Friendica 2020.03 Release Candidate (RC) available for testing

Today we have branched of the release candidate (RC) of the upcoming Friendica 2020.03 version. We’d like to invite you to test the code so that some last rough edges can be smoothed out prior to the release.

Cloud of most used words in the pull request titles of the 2020.03 milestone

The release contains many bug fixes (about 40% of the pull request were aimed to this goal) but also some new features. Some highlights from the upcoming release:

  • The multiple profile feature was removed and replaced by free form profile fields that you can present different audiences (unverified visitors of your profile and selected Friendica contact/-groups). The old (additional) profiles are converted automatically for the new format.
  • The hide-wall profile option was replaced by a hopefully more clear option to have your public postings unlisted on the community page of your node.
  • The creation of delegated accounts was made more easy.
  • The accessibility of the web-interface was improved.
  • Admins can now manage the users of their node from the command line.
  • An addon to use Markdown instead of BBCode while composing new postings and comments was added.

Important

Please remember that Friendica now needs at least PHP version 7.0 and MySQL 5.6 (or equivalent) installed on the server to function properly.

How to help testing the release candidate?

Assuming that you are running the 2019.12 version of Friendica and that you have installed via git: 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 2020.03-rc during the pull. in both repositories. You just need to checkout this branch with a

git checkout 2020.03-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.

Thanks for testing the new code with us!

Known Issues

  • To avoid getting a “Row size too large” error during the update of the database structure, please ensure that you configured your InnoDB_file_format to be Barracuda

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 now has an official Docker image

After 18 months of work spearheaded by Philipp Holzer, a ready-to-use Docker image of Friendica is now published from the official Docker hub.

Available for Power PC 64 bits, ARM (32 or 64 bits) and x86 (32 and 64 bits) architectures, the image can be simply pulled using the following command once Docker is installed on the target environment:

docker pull friendica

This provides yet another way to install Friendica on a given server besides copying files manually, using Git, installing on Dreamhost, on YunoHost or on a local machine.

Please make sure to read the full How to Use documentation before installing Friendica with Docker. If you still are having troubles getting it to work, please open an issue on the GitHub tracker for the Friendica Docker image.


Friendica 2019.12 released

Wrapping up for the end-of-the-year? We too; and therefore we are happy to announce the release of Friendica “Dalmatian Bellflower” 2019.12.

This release bundles up some bug fixes, but mostly enhancements to existing features and adds some new ones as well. For a full list of changes, please have a look at the CHANGELOG file in the repository. For a short summery, the highlights are:

2019.12 as a wordcloud
The titles of all the pull requests of the 2019.12 release summarized as word cloud.
  • The ACL dialogue introduced in the 2019.09 release on the new compose page for the frio theme was now adopted to all themes.
  • The handling of reshares was made more native for the federated platforms and federation with Diaspora*, Mastodon, Pixelfed and Peertube was improved.
  • The API was improved and got some new endpoints to improve the experience of using Friendica with mobile apps like Fedilab.
  • Postings can now be pinned to your profile wall and
  • if you like, you can connect to Discourse forums via email.

Thanks to all the people who have made this release possible!

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 note, that we moved the shipped .htaccess file to .htaccess-dist in the 2019.01 version. Make sure that you have saved a copy of the file if you made any changes to it, so that you can copy the file from the backup after the upgrade.

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.

Furthermore, we raised the minimal requirements with the 2019.06 version to PHP 7. Before updating please ensure that you are using a supported PHP version on your server. We suggest PHP 7.2 or later.

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.

Using Git

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

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

If you want to switch the branch (e.g. if you helped to test the release candidate) 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 (tar.gz) please download the current version of the archive (friendica-full-2019.12.tar.gz and friendica-addons-2019.12.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-2019.12 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 2019.12-rc Release Candidate available for testing

We are wrapping up the work on Friendica over the last three month since the 2019.09 release, just in time for delivery over the Holidays at the end of the year. But that requires to test them and therefore we branched off the 2019.12-rc branch today and invite you to try it if you like to help us to test it.

To give you a short glimpse into the new features, here are three of them:

  • Federation via the Diaspora* and ActivityPub protocol was improved, which includes making re-shares as native as possible.
  • The ACL dialog has got an overhaul, hopefully making it more easy to use.
  • You can now pin posts on your accounts wall.

Important

Please remember that Friendica now needs at least PHP version 7.0 and MySQL 5.6 (or equivalent) installed on the server to function properly.

How to help testing the release candidate?

Assuming that you are running the 2019.09 version of Friendica and that you have installed via git: 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 2019.12-rc during the pull. in both repositories. You just need to checkout this branch with a

git checkout 2019.12-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.

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 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 released

Friendica 2019.09 released

We are proud to release the new version of Friendica ‘Dalmatian Bellflower‘ 2019.09. As usual this release contains many bug fixes (we closed some 60 issues from the list) and code enhancements alongside of some new features. Some highlights are:

  • A Japanese translation was added to the Friendica core and some addons.
  • The two factor authorisation got improved. If you are using client apps, those now need a separate password set in the user configuration.
  • One can now search for the URL of any public ActivityPub posting to interact with the posting. You need to copy the postings address and paste it into the search field.
  • Users of the frio theme can now choose to use a separate compose page instead of the modal dialog.
  • Admins can now block servers based on URL patterns and enable a trending tags widget for the community page.

for a complete overview please see the CANGELOG file.

Many thanks to everyone who made this release possible. <3

Wordcloud from the pull request titles of Friendica 2019.09
A wordcloud generated from the titles of pull requests of Friendica 2019.09. In the background a Dalmatian Bellflower.

Known Issues

One of the bug fixes that was applied in this release will cause old contact requests that were discarded initially to reappear. Users will have to reevaluate the request. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause to you and your users.

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 note, that we moved the shipped .htaccess file to .htaccess-dist in the 2019.01 version. Make sure that you have saved a copy of the file if you made any changes to it, so that you can copy the file from the backup after the upgrade.

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.

Furthermore we raised the minimal requirements with the 2019.06 version to PHP 7. Before updating please ensure that you are using a supported PHP version on your server. We suggest PHP 7.2 or later.

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.

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 (tar.gz) please download the current version of the archive (friendica-full-2019.09.tar.gz and friendica-addons-2019.09.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-2019.09 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 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!