Groupware is the new BBS


#1

Wow NextCloud supports a WebRTC chat interface? Good to know, that wasn’t around when I last played with it, but I haven’t touched it since a month or two after the initial OwnCloud / NextCloud split.

Interesting enough I think your onto something with the “new BBS” thing. Though it reminds me how I was asking for distributed public unix systems, and someone pointed out that it’s the internet really, just without shell logins.

From the other end Citadel/UX is a BBS that is evolving towards modern web based collaboration.

Convergent evolution?


Game Plan 2018
#2

I am fine moving posts into new threads, but it is always awkward to set a title… :grimacing:

Funny you should mention Citadel, as I keep referencing that in my thinking, since it is marketed as “groupware” collaboration platform.

The process for me involved asking what made a BBS a BBS. I have the same question about MUx servers (and honestly, wikae as well); if I break down their attributes, other systems have those attributes, but just not in a particular configuration that says, “oh, this is a such and such system”.

For me, including a modem stack in a BBS project, or telnet in a MUD project, these are silly throwbacks and should be discouraged. I know these are very heavy hobbyist territories, but if want the benefits of those systems, we have to scrape away the parts that are purely hobbyist or nostalgic, and then we have the crux of what we are looking for.

Because when I MUD or login to a remote system, I am not trying to emulate a 30 year-old interface, I am trying to feel like I did using those systems, connecting with people in a particular way. If those feelings were enhanced by the restraints of the tech, it is a great revelation, and I look for it! But in my case the experiences are not based on the tech involved.

Okay, so when I think of a BBS, the main appeal are “doors”. And not specific doors, just the concept of external interfaces from a single space… sounds a lot of apps in Nextcloud to me.

I’ve also considered if I should look for something like loading arcade games into a WordPress site, as I’ve seen plugins like that, but Nextcloud is a different creature, in that it is based on groups first and foremost, so all the apps are created through that lens, creating spaces that make me feel the same as using an asynchronous BBS where folks aren’t logged in at the same time.

Also, because so much of my early internet usage was downloading text files to read and share on floppies. :slight_smile:

I have this domain, mage.party. I plan to use it for my group activities (interi for knowledge, maiki.blog for personal, mage.party for community). Among the projects I’d like to have on there is a Nextcloud instance, with less focus on file sharing (it is federated, so I am hoping to spread the cost of hosting massive RPG PDF and ROM collections :stuck_out_tongue: ), and more about not only using Nextcloud as an internet user, but specifically for having fun with one’s friends. Because if we aren’t having fun, da fuck are we doing, ne?


#3

I installed citadel a few months back just on my home box. I found it disappointing as it was so retro I couldn’t interest anyone I know IRL to use it.


#4

Aw, that’s a bummer. I had skipped over it as an option because it didn’t seem retro enough! Aside from the components I think can be included in other interfaces, specifically “doors”, there is one thing I love about BBS culture: ASCII and ANSI art!

But I feel like we can still get that, even as our tech no longer requires them for creative expression. There are probably more ASCII and ANSI artists today than ever before!

Citadel seems like it has done the full evolution of its features, as a software project. I think it is significant for that. :slight_smile:


#5

Im kind of reminded how a lot of the structures we are building have been built before but with different UX philosophies.

NextCloud is the new BBS.
WhatsApp/iMessage/Hangouts is just the modern incarnation of the 90s IM wars.
Reddit is the new more centralized Usenet.

It sometimes make me think we should be separating the user experience from the underlying protocols and back ends more. Let people choose what UX is good for them. Though that might also be wondering into XKCD standards territory: xkcd: Standards

Though MUDs over telnet are a 30+ year old now. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#6

I think Citadel might have evolved into an uncanny valley for a lot of people. Not enough like a classic BBS not enough like a modern collaboration platform.


#7

You’re probably right. I did use and run BBS’ back in the day. Today I use Masto (never used twitter or fb) and forums. You’ve forced me to realize I wasn’t sure what I expected.


#8

I saw long thread and a blog post the other day of ppl looking for forums ‘now that forums are dead’. When did that happen?
There is plenty of forum s/w around and I run some here and there.
What do all y’all think of e.g. matrix/riot?


#9

We actually have a lot of thoughts on Matrix. :slight_smile: