed the pagination design on the conversations page #5791
Selman Ercan @S-Ercan
  • Stopped hovercards from flickering#5714
Steffen van Bergerem @svbergerem
  • Removed some unused CSS files #5734
  • Updated the markdown-it markdown renderer #5736 #5814
  • Improved the style of the stream #5735
  • Added a missing http:// to links in posts and comments #5746
  • Changed the icons in the stream selection nav to entypo icons #5747
  • Fixed the char counter in the publisher #5749
  • Fixed the photo count on user profiles #5751
  • Fixed the mobile sign-up after an invitation #5754
  • Updated and removed vendor JavaScript files #5755 #5758
  • Refactored some templates to use helper functions #5763
  • Changed the post control icons to use entypo #5762
  • Fixed the notifications page on mobile devices #5766
  • Removed some unused CSS code and reduced the size of blockquotes #5769
  • Added rounded corners and improved the readability of the participants count on the conversation page #5777
  • Improved the style of the 'getting started' elements #5781
  • Added polls to reshares #5782
  • Refactored and improved the style of the sidebar #5786
  • Removed unnecessary steps from the test suite #5789
  • Uncommented some jasmine tests that were still succeeding #5793
  • Added guard-jshintrb to check the JavaScript code style on the fly #5794
  • Removed an unused layout #5798
  • Unified the style of the invite code #5799
  • Refactored the CSS code for post contents and unified the margins of lists in comments #5809
  • Removed the footer from stream pages #5816 #5821
  • Fixed different front-end regressions #5818
  • Added a message to the contacts page when there are no contacts in an aspect yet #5819
visualsayed @visualsayed
  • Added an error message when sharing a post which contains tag whose names are too long #5783
  • Fixed the missing reshare count on the mobile stream #5790 #5805

Every popular community powered open source software project has the same problem: to attract developers to keep providing new features and bug fixes at a pace which users of the software are happy with. Since becoming a community project in August 2012, every single line of new diaspora* code has been contributed by a community member. These community members are not paid and don't expect to be paid. They do what they do for the love of contributing, and their efforts have kept diaspora* growing, enabling us to release many quality updates to the software.

However, we are always looking for more contributors, and so we're always looking for better ways to find and attract new contributors. Many frequently requested features have not been implemented simply because none of the current community developers have time to work on them, or because they don't personally feel inclined to work on that particular feature. Of course every developer prefers to work on issues important to them, and we respect that. However, we want to provide our non-coding community members with ways to encourage our developers to work on specific features and other aspects of code.

This is where Bountysource steps in. Bountysource is a commercial platform that aims to unite users with developers, allowing users to directly sponsor development of issues they feel are important. While money is certainly not a determining factor for most open-source developers, it is something that everybody needs and thus could encourage a developer to implement code they might otherwise not have chosen to spend time on. It's also a sign to developers that a particular feature is really important to members of the wider community, because they are willing to put up money to see the feature created.

As the diaspora* project does not yet have a legal entity which people can donate to tax-free, Bountysource is a good solution for us, because users will be able to support the project with hard cash, while the project does not have to handle any money itself. All the money goes via Bountysource, from users to developers, without ever touching the project. Oh, and the Bountysource app is itself open-source, which we of course like.

So how does it work?

There are two ways users can sponsor development via Bountysource:

  • Placing a bounty directly on a specific issue.
  • Donating to the diaspora* team on Bountysource. The project team can then allocate money donated money in this way to bounties of their choosing.

Using Bountysource gives us two important benefits:

  • Users are able to sponsor development of the software. More importantly, they can support the implementation of a specific feature.
  • The project core team can influence the fixing of critical issues by channelling bounties to the correct place.

You can post bounties in either US dollars or Bitcoin. The same options are also available for pay-out to developers who work on a feature.

