Released kune version 1.0.0, codename “free-riders”

I’ve just released 1.0.0 version of kune with tons of updates and a new redesigned user interface. Try it in

In this occasion, I just want to dedicate this release to Ada and Zoe for inspiring me so much, even before they arrived to my life.

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Kune Workshop for NGOs within Infancy Platform

Today Tuesday 9th of April 2013 we were asked to give a Kune workshop for several NGOs within the Spanish Platform of NGOs for the Infancy (e.g. UNICEF, “Médicos del Mundo”). The workshop was about “Collaborative platforms”, focusing on our approach and Kune. We used the following presentation:

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New release of collaborative distributed social network Kune: “Ostrom”

After a hectic summer, we can announce a new version of Kune 🙂 This happily coincides with the 6 month-anniversary of the node, which has now more than 330 groups and more than 1600 users.

Kune 0.2.0 has as codename “Ostrom“, as a homage to Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Prize of Economics 2009. She demonstrated how the Commons can be managed by their communities in a better and more successful way than how the State and the Market manage them. She died last June, so let this serve as tribute to her work on boosting the Commons paradigm. Kune aims to contribute to this trend, trying to boost the Commons-based peer production by grassroot communities.

Why Kune? Today we give this as an argument: because all together we have built and maintained a free/open encyclopedia such as Wikipedia… but we cannot stop in an encyclopedia, we must aim for the complete free/open library. Thus, we need tools to build and maintain, all together, that whole distributed “network of libraries”: a free/open distributed ecosystem of resources, methods, designs, tools and knowledge that can enable a free/open society.

We have the theoretical tools (e.g. Ostrom works), we have the legal tools (e.g. Creative Commons), and with tools such as Kune we hope to contribute to have technical tools that promote real-time peer collaboration for building and maintaining Commons in every field.

Kune “Ostrom” has lots of improvements and new features, such as:

More improvements, this time just for techies (sorry for the humans):

  • Apache Wave integration within Kune has been sensibly improved
  • Improved RTL support (for Arabic and similar languages)
  • Now Kune works under proxies
  • Improved performance
  • …and many, many bug fixes
  • On the developer side, we have moved to GIT and Gitorious repository:
    with a read-only mirror in Github:
  • The admin documentation, for those who want to have their own Kune node, has been significantly improved:!

We would like to invite anyone to join the development of Kune (or Apache Wave). Please spread the word among developers: we are doing this because we believe it is important to be done. It’s fun, it feels good, but especially we believe it’s important, in the complicated times we are living.

We want to thank the incredible work of Apache Wave developers, the Medialab-Prado Kune group for their useful advice, and the IEPALA Foundation for their support.

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Differences between N-1/Lorea/Elgg and Kune/Apache Wave

We have received several times questions asking us to compare Kune with another federated social network: N-1/Lorea/Elgg. This comparison would also be valid with several other PHP-based social networks.

Both projects felt very identified with each others’ aims and with the 15M movement in Spain. N-1 (a node of Lorea, which is an adaptation of Elgg) became rather popular and increased its use in the wake of these protests, where multiple assemblies used it to coordinated themselves. By then, Kune was not yet ready for massive use (although it coined a release of this period “15M”).

Technically and functionally these two platforms differ in several aspects:

  • Lorea is PHP-based static multi-page, while Kune is a GWT-developed, AJAX-powered, single-page “rich internet application“.
  • Lorea, as many other social networks, focus on communication/sharing, while Kune focuses on collaboration/creation of contents. The approach is different, and thus the functionalities and priorities.
  • In Lorea you can write real-time docs using pads which are just plain text. On the other hand, all contents within Kune are waves that allow multiple users to collaborate simultaneously writing a hypertext document with rich media (videos, images, maps, polls, blackboards, etc), gadgets and bots.
  • Lorea can be extended through modules (modifying the codebase) while Kune can be extended through both modules (as in Lorea) and gadgets (running on top of Kune) and bots (robot-participants in a wave that can perform actions). Gadgets behave similar to Facebook apps or iGoogle gadgets: they are independent from the codebase, and very easy to create. They can be programmed in Java, JavaScript or Python.
  • Lorea implements OpenID to allow inhabitants from several Lorea-seeds (servers) move from one to other. Content is also federated by OStatus to replicate it in several networks. On the other hand, Kune implements the Wave Federation Protocol. The idea is that you would have one account in one Kune, and collaborate with anyone in any Kune server (or wave-powered server)… from your Kune inbox (the same way yo do with emails). The Wave Fed. Protocol federates all contents (docs, maps, videos, polls, anything) within each Kune group, allowing anything to be syncrhonized in real time among servers.
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Status of kune translations

Here is the status of the translations of kune:

English 100
Spanish 100
French 100
Catalan 95.3
Italian 30.8
German 10.3 10.3
Russian 3.1
Quechua 2.2
Arabic 1
Esperanto 0.3

If you want to help with some translation, here we explain how:

(*) Note for techies, this is calculated in with:

select count(*) from globalize_translations g where g.language_id=1819 into @i18nTotal;

select l.english_name, count(*)*100/(@i18nTotal) AS percentage from globalize_translations g, globalize_languages l where and text!="" group by language_id ORDER BY percentage DESC

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New release & website launch!

We are proud to announce a new version of Kune, together with the launch of our production site! You can try it out in

Moreover, if you are a techie you can install it locally using simply a .deb package (in Debian, Ubuntu, etc) following these instructions. If you are not, you can still encourage your institution (university, company, lab, etc) to use it for communication & collaboration of its members. Remember all kunes are “federated”, that is, they are completely interoperable with each other (as in email, where you can send emails to anyone regardless of where do they have their email account).

