Friendica Hackathon 2019 in Berlin a Resume

Berlin, painted in November grey, coldish and rainy–perfect time for a Hackathon. Thanks to the lovely team of the youth-club E-LOK we had a venue for this weekend to get together and work on various aspects of Friendica. We thank you very, very much for the opportunity to use the studio over the weekend!

So, what did we do over the weekend? We talked a lot about current issues, modifications of current features and ideas for new ones. Had some great ideas and threw them out of the window again (how about putting the notifications into the block-chain?). Investigated the next steps on our way out of github. Some corners of the projects homepage got some clean-up and extension. Furthermore we

  • improved the federation with Diaspora* and Peertube and got some improvements for the federation with Funkwhale on the way,
  • added an export and import functionality for your followed accounts, that is hopefully compatible with the method other platforms (like Mastodon and Pleroma) are using,
  • clarified the functionality of the network views tabs,
  • enhanced the registration process and some aspects of the user interface

and we got pinned postings on the way (… to Hamburg).

While we sat together at E-LOK remote contributions to the code where done by the other wonderful Friendica developers who sadly could not attend

  • targeting issues with the profiles, especially the multiple profiles feature,
  • and bringing the saved folders widget in a better shape,

Thanks to everyone involved making this a wonderful meetup and productive Hackathon. Have you been at the venue, or contributed from abroad.


Friendica Hackathon 2019 in Berlin

As in the last years, we will have a Hackathon in Berlin to work on Friendica. The nice people of the youth-club E-LOK are kindly providing us again with the venue. Thanks a lot for this!

Friendica developers will meet over the first weekend in November (Nov 2nd / 3rd) near Ostkreuz Station in Berlin to work together on current issues of the code and brainstorm about upcoming plans for Friendica.

If you are interested to join the Hackathon, as developer or as curious user of Friendica, please contact @tobias ahead of the Hackathon.


Friendica 2019.09-rc Release Candidate available for testing

Today we have branched off the release candidate (RC) for the upcoming 2019.09 release of Friendica. Since early June, we fixed some bugs and added some interesting new features. These include:

  • improvements to the use of two factor authorisation. If you are using 2FA and apps, you need to re-set the passwords for those apps.
  • admins can now block servers based on URL patterns

and many bug fixes along the way.

Important

Please note that this version Friendica will not be running anymore with PHP 5.6. Minimal required version of PHP is now 7.0.

How to help testing the release candidate?

Please pull the current sources for the core of Friendica and the addons from github. You should see a notification about a new branch called 2019.09-rc during the pull. in both repositories. You just need to checkout this branch with a

git checkout 2019.09-rc

and remember to follow the usual steps after updating using git. Please report any issues you encounter using either the issue tracker at github or the Friendica support or admin forums.

We have changed the internal mechanism how requests are routed to the endpoints in the code to be processed. If you find any action, that is missing a response, please notify us about this potential missing route.

Should the DB update process get stuck

If you encounter this, please initiate the DB update manually from the command line by running the script

./bin/console dbstructure update

from the base of your Friendica installation. If the output contains any error message, please let us know using the channels mentioned above.


Friendica and Fediverse Talk in Berlin

There will be an introductory talk with discussion afterwards in the Berlin (Germany) Café Schätzchen (Dem Café für Schöne Dinge & Salonkultur) about the Fediverse as Alternative for Facebook, Instagram and nebenan.de as part of their parlour evenings.

In diesem Vortrag soll es um eine Alternative gehen: Das Fediverse

Dies ist ein soziales Netzwerk, welches nicht aus einem einzigen Anbieter besteht, sondern aus Vielen. Jeder kann sein eigenes Netzwerk betreiben. Jeder kann bei einem Freund/einer Freundin oder bei einem vertrauenswürdigen Verein einen Account haben. Und jeder Account kann mit allen anderen Accounts im Fedi­verse in Kontakt treten. Dadurch wird das Fediverse dezentral organisiert, ähnlich wie man es schon von E-Mails her kennt. 

Im Fediverse gibt es keine Werbung im Stream der Beiträge, kein Durchleuchten für Wer­be­zwe­cke, sowie mehr Kontrolle über die eigenen Daten. 

Und kompliziert ist es auch nicht – Freie Software hilft uns, das Fediverse für alle zu realisieren! 

The talk will be in German and is scheduled for 19h on Saturday, August 10th 2019. You can find the Schätzchen in the Marienburger Str. 5a in Berlin Prenzlauerberg.


Happy 9th Birthday Friendica!

Festive Flaxy O’Hare by @lightone

9 years ago, on July 1st 2010, Mike MacGirvin committed his initial work on what would become Friendica.

Since it has gone through many changes, PHP versions, maintainers, name even, but it is still alive and kicking and ready for its tenth year running.

Thanks to everyone who has donated or still donate their time to make Friendica and especially to make Friendica available by running public nodes.