Things to be aware of

While Bountysource is a good solution, it is not free of charge. Users placing bounties or donating to the team on Bountysource need to be aware that Bountysource takes a 10% cut of any bounties paid out. Also, when you place a bounty on an issue, it is generally there until the issue is resolved – there is no “I changed my mind”, at least not yet. So before placing a bounty, make sure to note that the money is then placed permanently, until it is given to someone solving the issue. However, the Bountysource team will refund bounties if an issue is closed as a “won't fix” by the project team.

Great, tell me where to go!

You can find the diaspora* team on Bountysource. You can search for issues, view backers, existing bounties and of course post bounties here. As a developer this is where you will submit your claim once you start working on an issue.

Any issues that have bounties are also labeled as “bounty” in our issue tracker. The highest bounty ($163) is currently for the API. There are currently 13 issues with a bounty, totalling to an amount of $523. Recently one developer got paid $70 for implementing contacts management in the mobile app, which will be part of the next release of diaspora*!

These are the changes made to diaspora*'s codebase during February. They will take effect with the release of diaspora* v0.5.0.0.

Say a big thank you to everyone who has helped improve diaspora* this month!

This list has been created by volunteers from the diaspora* community. We'd love help in creating a development review each month; if you would like to help us, get in touch via the related thread on Loomio.

Akash Agrawall @aka001
  • Added a dynamic change of the user's minimum age from the pod's config for the settings page #5639
  • Added the ability for podmins to lock / unlock accounts #5643
  • Improved the help section #5706
arlo gn @arlogn
  • Improved the styling of the photo stream on the profile page #5521
Augier @AugierLe42e
  • Removed the header from the sign-in page for the mobile view #5623
  • Added the ability to link to a specific help page #5667
  • Added a help section for chat #5665
Dennis Schubert @denschub
  • Removed the file extensions for SCSS imports commit
Dumitru Ursu @dimaursu
  • Added checks for the database collation and added a line to the example config for podmins #5624
Faldrian @Faldrian
  • Fixed the position of moderation buttons (remove/block/report) on reshares #5601
  • Added keyboard shortcuts for reshare (r), expand post (m), follow first link in a post (o) #5602
  • Improved the avatar error handling which displays a default avatar if the original one isn't found on the server #5638
  • Add the ability to add contacts in mobile version #5594
Flaburgan @Flaburgan
  • Removed the sign-up button from the header when registrations are disabled #5612
  • Unified the design of sign-up, sign-in and forgot password pages #5391
  • Unified the post control icon tooltip by using the tooltip plugin for the post report icon #5713
James Kiesel @gdpelican
  • Added the creation dates of posts to the JSON export #5597
Aurélie Giniouxe @giniouxe
  • Fixed the text of the change button on the privacy settings page #5671
goob @goobertron
  • Standardized capitalization throughout the UI #5588
Jonne Haß @jhass
  • Updated the locale files commit
  • Updated Spring commit
  • Added a missing translation commit
  • Added editorconfig to the codebase so all developers are able to agree on the same config for their editors (trailing whitespaces, etc.) #5666
  • Added a feature which removes Unicode format characters from posts, fixing unwanted behavior of the markdown renderer #5680
  • Updated Rails to version 4.2 #5501
  • Updated a lot of rubygems #5709
  • Removed the .css extension from SCSS files #5710
Marc Burt @MarcBurt
  • Added a spec to make sure that closed accounts don't change the total user figure in pod statistics #5351
Sam Radhakrishnan @sam09
  • Added length validation to profile location, fixing an error thrown by the server when a user tried to enter a location longer than 255 chars #5614
  • Made the website show the correct error message when the profile data validation fails #5619
SansPseudoFix @SansPseudoFix
  • Fixed overflow of formatted code in comments for the mobile website #5675
Steffen van Bergerem @svbergerem
  • Fixed the aspect dropdown on the people search page, which wasn't working when users were added after fetching them from another server #5632
  • Removed 'photo export' link from the settings page, which wasn't working #5634
  • Removed some unused files and fixed the syntax in some jasmine tests #5635
  • Added the JSHint javascript linter which looks for errors in our javascript codebase #5637
  • Fixed the timeagos for the notifications page and the notification dropdown. Added a 'no notifications yet' message when the user has no notifications #5417
  • Fixed a typo in a helper function #5647
  • Updated the jasmine testing framework #5649
  • Added hovercards for mentions #5652
  • Fixed the badge count and automatic scrolling for unread conversations #5646
  • Updated the sanitizer for markdown-it, which removes unknown html tags from posts before displaying them #5661
  • Fixed a pending spec for the tag stream #5663
  • Removed the unused function last_post from PeopleController #5664
  • Improved the integration test for hovercards #5650
  • Added a invitation link to the contacts page #5655
  • Added the ajax spinner and improved the comment box for Bootstrap streams #5672
  • Add the year as a separator to notifications page and fixed a bug with notifications which were displayed in the wrong order #5676 and #5677
  • Updated jasmine-ajax #5679
  • Added transistions for opacity changes of post control icons #5682
  • Fixed notifications for new conversation which where broken on the develop branch 5686
  • Fixed a bug on the notifications page: the conversation button was only displayed when you had less than 20 contacts. Now it depends on the number of contacts in the specific aspect #5691
  • Fixed the style of the 'show more posts' button for the mobile website #5683
  • Updated markdown-it-diaspora-mention and markdown-it-sanitizer which fixed a bug: mentions no longer add a trailing whitespace #5711
Piotr Klosinski @WebDevFromScratch
  • Update the stream when resharing a post #5699
Zach Rabinovich @zachrab
  • Disabled sending emails for deleted accounts. Previously, the server tried to send an email to an arbitrary address 5640
Lukas @Zauberstuhl @Zauberstuhl
  • Added the ability to link to remote user profiles #5659
  • Updated JSXC, the javascript xmpp client #5648