Kune has lots of improvements and new features:

  • Increased stability, speed and usability
  • Drag&Drop for sharing contents, add users to a doc, change roles, delete contents, etc
  • Real-time collaborative group calendar (with ical export)
  • New group tools (lists, tasks)
  • Email notifications
  • Tutorials for each tool
  • Home stats
  • Shortcuts
  • Improvements from Apache Wave (waves import, SSL, etc)
  • Deb packaging

You can see many of these features in the screenshots & screencasts. We took a while to make this new release, but this will be the last slow release. We are moving to a rapid release development cycle, so users will be able to receive improvements much faster.

Why Kune? Kune aims to replace your use (and your groups) of Google Docs, Google/Yahoo/MSN Groups, Google Calendar, Facebook, and eventually Dropbox, Blogger and even emails. Many of these tools are used for work (like Fb) when they are not prepared for that. Especially, emails are not prepared for the horrible amount of discussion, decision-making, agreements, etc we use them for. Kune, using Apache Wave, aims to solve this issue. For more info and doubts check our FAQ.

Kune 0.1.0 has as codename “99%” as a tribute to the Occupy social movement.

We want to invite anyone to join the development of Kune (or Apache Wave). Also, if you are a student and need a final project or master/phd thesis, feel free to embrace Kune and adapt it to your needs.

We want to thank the incredible work of Apache Wave developers, the Medialab-Prado Kune group for the useful advice, and the Iepala Foundation for their continuous and encouraging support.

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New functionalities for a collaborative agenda in kune

We’ve updated and the Kune demo with some improvements such as the calendar/events functionalities. Now we can export each group’s calendar to other calendar apps that you can use in your mobile, Thunderbird, Google Calendar, or similar apps.

If you think about it, you may say “Well, it’s something more or less common”… but remember, all these events are groups events (a collaborative agenda) that can be updated in real time by several people (same as Google Docs), and can be decentralized (same as email). It’s not a simple static email or post with an event.

Remember that typically, the group decides on an event, and each individual must be notified to update their individual agendas with the event. In Kune, this would be done automatically in the moment a group member posts the event.

This can help a lot in the mobilization of groups because in the end, they tend to use email, Twitter, Facebook, etc to do so, and well, it doesn’t work very well. This feature facilitates the building of common agendas and avoid repeating efforts.

Many future work can be done in this direction:

  • Make the current code more scalable (improve the cache of events).
  • Improve the user calendar (with all its personal and groups events) with follow/unfollow of events.
  • Develop more the private/public events visibility and permissions.
  • Create new event gadgets. Now our main event gadget (massmob) has been improved a lot, but we can develop/adapt other event capable gadgets, like decentralized doodles, etc.

Thus, we can keep moving towards a decentralized Google Calendar, Doodle, etc  infrastructure.

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Our presentation at @conexoesglobais & @medialabprado

Our presentation (in Spanish) at Conexoes Globais (Porto Alegre, Brasil) @conexoesglobais & Medialab-Prado (Madrid) @medialabprado

Use mouse buttons (left & right click) and/or cursor (left/right arrows) to move forwards/backwards in the presentation. Best viewed in free/open browsers and systems:

UPDATE: We have now the video of the whole presentation in Medialab (also Spanish), for those who prefer to listen to the explanation based on the previous slides:

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Presenting the Status of Kune development (Jan 2012)

Every January since a few years, we have been reviewing our progress with Kune. It’s nice now to have a look backwards to measure our progress in this big project.
Snapshot of Kune in Jan 2011
After big changes in our code dependencies (integrating Apache Wave, user interface, etc), in January 2011 we were in a rather heartbreaking state (see snapshot)…

…especially  seeing that in January 2009, there seemed to be much more progress (although without integrating Apache Wave, which still did not exist):
or even in January 2008:

Nowadays, we are closer and closer to a big release, entering finally in production stage. Today we can say Kune is a reality and, from our point of view, a game-changer. You can see Kune in action in this video:

Furthermore, nowadays you can try it, experiment with it, or install it in your own server. There are already three active instances of Kune:

What do you think about it? Please, drop your impression in the comments below! You can also contact us if you would like to collaborate in this project. In case you prefer to do an economic contribution rather that collaboration, feel free to donate to the project: Kune is a project supported by just a small community, with no sources of funding.

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Presentations in Contact (New York) & Free Culture Forum (Barcelona)

During the last weeks, we have been moving around presenting Kune in several contexts, together with our other project Move Commons, now in a crowdfunding campaign.

We’ve been showing Kune in the intensive 1-day unconference Contact, in New York City. Contact was about building the next internet: “the net of the future will not be fueled by ads, but by people solving real problems through distributed, peer-to-peer solutions”. We had there a session on colaborative software tools in which we had some interesting discussions on the needs to boost community-driven collaboration. You can see the Kune flyer we distributed in that hectic event. Still, the best part of the trip was outside the conference, getting an insight of the Occupy Wall Street movement. We had some fantastic meetings with the people in the Free/Libre/Open-source Solutions Working Group of OWS, and they are very interested in using Kune. We don’t think of a better use of Kune than to be used by a decentralized social movement like this one.

Contact Unconference

Contact Unconference. Photo by Divergence

We have been also in Barcelona, in the Free Culture Forum, an “international space in which to build and coordinate a global framework for action and a common agenda for issues related to free culture and access to knowledge”. There we presented several projects of the Comunes collective, and of course Kune (and the justifications for it) took the most time in the presentation. We have the slides we used, which provide a pretty good overview of Comunes projects and the reasons for Kune. The project was very well received in the FCForum, and a direct result was to meet the Lorea / n-1 people. We now plan to have online meetings with them, in order to coordinate efforts on building federated social networks.

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