Ahoy. You might not have noticed if you were smart enough to live under a rock, but it turns out social media companies don't actually care about free expression and liberal values so they're banning communities that go against "Community standards".

Those standards appear to be, "Don't not be a leftist".

This isn't a post to debate that topic, there have been plenty so far that are, but instead it's a call to action: **We're like, REALLY fuckin' close to finishing our viable, federated, decentralized alternative to this community. We need people to run nodes, test the software, and submit bugs. We could also use people that help fix those bugs.

You might have seen our previous stickies on the topic looking for developers, and from that we had enough development manpower to accomplish quite a bit. You can see the results of our work on the development of the software here: https://dev.goldandblack.xyz

Note! Extremely work-in-progress! It's getting close but its not exactly "finished".

And that's why I'm posting this.

See, we want more developers. It took us months to get this far and though we did get this far, we could get further far if people hopped on board.

What we're looking for: Decent with JS frameworks, like Vue, Angular, or React? Hop on our github and see if you can't tackle something on our to-do list.


Are you not a developer, but a sysadmin who manages servers and does IT stuff? Best thing for you to do is to spin up your own server, with blackjack and/or hookers, and federate with us. We have instructions for how to do this on our discord server, as well as a tech-support channel to facilitate people who have trouble setting it up. Eventually we'll have this nice and dockerized and simple but it isn't eventually yet. Here's a link: https://discord.gg/UtuurXvXeV

FAQ: How does it work?

Our project has certain goals of user-friendliness, mobile-friendliness, and responsive design. We want it to work well in most modern web browsers, be extremely lightweight, and to look nice. Our project is called "Hoot", and the github is linked above.

Our project runs on a server that is running another piece of software, called "lotide". Lotide does the majority of the heavy-lifting, it handles all aspects of the DB, it handles federation, it handles user accounts and posts. Hoot is a front-end for this software. (As an aside, there is also another front-end for this software made by the same developer, it's called Hitide and it has a different set of goals, for instance it uses plain html and minimal javascript, but it is more feature-complete and you might even prefer that interface.)

What does "Federated" mean?

This is the best part.

Reddit, the Tweetbook, and other main Web 2.0 online chat are "Centralized". That means the people who own the server basically facilitate all discussion on their own infrastructure. If you send me a message on the Reddit, you basically send the message to Reddit, Reddit gives the message to me next time I'm on there.

If I don't have a Reddit account, you can't send me a message on Reddit.

However, think about email: If you have a hotmail email address and you want to communicate with someone using aol email, you can do that. The email server you have an account on sends a message to the email server that your friend has an account on, and even though you're not on the same service, you can communicate.

That's because email is "Federated". Likewise, with Hoot, you can be a user on goldandblack.xyz and follow communities and reply to posts made on projecthoot.org.

The practical advantage of this means that instead of having a single point of failure where one rogue web host could just ruin your day, there are options and alternatives for you. If your account gets deleted, just start up on a new server and communicate with your old buddies, no big deal! It allows a marketplace of communities on a topic, different rules could apply on different communities, and you could choose which one you follow based on your unique preferences and values.

Heck, set up your own server with blackjack and hookers if you want.

The reason I like /r/GoldandBlack is because the moderators keep of the hordes. Is this a completely uncensored alternative?

Nope, the censorship is managed by the people who run the server. It is entirely none of our business what other servers do with their stuff.

For instance, on our server we intend to have very /r/GoldAndBlack -ish rules, stuff against being a troll and toxic and that sort of thing that our users have grown to appreciate over the years. Other servers might have much stricter policies, and since they run the servers they can do what they want. Others might decide to have it as a free-for-all, and that's their prerogative. It's none of our business.

What are the biggest, most important things that need to be done before it is ready?

All the issues with our software we know of can be seen on the issues page on github, but right now we're trying to ensure we cover 100 percent of the lotide API spec. Of those functions we're aiming for, the most important thing on the "todo" list is adding functionality to create new communities, adding a function to allow people to follow remote communities, and adding password reset functionality.

What license is Hoot using?

The best license ever, the MIT License! https://github.com/ProjectHoot/Hoot/blob/master/LICENSE. Lotide uses the best license ever, the GPL3.

Would I be able to make new communities without spinning up a server, like how I can start a new subreddit?

Yes, multiple communities are hosted on the same server, it isn't just a one-and-done sort of deal.

Why not use (insert other project here)

We probably looked at it and it probably wasn't suitable for one reason or another, or at least not as suitable as what we went with. However, we do have far-in-the-horizon plans to support multiple backends other than lotide.

Also, we are trying to remain content-neutral, UNLIKE SOME PROJECTS WE KNOW OF....