These are the changes made to diaspora's codebase during January. They will take effect with the release of *diaspora* v0.5.0.0**.

Say a big thank you to everyone who has helped improve diaspora* this month!

This list has been created by volunteers from the diaspora* community. We'd love help in creating a development review each month; if you would like to help us, get in touch via the related thread on Loomio.

Augier @AugierLe42e
  • fixed the style of the header for the new statistics page: #5587
  • fixed the information about available services and open registrations, which wasn't correctly displayed on the new statistics page: #5595 and #5599
Marco Colli @collimarco
  • fixed a bug that linked a profile image from facebook instead of downloading it to the pod for the diaspora* profile: #5493
  • fixed the translation of timestamps on the mobile website: #5489
Dumitru Ursu @dimaursu
  • added a autoprefixer for CSS vendor prefixes: #5532, #5535 and #5536
  • converted MySQL fields to 4-byte unicode which improves the range of supported chars in posts on pods using MySQL: #5530
Faldrian @Faldrian
  • added an environment variable to specify the Firefox version for our test suite: #5584. The test suite sometimes has problems with recent Firefox versions, which can lead to failing tests when running the test suite on your own computer.
  • added buttons to the single-post view to hide/remove a post and to ignore a user: #5547
Fla @Flaburgan
  • added a currency setting to Paypal donations and allowed unhosted donation buttons for podmins: #5452
  • added followed tags to the mobile menu: #5468
  • removed the truncation for notification emails: #4830
  • fixed the active users count on the new statistics page: #5590
François Lamontagne @flamontagne
  • added a missing link in the FAQ: #5509
James Kiesel @gdpelican
  • improved the profile export feature. The export is now generated in the background and the user receives a notification mail as soon as the export is done: #5499 and #5578
Jason Robinson @jaywink
  • refactored javascript code for the mobile website to get rid of console errors: #5470
  • added some missing configuration for the profile export background job: #5570
maliktunga @maliktunga
  • improved the README: #5550
Marcelo Briones @margori
  • added the ability to strip privacy-sensitive EXIF data when uploading images: #5510
Sakshi Jain @sjain1107
  • removed the community spotlight setting from the settings page if it has not been enabled on the pod: #5562
SansPseudoFix @SansPseudoFix
  • fixed the style of the profile exporter on the settings page: #5582
  • added a statistics page. We already had statistics before but now they are more readable for non-technical users: #5464
Steffen van Bergerem @svbergerem
  • removed unused code from the ProfileHeaderView: #5472
  • ported the contacts page to Backbone.js: #5473. This implements client-side rendering of the contact list, which should speed up page load times.
  • replaced the markdown renderer pagedown by markdown-it: #5526, #5541, #5543, #5545 and #5574
  • added plugins for the markdown-it markdown renderer: #5551

Diaspora Yatra is a campaign in India, which started last week and is scheduled to continue until March 6, to promote diaspora* and to attain self-reliance in communication technology.

An historic perspective on liberty and power

“Yatra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “journey.” Diaspora Yatra, launched by the Indian Pirates with eight partner organizations, has already covered four districts in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Pirate Praveen, who recently created a one-step installer for diaspora* on Debian, is a key player in this campaign, engaging in constructive discussions about diaspora* with people from all walks of life.

A talk to a women's group in Kollam

In its first week, Diaspora Yatra has started becoming an investigation into what the concepts of freedom, decentralization, and privacy mean to different sections of society:

  • While the techie adults in Technopark, Trivandrum, where the campaign kicked off, had strong opinions about security in decentralized networks and its trade-off with privacy, the young students of Anchal West School, Kollam were more worried about keeping unwanted eyes away from their private affairs.
  • After being forced to think about how “free” services provided by other social networks are economically feasible for their providers, the teachers at Badhiriya Bachelor of Education Training Centre, Kannanallore were unsure whom to trust. But the kids of Mar Baselias school, Kaithakode were receptive and eager.
  • The working class who assembled at Government SNDP Higher Secondary School, were quicker to explore diaspora, encryption, and related applications. So were the students of Mar Thoma college, Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, who also were interested in the legal issues involved in using diaspora. The lawyers of the Bar Association, Alappuzha went a step further and talked about whether podmins should scrutinize the content published on their pods and about the jurisdiction of pods.
A session at a middle school in Kaithakode

It cannot be mere coincidence that every kind of person has an opinion about what diaspora* should be, moments after they discover it for the first time. It is exactly the hunger for freedom and individuality which these minds seem to have that the Diaspora Yatra team intends to sate.

To keep up to date with the yatra’s progress, check the Diaspora Yatra site and follow the #diasporayatra tag within diaspora*. We’ll post again on this blog once the yatra has completed.


Wingflag by Lukas Matt If you are an open source developer and live in Europe, then FOSDEM in Brussels is pretty much the place for you to be next weekend, the 31st of January to 1st of February.

With an estimated 5,000 open source hackers attending, and the legendary beer event to kick off the conference, we here at diaspora* can't stay away. There will be a bunch of diaspora* contributors and community members staffing a table there, and we would love to talk to anyone interested in diaspora*, the federated web – or just anyone who wants to say hi.

Seek us out by looking for the flag pictured here! We'll have some stickers to give away and would love to talk to users and especially developers.

If you are an enthusiastic diaspora* community member and want to help, check this Loomio thread!

Here is a list of the changes made to diaspora*'s codebase during December.

These changes will take effect with the release of diaspora* v0.5.0.0.

As usual, please give a big round of applause for everyone who has helped improve diaspora* this month!

This list has been created by volunteers from the diaspora* community. We'd love help in creating a development review each month; if you would like to help us, get in touch via the related thread on Loomio.

