CS Greasy on Launchpad

I created a project on Launchpad for the first time today. It’s called CS Greasy, a collection (or soon to be a collection) of Greasemonkey scripts related to CouchSurfing. It took a little time to figure it out, but thanks to Kasper’s help, I think we’ve got it working now.

I created a new team called ~csgreasy. The tilda (~) distinguishes teams and users from projects. So the project name is csgreasy, the team name that owns the project is ~csgreasy. The team is open, so anyone can join. Upon joining, new members can commit code immediately. Once you’ve joined the team, the commands to check out and commit code are:

bzr branch lp:csgreasy/trunk
# make some changes
bzr push lp:csgreasy/trunk

After the first push, subsequent changes can be pushed with just `bzr push`, the location will be remembered from last time. Now anyone with bazaar and some javascript skills can contribute. To get started, install bazaar, register on launchpad, join the team, branch, start hacking, push back changes. Happy hacking… 🙂

Creating Launchpad projects

Creating the project was relatively simple. There were a couple of steps I didn’t fully understand at first, it was simple once I got it.

Firstly, I registered a project. Second, I created a team. Then, instead of pushing branches to lp:~user-name/project-name/branch-name, I can push to ~team-name/project-name/branch-name. Using the team name instead of my own username means that the code is owned by the team and can be edited by anyone else in the team. A team on launchpad is essentially a regular user that consists of multiple other users. Very handy. That’s the whole process. 🙂

Social Networking Rights

After talking about member rights on CouchSurfing, I was interested to see this article that Dante forwarded about creating a bill of rights for members of the social web. I’m strongly in favour of outlining exactly what rights users of social networks should have. I’m really pleased to see an increasing level of awareness and discussion on the subject.

I think for social networking to become ubiquitous, users must own their own data, and different systems must be compatible. I believe Email is so widely adopted because it’s a single standard. It doesn’t matter what email client / server / software you use, you can email anyone else on any other system. If social networking is to go the same way, it will need to be similarly standardised.

I’ve Been Fired!

This morning I woke up to find an email in my inbox telling me that my volunteer services are no longer required by CouchSurfing.

Apparently I have “fundamental differences in ideology and communication styles”. I’ve asked for clarification on that, fundamentally different from whom. I’m not holding my breath for an answer!

One thing was stated clearly in the email, CouchSurfing is not going open source. Not now, not any time soon. So at last the OpenCouchSurfing campaign has received one answer. That’s real progress I think.

Interesting times… 🙂

A Sad Day for CouchSurfing

At least three volunteer developers have resigned from the CouchSurfing Tech Team on account of the new NDA that all volunteers will be required to sign.

The new NDA includes a non-compete clause preventing volunteers from working with any other travel or social networks. It also requires that volunteers transfer their Intellectual Property rights to CouchSurfing International Inc.

I heard that somebody describe it perfectly, they said “it’s not volunteering, it’s slavery”.

CouchSurfing.com is Back

CouchSurfing.com is back online after almost 20 hours of down time.

This downtime was especially frustrating for a number of reasons.

1) It was unannounced. Even on the public developers list, there was no forewarning of the upgrade. No doubt travellers were left stranded while the site was down for almost a full day.

2) It clearly wasn’t planned well enough. There are so many willing and skilled volunteers who could have helped with this upgrade, if it weren’t for CouchSurfing’s ludicrous NDA.

I warmly encourage you to take action now, join the campaign, sign the petition.

OpenCouchSurfing Goes Live

I’m delighted to announce the launch of The OpenCouchSurfing Campaign. I fully support the campaign, I believe that CouchSurfing very much needs to embrace openness and transparency. It’s been a week or so in the making, and today is the culmination of our preparations. The word is out. Vive la revolucion!