One year ago, a new freedom-respecting online service went live. That's right, libravatar.org has just turned 1!
We'd like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Lars Wirzenius and Braawi who believed in the project and graciously provided hosting to get us going and present this free-as-in-freedom new avatar hosting approach to the World.
Since the server that Libravatar is currently hosted on will be decommissioned in a few weeks, we will be transitioning to a new temporary hosting place during the 3-4 December weekend. There will be a short outage on the main website, but the image-serving service will not be interrupted since it is run entirely on our mirror network.
Unfortunately this also means that Libravatar will stop being available over IPv6 until we can find a new IPv6-enabled hosting place or a suitable technical arrangement.
So we are now looking for a new hosting sponsor. If you have ideas of who to talk to or if you are interested in being associated with a young Open Source project and can provide us with a small VPS, please get in touch!
The Libravatar project has been pretty active in the last few weeks. Other than a whole lot of bug fixes, the most important feature that got implemented in the last month is support for BrowserID, a new distributed and privacy-protecting authentication mechanism developed by Mozilla. Libravatar users can now use their BrowserID-verified email addresses to login automatically or to add a new email address to their account without having to go through manual email verification.
Other than that, we've been busy writing new libraries so that you can now add support for Libravatar in your node.js and Twisted applications. So if you are an asynchronous programming fan, you can now put human faces on your websites!
Retake the Net pulls together a number of projects which aim to create new and positive things to make the net a better place where people are at the center. Software freedom is an important part of this vision and that's where Libravatar comes in. We're hoping to inspire and encourage other developers to join the movement.
The Libravatar project is part of a movement working to give control back to people, away from centralised services and the organisations running them. It addresses a simple problem: putting a face on an email address.
By using our service, you can choose what picture to display next to the comments you leave on other people's blogs or next to your forum posts. Furthermore, if you own a domain name, you can choose to opt out of our service and run our free software on your own server, on your own terms.
If you run a website or are the author of a web application, you can use our API (or one of the available libraries) to serve these images to your users without having to worry about hosting them yourself.
The project was inspired by the work of the autonomous group and came about because we really like Gravatar and wanted to make sure that a similar service would be part of a free-as-in-freedom network.
A lot has happened in that year but we didn't pay much attention to this blog, preferring instead to get the project going and hosted. We now have a wiki and a number of libraries to easily add Libravatar support to your favourite applications.
Here's to a great 2nd year.
The Libravatar blog is powered by ikiwiki and graciously hosted by Branchable. Its contents is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.