Marco Colli @collimarco
  • improved the code of the likes controller by enhancing the readability and using more specific errors #5491
Faldrian @Faldrian
  • fixed some unwanted behavior of aspect membership dropdowns in combination with hovercards #5487
  • fixed the broken markup for aspect membership dropdowns on the people search page #5488
James Kiesel @gdpelican
  • rewrote the profile exporter so that profile exports will be available in the JSON format. #5354
Jonne Haß @jhass
  • fixed an annoying bug for podmins: the sidekiq log (where you may find federation errors) was no longer written to a logfile but came out of the console instead #5419
  • replaced Spork with Spring which is the recommended application preloader for rails. That change sped up our test suite and makes continuous testing of our code much easier for our devs. #5443
  • improved some randomly failing cucumber tests in our test suite #5458
  • improved the Open Graph tags: when someone adds a link to a diaspora* page on another website, the website can use those tags to display a preview of the linked content. #5461
  • fixed a bug where an empty Open Graph description led to a broken front end (only for pods running the development version of our software) commit
  • wrote his own Open Graph Reader which reads Open Graph tags of other websites and helps diaspora* to show a preview for those websites when someone puts a link into its post. Before this we used OpengraphParser, which is no longer maintained. #5462
  • added a cleanup routine for invalid cached Open Graph Data commit
  • removed some cleanup routines from our test suite which were no longer needed #5463
  • fixed some bugs that were introduced while improving federation (bugfix for #5209) commit commit
  • fixed a bug introduced by #5461 which gave users a 500 error page when opening a reshare in the single post view whose original post has been removed. #5497
Marcelo Briones @margori
  • fixed a bug which allowed users to send private messages to others who weren't sharing with them #5449
  • changed conversations behaviour so that a conversation will be deleted from the database when the last participant leaves it #5478
  • improved the 'hide a conversation' tooltip on the conversations page #5477
  • removed content from notification emails related to limited posts #5494
SansPseudoFix @SansPseudoFix
  • fixed and improved the code markup in posts and profile information. The code markup should no longer exceed the boundaries of a column. #5422
Steffen van Bergerem @svbergerem
  • improved some randomly failing tests in our test suite #5444 #5446 #5447
  • sped up the test suite using Capybara::SlowFinderErrors. The cucumber tests are now about 50% faster. #5451 #5455
  • fixed a bug which had led to content exceeding the profile information sidebar #5450
  • changed the contacts page to display the chat icon (which you can use to enable/disable chat for a particular aspect) only if the podmin has enabled chat for users of that pod #5459
  • made poll answers appear in the same order when displaying a post as the author chose when creating the poll #5471
  • improved the wording of tagged people on the tag pages #5475
  • removed some unused code for the stream #5481


We're pleased to announce the release of diaspora* v0.4.1.0, which includes lots of bug fixes, changes and also new features. This release has already been tested as a release candidate by some community pods, so we don't expect too much difficulty for podmins when upgrading.

Here are the changes within this release:

  • The admin user search has been improved and admins can also close accounts directly from the admin panel. Project founder Maxwell Salzberg helped to add the account close feature, while Florian Staudacher did the admin UI tweaks.
  • Mikael Nordfeldth improved the federation layer by referencing the Salmon endpoint in Webfinger XRD. This change was made to allow GNU Social and other decentralized networks to integrate with diaspora* more easily than before.
  • Brandon made it possible to enter birth years from 1910 onwards on signup. Our more elderly users shouldn't have to lie about their birth year!
  • The 'lightbox' image viewer has been fixed by Faldrian. Now you can view a large number of photos without having the thumbnails block the actual photo.
  • Also from Faldrian, the in-app Help feature now has a section about keyboard shortcuts. Check them out from your user settings menu.
  • Poll creation was made easier by Damz and lianne from WeGotCoders by automatically adding a new poll answer field without requiring an additional mouse click.
  • A new Terms of Service/Privacy Policy feature is available thanks to Jason Robinson. Podmins can now enable either a template ToS (provided in the code) or write their own. Users will be asked to agree to the ToS on signup.
  • Jason also provided a Rake task to enable podmins to send an email to all or a specific group of users.
  • Damz from WeGotCoders added external crosspost services to the statistics.json output of pods. This allows pod lists to show which services are enabled for which pods, allowing new users to better choose a pod that matches the features they need.
  • Jaiden Gerig tweaked the notifications page 'Mark All Read' button to not mark all notifications as read, but mark those notifications as read that are visible in the current filter.
  • Petru Hincu and Florian Staudacher improved the way ignoring a user from the stream works. Now all visible posts from that user are hidden from the stream immediately.
  • It is now possible to delete previously uploaded photos from the photos stream. Thanks Lianne and Daniel Sun from WeGotCoders for this much-requested addition.
  • Most of the remaining Blueprint CSS framework pages have now been ported to Bootstrap. This includes the admin, help, getting started, people search, settings and contacts done during this release. For this important work we thank Florian Staudacher, Pablo Cúbico and Błażej Pankowiak.
  • The login page has been completely redesigned by Steffen van Bergerem to fit the rest of the UI.

