Hi from IndieHosters, onboarding process?

Hey there. I’m Tim from IndieHosters, I had a quick call with @osb last week. I don’t know what is the onboarding process but I guess its nice to introduce ourselves first :).

Some of you may know us through LibreHosters, we have been hosting free and open source softwares for 5-6 years now (mostly for french people). You can check our website and our social code https://indiehosters.net/code-social/ (its in french though…). For a while we have been 2 sysadmins running the project and now we are about 6 people collaborating on IndieHosters with a focus on user support.

We would be glad to join meet.coop collective and collaborate to setup a great hosting service for visio conferences. From what I’m reading we share a lot of values, that should be a smooth collaboration :slight_smile:

Obviously there is a great demand for visio conferences and as we all know it can be quite challenging :). On our side we have been working with jitsi and bigbluebutton, we are hosting both at the moment.

Lately we redesigned our offer and we are now focusing on a service that we called Liiibre and that is a combination of different collaborative tools (nextcloud, rocketchat, onlyoffice/collabora, jitsi and keycloak for SSO). We are actually focusing on jitsi for that service and target small group meetings.

For bigger meetings or events we experimented with bigbluebutton. We are currently hosting one bigbluebutton instance used by an organisation with events of 40-80 participants and one for our own testing. This has been a bit challenging at first but a good learning process, we are quite confident now :).

Actually we are betting on jitsi in the long run but still think that as it is for now, bigbluebutton is a great software for events, workshops, conferences… So we are trying to take the best of both, but thats quite some work. Collaborating with others on bigbluebutton would be a great relief and we hope that the work we will do in parrallel on jitsi would also benefit the community.

I guess that is all for now :). Let us know what should be the onboarding process ;).

PS: We have demands right now, one being for a university (up to 3000 students). We would like to be able to do it with you, not alone :).

3 Likes

Hi Tim @unteem, very nice to meet you! I’ve met peple from the LibreHosters network from France on other occasions. Really good what you’re doing!

Myself I’m co-founder of CommonsCloud.coop in BCN, which offers similar services as you describe in a cooperative manner. And when we started meet.coop it was precisely as you suggest, to share a quality video conf meeting service and share expertise. Also we should be able to strengthen the network of indie / libre / cooperative “cloud” services. After all, we should be able to withstand and avoid the future that “surveillance capitalism” is preparing for us.

Good to have you on board!

2 Likes

Hi Tim - I relayed news of our call to everyone at our ‘All Hands’ meeting…
We are just finalising our process for onboarding new Operational Members in a policy doc - NB this has not been signed off yet but should be this week.
If you want to join meet.coop as Operational Members, the next step would be to make a formal proposal (which I think your post above should suffice as!) and then to attend one of our All Hands Meeting which happen at 2pm (UK time) each Thursday at https://ca.meet.coop/b/wou-cyy-wpt
Let us know what you think - if the policy looks OK to you? and when you might be able to attend All Hands?
Best
Oli

1 Like

Sounds like a plan :slight_smile: a couple of us should be available to join the next meeting. All good for the policy, IndieHosters is actually designed in a similar way with operational members, users, a compensation framework… we will probably copy some stuff eheh :wink:

1 Like

Sounds great :slight_smile: I’ve met a couple of nice people from librehosters in France and Belgium last year at the Chaos Communication Camp, but I can’t remember if someone from indiehosters was present too.

As my French is non existent I’d be interested to know a bit more about your structure. Are you a non-profit? Do you have paid workers? etc. A few sentences in your formal application will probably be enough.

1 Like

We were not there unfortunately.

Yep thats the part I did not say much about in my presentation.

For a while IndieHosters was pretty much 2 freelancers. Since about a year, we are a now an association (not-for-profit by design). We are actually more a cooperative than an association and we might end up transitioning to a cooperative at one point.

We are all independant, most of us are in a worker cooperative (I dont know the term in english, Coopérative d’Activités et d’Emploi, instead of having our own freelance status, we are employed in a cooperative and work on our own activity). So basically we are a collective of independants working on hosting free software under the IndieHosters “brand”.

Currently we have a college with what be called the operational members in your terms. We also work with a compensation framework, we call it co-rémunération. We have a common pot, everyone count his hours or work in a project manner if they prefer and takes his share. We are just starting experimenting on this bit, there is not much money in the pot for now… We are quite excited to share experiences on this aspect :slight_smile:

We are also experimenting with a free and conscious price with our new offer and try to define a reciprocity agreement with our contributors (that’s how we call our users).

1 Like

Hi @unteem now that you mentioned keycloak, that’s really interesting! So far at meet.coop we haven’t implemented any SSO service yet, and that’s limiting us. Before the summer we accepted to do manual user onboarding and giving them access for the setup period, but at some point we will need to move to SSO. At CommonsCloud we have developed our own LDAP webapp for decentralised user management. But keycloak seems to do so much more. I wonder what your experience with it is so far, if you care to share :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yep SSO is a game changer :slight_smile:. This was actually one of the coming questions from our part, we wondered if you experimented with SSO and bbb. I want to try out this PR for instance https://github.com/bigbluebutton/greenlight/pull/1194 (btw this is something that I like and dislike with bbb, they are quite conservative with PRs or some would say keep their software stable)

We have been using Keycloak for more than 2 year now. It works well. Its a big java software with an old school UI but it does everything and you can configure everything :slight_smile:. I probably know only a tiny bit of all its potential.

We use it in a multi-tenant way, each organization/collective has its own realm that they can manage.

I do think that the UI is not really good though. If you want to enable a user to manage its own realm for instance its a bit hard at first for them. You will need to do some training to show them how do it.

One app that I would like to implement at one point is hydra. Tiny go microservices :slight_smile: perfectly designed for our kubernetes setup :).

We are sticking to Keycloak for now, because obviously it works well but also because Nextcloud had so far only an integration with SAML (or LDAP) for SSO (now there is a new app for OIDC that is being developed as a core app) and hydra does not provide SAML.

Whats also nice with keycloak is that you can plug it with an ldap directory as a backend (you can have a mix of ldap and postgres for instance). You can also federate ID providers, like we did on https://lab.libreho.st.

A few years back before moving to keycloak we thought about going your way with an ldap directory but most webapps were pretty outdated and we are pretty bad developers so… We also think that even if ldap is pretty solid and well supported, it is also bit old school, not so much web friendly and as we already host postgresql databases in HA, why not having our user based there too :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Perhaps our new friends from Indiehosters in France could help? @unteem :wink::kissing_heart:

@unteem it’s really great to have you here, I’m a big fan of your work. Can I read about your new service in English anywhere? Thanks!

Hey, great to see you here too :slight_smile: and thanks for supporting us for a while now.

Translating the new website is part of the todo but no ETA… We are now trying to focus on french speaking users even if we still have a few international users. Its not just about translating a website, if we do that then we will have to manage english speaking requests and we are not quite ready for that yet :slight_smile:.

Well i guess we could translate most of the documents and put it in a git repo or something at least for those who want to read those stuff.