Here’s to another great year for Friendica!


Friendica 2019.06 Released

Thanks everyone who contributed, be it directly by committing patches or new features, doing translations or reporting issues.

The Tazmans Flax-lily in a word cloud from the titles of the commit messages

And now, we happily announce the availability of Friendica 2019.06. It contains many bug fixes, enhancements of existing functionality and some new features. The most noteworthy changes since the last release in March are:

  • Added native two-factor authentication
  • Added reshare counts
  • Added mascot to error pages (thanks to @lostinlight)
  • Moved Friendica private message and contact request to ActivityPub

You can find a complete overview of the changes in the CHANGELOG file.

How to Update

Updating from old Friendica versions

If you are updating from an older version than the 2018.09 release, please first update your Friendica instance to that version as there were several important changes in that version.

Please further note, that since Friendica 3.6 we use Composer for dependency management. If you are updating via git, you have to remember to update the dependencies as well.

Pre-Update Procedures

Ensure that the last backup of your Friendica installation was done recently. While testing, we did not encounter problems, but better safe than sorry.

With this release we raised the hard requirements to PHP 7. If you are still using PHP 5.6+, this version won’t work anymore on your system and we urge you to upgrade to PHP 7.1 at least.

Using Git

Updating from the git repositories should only involve a pull from the Friendica core repository and addons repository. Remember to also update the dependencies with composer.

cd friendica
git pull
bin/composer.phar install
cd addon
git pull

If you want to switch the branch (e.g. if you helped testing the RC code) please do so after the pull using git checkout master (or develop).

Be aware that the .htaccess file was removed from the git repository in the 2019.01 version. You might have to restore yours from a backup (if you have done local changes) or from the .htaccess-dist if you had not done it before.

Using the Archive Files

If you had downloaded the source files in an archive file (zip or tar.gz) please download the current version of the archive (friendica-full-2019.06.zip and friendica-addons-2019.06.tar.gz) and unpack it on your local computer.

As many files got deleted or moved around, please upload the unpacked files to a new directory on your server (say friendica_new) and copy over your existing configuration (config/local.config.php and config/addon.config.php) and .htaccess files. Afterwards rename your current Friendica directory (e.g. friendica) to friendica_old and friendica_new to friendica.

The files of the dependencies are included in the archive (make sure you are using the friendica-full-2019.06 archive), so you don’t have to worry about them.

Please be aware of the changes in the configuration format in the 2019.03 version. You should follow the instructions linked from your admin panel as soon as possible to move your configuration to the new location.

Post Update Tasks

The database update should be applied automatically, but maybe it gets stuck. If you encounter this, please initiate the DB update manually from the command line by running the script

bin/console dbstructure update

from the base of your Friendica installation. If the output contains any error message, please let us know using the channels mentioned below.

How to Contribute

If you want to contribute to the project, you don’t need to have coding experience. There are a number of tasks listed in the issue tracker with the label “Junior Jobs” we think are good for new contributors. But you are by no means limited to these – if you find a solution to a problem (even a new one) please make a pull request at github or let us know in the development forum.

Contribution to Friendica is also not limited to coding. Any contribution to the documentation, the translation or advertisement materials is welcome or reporting a problem. You don’t need to deal with Git(Hub) or Transifex if you don’t like to. Just get in touch with us and we will get the materials to the appropriate places.

Thanks everyone who helped making this release possible and have fun!


Friendica release candidate 2019.06-rc available

Today we have branched off the release candidate (RC) for the upcoming 2019.06 release of Friendica. Since end of March, we fixed some bugs and added some interesting new features. These include:

  • Two factor authorisation (Google authenticator compatible) was added to the login process for user accounts.
  • Handling of re-shares was improved and the number of re-shares of a posting is now displayed.
  • The look of the error pages was improved.

Important

Please note that with this version Friendica will not be running anymore with PHP 5.6. Minimal required version of PHP is now 7.0.

How to help testing the release candidate?

Please pull the current sources for the core of Friendica and the addons from github. You should see a notification about a new branch called 2019.06-rc during the pull. in both repositories. You just need to checkout this branch with a

git checkout 2019.06-rc

and remember to follow the usual steps after updating using git. Please report any issues you encounter using either the issue tracker at github or the Friendica support or admin forums.

We have changed the internal mechanism how requests are routed to the endpoints in the code to be processed. If you find any action, that is missing a response, please notify us about this potential missing route.

Should the DB update process get stuck

If you encounter this, please initiate the DB update manually from the command line by running the script

./bin/console dbstructure update

from the base of your Friendica installation. If the output contains any error message, please let us know using the channels mentioned above.


Friendica 2019.04 released

This release fixes a bug allowing unauthorised access to private postings under certain circumstances.

How to update

For this release notes we assume, that you are running Friendica 2019.03 if not, please update to that release before proceeding.