Bug fixes to old functionality;

  • Petru Hincu fixed a problem with the poll creation elements not being hidden after submission of the post.
  • kpcyrd helped patch a self-XSS in the aspect rename functionality.
  • Jonne Haß fixed Catalan JavaScript translations, which were breaking the new conversation contact search.
  • Dennis Schubert fixed mobile signups, which had been broken by a regression in
  • Erwan Guyader fixed two bugs with notifications. Now "mentioned" and "started sharing" notifications are correctly marked as read on clicking the notification.
  • Utah K Newman and Lyz Ellis fixed UI issues with input element borders.
  • Florian Staudacher fixed a particularly annoying bug where the hovercards got hidden in some situations under other UI elements.

Under the hood, there have been some non-visible changes, including;

  • Petru Hincu refactored some of the notifications code.
  • Goob helped to clarify the configuration defaults and explanations in the application configuration files.

As always, Jonne Haß has done a huge amount of work in maintaining the code base, making sure dependencies are up to date and helping our contributors improve their code. A big thanks also to Steffen von Bergerem and Florian Staudacher in helping land the UI changes.

Several new contributors pushed code this release, including Mikael Nordfeldth, Damz, Daniel Sun, Jaiden Gerig, Lianne, kpcyrd, Utah K Newman and Lyz Ellis. Big thanks to all of them for joining our effort, and a special mention to WeGotCoders, who have chosen diaspora* as a project to help their students learn Ruby on Rails.

A huge thank you to all the contributors from the whole community! If you want to help make diaspora* even better, please check out our getting started guide.

Podmins, please read the changelog for information about the manual steps necessary to upgrade to this release. For those of you who have been testing the release candidate, to get back to the stable release branch, run git checkout master before the update.

diaspora* four years

This month, diaspora* celebrates two anniversaries: it's two years since the project was formally handed over from its founders to its community, and four years since the first developer preview of the code which runs the network was released.

Since the hand-over in 2012 the community has continued to grow as more and more people look for a new kind of social network, in which you have the freedom to communicate in the ways you want to, and in which you can own your data. We can only estimate the number of individuals using diaspora*, as we explained in a previous blog post, but we can see that this number is growing steadily.

In those two years, since when we adopted a semantic versioning system, we have released 4 major versions of the software and 5 minor versions. Many dozens of people from all over the world have contributed to these releases, which have included performance and stability improvements alongside significant new features. The work of porting the interface to the Bootstrap CSS framework is now almost complete. This will make it far easier to streamline and improve the user experience in the future. We are currently testing a new minor release, version, which includes a number of performance improvements and bug fixes; and we're working on our next major release, diaspora* version 0.5, which will include major upgrades to Rails (the framework in which diaspora* runs) and Sidekiq (the background jobs processor), which together should provide a significant boost to performance.

To celebrate our anniversary, community member Augier has made a video showing the history of development of diaspora*'s software. You can see how it has grown over the past four years!

Big thanks to Perturbator for permission to use their music in the video.

diaspora* is always growing and always improving. As an open-source project, we're always keen to hear from people who can help us improve the software or who would like to help improve diaspora* in other ways. If you haven't tried diaspora* yet, have a look at our guide to choosing a pod, and come and join us. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your ideas!

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