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Show HN: Bloom – A free and open source 'Google' (kerkour.fr)
747 points by z0mbie42 on June 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 230 comments

Wow, ambitious! Your sheer nerve is enough to click on the link and check it out. :)

As a potential early adopter that has seen countless would-be world-changing technology efforts come and go, in order to personally get me on the bandwagon, it would help to know a few things that didn't stand out to me at first, even after visiting the https://bloom.sh website.

(1) When I think Google I think "search" first and foremost, and I didn't see a search demo or anything. I think your average visitor is going to be thinking the same. If you're not involved in search, then branding yourself up as a Google alternative seems a bit off.

(2) How do you intend to sustain the project? Funding, grants, donations, paid plans, etc. More light on the team behind it as well perhaps, their incentives, skills, etc. I want to know that you have a reasonable chance of existing long enough to grind Google to the ground. :)

(3) A past version of myself would like to know more about "What's in it for me, like right now"? Saving the planet is all well and good, but I was a selfish short-term thinker.

(4) A future version of myself would like to know (assuming points (2) and (3) are answered to satisfaction) more about what I can do for you, but just in small ways, i.e. I don't/won't have the time to help with an iOS app. Practically speaking, this may just mean placing your donation links or "Subscribe for updates" buttons somewhere more prominent. I know some of this is included in your peer comment here on HN, so speaking about the websites only.

Anyway, good on you for releasing, and good luck! I'll be following the project!

Hi, Thank you very much for these encouraging words!

(1) You are totally right, I plan to use this wording only to target the 'geeks' (those who may be early adopters, contributors), those who see Google more like a very innovative tech giant rather than just a search engine

(2) As written at the bottom of the article (yes I acknowledge it's very very long) the master plan is as follow:

1. Build free software and charge for hosting, security of hosted data and enterprise support

2. With this money reduce prices, free the data and the access to scientific knowledge

3. With this money and this community create the open infrastructure to run these software and host this open data

(3) I tried to make it clear by putting a large banner in the blog post in the section explaining what we currently have, in order to catch the eye of the bored one who will speed scroll: https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-goo...

(4) ACK, thank you, I will try to improve this

FWIW, I work for Google (not on google.com), and would definitely fit into the "geek" category, and I still assumed you were talking about an OSS search engine.

Hi, currently we absolutely do not plan to create a search engine: it requires too much resources for self hosting, I think we currently have great option for all the spectrum (From Google search to DuckDuckGo), and because an open source search engine will be tricked by all kind of nasty SEO Experts and it will be very hard to promote actually good Content.

I dared the Google comparison thinking about it's productivity suit, and because they have an app for all the need of our life. At an extraordinary price, even if it cost noting.

Productivity is the current foundation, but you can think having a Bloom open source tractor in some years :)

I think it's clear after reading your exchange with OC that you're not planning to take on Google search with Bloom. However what I think the commenter you're replying to is suggesting is that by calling yourself an open source 'Google' you're giving people the false impression that you are focused on search because when people think of Google the first thing they think of is search.

Perhaps you might consider something like free and open source 'Google Suite' or 'Google Apps' instead?

Right; is "a free and open source 'Google'" a company? Because that's what Google is.

>great option for all the spectrum (From Google search to DuckDuckGo)

You probably mean from SearX to YaCy.

SearX is a meta-search engine, which means it isn't truly its own search engine. Still useful and open-source. I'd actually recommend the Bloom people to host their own SearX instance to cover search needs.

You say this like DDG isn't a meta-search engine... everything (for the English language) except for Google and Bing is a meta-search engine.

YaCy is not a meta-search engine.

Neither is wiby.me

Both don't cover average use cases.

Hi, are you planning to implement email?

I want to move my radio station away from google so badly, and if you can add email hosting, even just a pop server I can start pointing my new address to you. As it is, I want to sign up without having to use another service (which is going to be google, let's face it) and it would be great to have this all stored in one place.


Email is currently not planned, because it's not easy (IMAP, POP...) to do it correctly and securely.

But as many users seems interested, I may add it to the roadmap :)

Email hosting would be a good idea. That's how Zoho gets people in.

Honestly, even without the search function, I think this is one of the most base level functions of Google's toolkit. Everything else is just convenient

Agreed. This seems like a neat project but mail and search are the only things I'd be really looking for in a free and open source Google.

My E-Mail is hosted by Zoho, but I use none of their other services. Oops.

https://www.opensourceecology.org/gvcs/ is/was working on designs for things like tractors.

> and because an open source search engine will be tricked by all kind of nasty SEO Experts and it will be very hard to promote actually good Content.

FWIW I suspect that would be the opposite, because if it was free software then you would end up with many forks of the code that decides how to prioritize results, which would multiply the effort required by SEO spammers to target you. Meanwhile you would start with far fewer users and be that much less of a worthwhile target for that reason. And by the time you're big enough to be worth targeting, you have the resources to spend addressing it.

“Productivity is the current foundation, but you can think having a Bloom open source tractor in some years”

Open source agriculture has so much potential for good. I’m surprised it isn’t more of a thing already

Hi, I totally agree.

I think one of the reasons, is that people interested in agriculture are not the startup-geek who think scalability first but rather people more interested in collaboration and little community projects.

if i'd think that we have enough alternative search options, i'd have ignored this topic completely. i clicked because i disagree, because we do need more search options.

that said, we desperately need what bloom provides too. i just would not have recognized it from that title.

Then perhaps be more ambitious even and brand yourself a Alphabet competitor ;)

Regarding (2), how are you funding the initial phase of the project? After all, you're offering 30 GB of storage - twice Google.

Storage is very cheap.

I did not expect to reach Google's scale during the next month so currently we are bootstrapped and rely on some AWS credits :)

Not sure what kind of money you got, but for me S3-storage costs about 0.6USD/30GB*month. Multiply this by 100 and you got a bill of 60USD/month - which is not much if you are a cash-bloated startup but not really sustainable for a bootstrapped, non-exponential (that's the point when you're talking about challenges like climate change. stop growing) business, which want's to survive on user donations, once you reach several thousand users. If you got the really cheap stuff from online.net, I recommend you don't raise any hopes in Google-scale availability...

AWS is not acceptable choice if you want to stand to your values, see e.g.:


In france you have OVH - the invest heavily in solar energy and build datacenters with low energy consumption in mind. That might be a better choice (not working for them).

OP should talk to Octave Klaba who is very approachable and a big supporter of the FOSS spirit. maybe he can cut you a good price. I'd certainly try him (add him on LinkedIn and pitch it ... or oles at ovh.net )

Thank you for the hint! I'll certainly do it!

You are right, but for the beta it was really the cheaper card in my hand because I didn't had to setup 10 server to assure data resiliency etc...

I'm a programmer and geek myself, and heck, even toyed with the idea of having open-source alternative to GSuite. But reading the title I too thought it's an alternative to Google search. Reading your first para cleared it up though. Just a heads up.


great project. But one question, why would you link paul grahams article and then use Rust and not Lisp? I failed to see the connection there, but it made me really interested in trying to learn more about Lips (and maybe Rust)

> When I think Google I think "search" first and foremost, and I didn't see a search demo or anything.

I was expecting something related to search as well. This project is about the Google applications, though. That's ambitious and a great thing! I wish the devs the best of luck!

Sadly, though, I don't use those sorts of online apps and so I'm not in the target market.

Thank you!

Offline first[0] is planned for Q3/Q4 2019 :)

[0] https://www.inkandswitch.com/local-first.html

Same here, expected to see an open source search. Maybe you can find a better tagline :)

Wouldn't "G Suite" be more descriptive than "Google"? Putting it in quotes kind of makes you think you're not referring to the search engine, but still...

However that may be I love the mission, awesome work!


Productivity is the current foundation, but you can think having an open source Bloom tractor in some years.

I've dared the Google comparison, because I see Google as an innovative tech giant who have an app for all our needs.

We have the same goal. But open source.

With respect, if you're not targeting Google Search, then you're not targeting "Google".

You don't help your case by misleading your prospective customers, who are themselves self-identified "geeks" who might be able to help you make this goal a success.

After all the feedback I think a better comparison would be Apple.

I used 'Google' because it's really clear for everyone how this company is shaping the world (for the better or the worst).

Don’t focus on the competitors. Focus on the customers. Drop the analogies and say what you are.

You are totally right, I used the comparison to have a reference in people's minds, But I think it's was the last time I use this comparison.