Using git

If you have used git for installation, update your system simply by doing a git pull in the core repository of Friendica. The fix is applied to the master and the devel branch of the repository.

An update of the addons repository is not needed.

Using the archive files

Before uploading the extracted files from the archive please make sure that you have a backup copy of your configuration file (config/local.config.php).

Please download the archive file friendica-full-2019.04.tar.gz which contains the needed 3rd party dependencies.

Compared to the 2019.03 release only four files have changed: CHANGELOG, VERSION, boot.php and mod/display.php.

Extract the archive and upload the contained files (all or only the four mentioned above) to your server.

Post upgrade procedure

There should be no action necessary after the files are exchanged if you were updating from the 2019.03 release of Friendica.


Friendica 2019.03 “Dalmatian Bellflower” Released

Friendica 2019.03 “Dalmatian Bellflower” Released

A year of Friendica with The Tazmans Flax-lily. Thanks everyone who contributed, be it directly by commiting patches or new features, doing translations or reporting issues.

The Tazmans Flax-lily in a word cloud from the titles of the commit messages

And now, we happily announce the availability of Friendica 2019.03 “Dalmatian Bellflower”. It contains many bug fixes, enhancements of existing functionality and some new features. The most noteworthy changes since the last release in January are:

  • The storage backend for photos and attachments was made plug-able and an experimental file system backend was added.
  • ActivityPub support was added to the forum functionality, and got some general improvements to smooth out quirks discovered since the initial implementation.
  • The performance of the background process was enhanced.

You can find a complete overview of the changes in the CHANGELOG file.

How to Update

Updating from old Friendica versions

If you are updating from an older version then the 2018.09 release, please first update your Friendica instance to that version as there were several important changes in that version.

Please further note, that since Friendica 3.6 we use composer for dependency management. If you are updating via git, you have to remember to update the dependencies as well.

Pre-Update Procedures

Ensure that the last backup of your Friendica installation was done recently. While testing, we did not encounter problems, but better save than sorry.

With this release we raised the requirements to PHP and MySQL to PHP 7.1+, MySQL 5.6+ (or compatible alternatives e.g. MariaDB 10.0.5+). If you are still using PHP 5.6.1 we don’t expect problems, but encourage you to upgrade your PHP installation. Please make sure, that your systems meets this new requirement.

Known Problems

The performance of the background process (workers) was improved by removing a bottleneck, As a consequence the worker will consume more system resources. On the plus side, you will most likely not need aas many workers as you needed before to perform the pending jobs.

During the RC phase several admin reported high system LOADs. As a rule of thumb, you should set the Maximum number of parallel workers (plus an additional fastlane worker) and set the Maximum Load Average to the number of threads your servers CPU cores can perform. These values are not carved into stone, you can most likely further adjust the settings to increase the performance of the system.

Using GIT

Updating from the git repositories should only involve a pull from the Friendica core repository and addons repository. Remember to also update the dependencies with composer.

cd friendica
git pull
bin/composer.phar install
cd addon
git pull

If you want to switch the branch (e.g. if you helped testing the RC code) please do so after the pull using git checkout master (or develop).

Be aware that the .htaccess file was removed from the git repository in the last version. You might have to restore yours from a backup (if you have done local changes) or from the .htaccess-dist if you had not done it before.

Using the Archive Files

If you had downloaded the source files in an archive file (zip or tar.gz) please download the current version of the archive (friendica-full-2019.03.tar.gz and friendica-addons-2019.03.tar.gz) and unpack it on your local computer.

As many files got deleted or moved around, please upload the unpacked files to a new directory on your server (say friendica_new) and copy over your existing configuration and .htaccess files. Afterwards rename your current Friendica directory (e.g. friendica) to friendica_old and friendica_new to friendica.

The files of the dependencies are included in the archive (make sure you are using the friendica-full-2019.03 archive), so you don’t have to worry about them.

Please be aware of the changes in the configuration format. You should follow the instructions linked from your admin panel as soon as possible to move your configuration to the new location.

Post Update Tasks

The database update should be applied automatically, but maybe it gets stuck. If you encounter this, please initiate the DB update manually from the command line by running the script

bin/console dbstructure update

from the base of your Friendica installation. If the output contains any error message, please let us know using the channels mentioned below.

How to Contribute

If you want to contribute to the project, you don’t need to have coding experience. There are a number of tasks listed in the issue tracker with the label “Junior Jobs” we think are good for new contributors. But you are by no means limited to these – if you find a solution to a problem (even a new one) please make a pull request at github or let us know in the development forum.

Contribution to Friendica is also not limited to coding. Any contribution to the documentation, the translation or advertisement materials is welcome or reporting a problem. You don’t need to deal with git(hub) or Transifex if you don’t like to. Just get in touch with us and we will get the materials to the appropriate places.

Thanks everyone who helped making this release possible and have fun!