Extend 'make contacts visible to each other' to contacts on all pods

The feature to ‘make contacts in this aspect visible to each other’ only displays contacts in that aspect that are on the same pod as the user. This is contrary to Diaspora’s distributed nature, and is also pretty useless and misleading.

What would it take to extend this to show contacts in an aspect from all pods in the network? Obviously there will be the usual limitations about pods that don’t yet know each other, but as far as possible it should include all pods.

If that’s not possible, should we remove the feature?

That’d require us to send your contact list to all pods in the network.

Yes, please.

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I already started to remove this yesterday night, but then got tired and needed to sleep.

Yes, this feature only works locally which is very confusing for the users. It’s also very not useful that way. And it’s even enabled by default (which I think is bad, and I don’t know if people know about that).

I have no idea how we should make this feature work with federation (that’s why I started removing it), because we wouldn’t need to only send the contacts to other pods, we would need to send the aspects to other pods (because the way it’s currently implemented works with aspects). So if we would want this feature with federation, it would need to work completely different anyway (so it would need to be rewritten anyway).

I’m not sure if we should remove this in the next minor release or should wait for, this PR will include a migration, but it should run very fast. And I think it would be better to remove it faster, because of the reasons I wrote above, so I tend to remove it in a minor release. What do you think?

Well that ain’t good. Let’s strip that puppy out of the code base!

Should we announce that this is going to be removed before removing it? I’ve no idea how many people use it, but there might well be some who rely on it and might be upset if it was removed without warning. I sometimes suggested it as part of a work-around solution to the lack of groups in Diaspora; I don’t know how many people, if any, took up that suggestion.

We should certainly explain why it’s being removed (useless and misleading as is; a privacy leak to work properly) in the release announcement even if we don’t announce it in advance.

I agree it would be good to remove it as soon as possible. If the migration necessary is quick and simple, we can add a clear notice to podmins so no one gets caught out that it appears in a minor release. I’m neither developer nor podmin, so I don’t know of any potential problems with including this in a minor release; but if you two are happy for it to appear in minor, I’m sure there won’t be a problem.

I can’t think of any useful use-case for this. Maybe people think it’s useful because they think it works differently (so it’s even more misleading if they think it’s something that it already isn’t). For example for groups: it would only work when you have only one “group” (one aspect with this enabled), and everybody in the group has only one aspect with this, otherwise you would see all people of all groups mixed, and that’s not useful at all. Also every member of the group should be on the same pod. And if you know everybody that good (so you are on the same pod and you know everybody has only one group), then you probably don’t need something like this, because you already know all members :wink:

I would just mention it in the release announcement, so people maybe aren’t confused when it’s gone, but I don’t think we need to announce this before the release, because there is nothing people can do to prepare themselves.

… aaaand it’s gone (well, not merged yet)


[add more to keep Discourse happ … oh, that’s done it]

I personally used it a lot at the beginning to discover interesting contacts. I agree looking at the downsides that this feature should be stripped, but it’s clear that diaspora* could be improved to help users discovering content. I’ll think about it.