Rebooting my free services

I have a strong compulsion to emulate large, centralized platforms. I think it irks me to collaborate with others on sites that are owned by for-profit companies, because their rules are derived from the bottom line, and that is a community anti-pattern.

Or I was hypnotized as a child. I am not ruling that out, and will probably be leaning on it as an excuse to explain more of my behavior in the future. ^_~

Anyhow, I find myself assessing my network assets, and I have a lot going on. Some of the services I run are useful (like the talkgroup), but others are not utilized as I imagined they would be. Phabricator and GitLab come to mind.

Because I keep notes, I know my motivation in setting these up. I want free software and community resources available to folks that I don’t think would use them otherwise. Specifically, my friends. I like servers, and I like devops (see hypnotizing theory above), but not everyone has my time or skillset to spin up a site. So I figured I would do that, and folks wouldn’t need to default to the mainstream alternative that uses them as the product.

But as it turns out, the primary folks that use these services are people that could do it themselves. And everyone else is either not interested, or have activation inertia towards the mainstream.

I’ve known all this for a while, of course. It just didn’t deter me. But now I am seeing the return on investment in terms of time, and I’d like to spend that elsewhere. I want to make more impact, and I think cutting back on some services will free up the mental energy to produce some new projects I have in mind.

Specific sites and services

I will transition All the codes! away from GitLab. I am tired of being a second rate citizen with their “open core” model, and my host that was absorbed by the GitLab company is no longer dedicating enough resources to my instance, making it crawl along. Too many straws, so away it goes. Since I just need a web viewer and something that is fast, I am considering Gogs.

guildworks is complicated, because I really like the software, but I don’t develop software the way they do (meaning, I don’t really collaborate). I really love the way tasks work there, and I haven’t found anything similar, but it seems silly to keep that up just for that relatively small component.

I was going to run another community jabber server, but the admin for that is so prohibitive I am going to avoid it. Instead, to encourage federation and decentralization, I am going to create a node on, and will have a rolling project slot for helping others setup Prosody.

I’ve been thinking about wikae a lot lately, but I no longer think documentation should default to public editing. MediaWiki hits this niche that I don’t use, so I will be finishing off maiwiki. Instead of going through piecemeal as I’ve been, I will be exporting it as a whole into a static site generator, for archiving. Note: I have some exciting develops in documentation coming up!

I am keeping Discourse up because we use it often enough, and it is great software. But I am running it as a listserv (with a really great web interface), but I am not looking to integrate other sites into it. I want it to be great as its thing, which is sharing info for discussion.

And finally I am clearing the table for planned social network things. I don’t think the federated social network model works, and I don’t think anything that could scale against the mainstream can remain free and open. Instead I want to build recipes for specific social tools, which server me and my tribe, and which can be easily emulated for others.

And that’s it. Cleaning up, re-focusing. If you have any concerns about the sites I’ve mentioned, leave me a comment or email me. And let’s get a cup of tea sometime. ^_^

New wiki notice

I sent this out to the users that registered with an email address on maiwiki:

Hiya! This is maiki, the one that runs this wiki. I recently found that the database has so many bot registrations, it is now 17GB! While we don’t have an issue with spam in the articles, I did run out of hard drive space, so I am going to start over with a new wiki instance.

My plan is to migrate all the content over from this wiki to a new one, and turn off user registration. I will manually add folks to the wiki that wants to edit it, which has only been a handful of us, and that should take care of it.

I would also like to relicense everything under CC0 ( The current wiki is CC-BY-SA. The reason is that most of the content on the wiki is created by me, and I want to dedicate it to the commons.

If you do not want your content relicensed with CC0, please let me know and I will remove your contributions from the new wiki. ^_^


Locking down the wiki

I thought about it for a day, and decided to set the wiki to only be editable by those with a confirmed email address. The main reason is that I don’t have time to fight spam now, and this may help. It isn’t a permanent decision, though I fear that I may just leave it like that out of frustration.

Eventually I hope to find a different method for combating spam, and if I went ahead with my plans for a wikae cluster and filled it with active communities, it might work. I’ve got to think about this, but I don’t have the energy to do so now.


I am bummed out by the amount of spam I am getting in MediaWiki. My impulse is to turn on confirmed editing (meaning they need to confirm their email address), but that isn’t the wiki spirit. On the other hand, only folks that I know are using it. Sad.