I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one disappointed in Diaspora. Read this article from Blogoscoped, Beyond Diaspora: Another Facebook Alternative has a Head Start.
While I have already deployed Status.net (it’s an open, distributed alternative to Twitter, and mine is here), it doesn’t allow for much social functionality, especially for the single user. And GNU Social, what the article is really about, isn’t widely developed (look at the email lists, there are very, very few posts). I would think the GNU/FOSS community could put some more substantial effort behind creating an open alternative to Facebook.
As I said up front, I’m disappointed in Diaspora (the open alternative to Facebook that got a lot of attention this summer). Diaspora runs on Ruby, which is great if you like Macs (it’s built in to the operating system), but Ruby runs poorly on Linux servers (which host the majority of the internet’s sites). The entire package is difficult to install on Linux, but the real issue is Ruby. Ruby is notoriously slow, and a lot of people are reporting that the app slows to a crawl when two people are accessing it.
I’m disappointed in Diaspora because they didn’t make Diaspora to work with common server technologies like PHP and MySQL. Therefore, the installation base is a lot smaller, and those that want to install it are in for a day-long treat typically.