The developers behind Diaspora, the social network aiming to build an open source Facebook clone, and maybe steal some of the giant’s thunder, have released their first bit of actual code.
The goal behind the Diaspora project is to create a social network that puts users in charge of their own data. As the developers put it, Diaspora aims to be a “privacy-aware, personally controlled, do-it-all open source social network.” Diaspora made headlines earlier this year for raising some $200,000 from online contributors (including Facebook).
The initial code release is considered pre-alpha — in other words, a long way from its end goal — but it’s now available to development community. If you’re a Ruby on Rails expert and you’d like to try hacking away at the project, you can grab the code from GitHub. It’s been made available under the
GPLv3 [Update: It's actually the AGPLv3].
At the moment, Diaspora is capable of sharing status messages and photos privately with your friends, finding friends around the web and controlling who see what with something Diaspora calls “Aspects.”
The roadmap to October’s alpha release includes adding Facebook integration, Data Portability support and internationalization. For more details on Diaspora’s goals and timetable, check out the detailed roadmap and wish list. You can also read more about this most recent launch at Epicenter, where Wired reporter Ryan Singel is on the Diaspora beat. If you’ve got strong opinions of what Diaspora needs or doesn’t need, be sure to jump on the mailing list and make yourself heard.