Apple is even a more unreasonable comparison. Do you build hardware and a complete software experience for the customers who buy your hardware? Well then no, you shouldn't compare yourself to Apple.

Do they intend to?

They might, but that's a rather uphill battle.

best comparison would be Nextcloud.

'NextCloud' is what we are today, but I think it's not really relevant.

I've dared the Google comparison, because in my point of view, It's THE company who is changing the world.

so, you are saying you are going to change the world by imitating Google? Good luck with that.

Besides the opaque sign-up scheme and a total disregard for standards (your calendar/contacts "sync" integrates with which clients?), even today your project is much less than Nextcloud...

I actually want Bloom to be compatible with Nextcloud.

so, rewrite v3 (currently there's no such thing as standard's support. it's all a thin wrapper around S3.)

Why target Google? GSuite is a far cry from Microsoft Office. Checkout office.com

I have to agree with the parent here. At least the TLDR should make this apparent without clicking additional links. If I didn't read anything else, I would think it was a search engine.

Then the article would not have gotten as much attention or clicks. Clickbait for a reason

Not a clickbait.

Maybe the article is not crystal-clear but the goal is clearly to become the next Google. Not to be Google :)

Even G Suite might be pushing it... if there is not even email!

Hi HN, creator here!

Today is a good day, the achievement of months of works (but also the start of a great adventure ).

I'm very excited to announce Bloom: A free and Open source ‘Google’.

Our mission ? Empowering the world with open technologies.

Why? How? What? https://kerkour.com/blog/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-google

Website: https://bloom.sh Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bloom42.bl... Code: https://github.com/bloom42

All the backend and services are written in Rust (You can learn more on the rust forum why I written it in JavaScript, then rewritten in Go and finally in Rust: https://users.rust-lang.org/t/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-g...) and is entirely free and Open Source on GitHub. No opencore, no bullshit.

The project seems awesome and you want to help ? - By spreading the word on Twitter: https://twitter.com/z0mbie42/status/1136297238387482625 - by contributing on GitLab: https://gitlab.com/bloom42 - By becoming a patron: https://www.patreon.com/bloom42 - By becoming a sponsor: https://bloom.sh/become-a-sponsor

Let's spread freedom

Sylvain Kerkour, a.k.a z0mbie42

It's a laudable project but why are you accepting bitcoin if you're so concerned about the ecological crisis? It seems kind of contradictory, given how bitcoin transactions are so computationally expensive now that they reportedly consume about the same amount of energy as Denmark.

How would we know if that were too much? What if you were to describe the amount of energy consumed by the airline industry? Or all of the world's motorcycles? Would that be more or less than Denmark? And if it were more than Denmark's energy consumption, is that okay? Certainly more people benefit from the world's motorcycles or airplanes than just the population of Denmark, so why is that the reference? IMO including an arbitrary reference like some country's power consumption is the stuff of clickbait headlines, not useful discussion.

IMO a more constructive discussion point might be: "the power consumption required for Bitcoin's proof-of-work is 15x that of the power consumption of: { the equities markets + banking + US Treasury + EU Treasury }." The number I've cited is arbitrary, it could easily be 1/15 of that, for all I know. But normalizing the energy in terms of the related/baseline industry makes sense and would make for a clearer conversation on the topic.

You are totally right and I've to admit that I didn't thought about so much.

I'll fix it !

I have a feeling that for Bitflow (the Bittorrent downloader) many customers will strongly prefer bitcoin. Offering it is not an arbitary choice but a requirement for success of that part of the product.

But individual bitcoin transactions aren’t expensive, running the network is.

Maybe the raping of the earth done by the corrupt financial and banking system is an even greater evil.

but an evil that isn't going away, so now you have two.

I'm not anti-cryptocurrency, but we should be striving to be better than what we're creating an alternative to.

Thank you for the work and for open sourcing it!

I hope you can keep up the good work and would love to see more of this.

I don't know if you want to go into it, but have you considered tackling the "search" problem by creating some kind of advanced bookmarking/local indexing browser extension?

I find that I use google for stuff that I've already discovered. I believe that Chrome has intentionally impeded its bookmarking tools to make users more reliant on search... I realize that Chrome lets you search for stuff you've bookmarked in the top bar, but the flow seems designed to point you toward the default search engine.

A good bookmarking/page caching tool with a streamlined, locally indexed quick-find tool would cut my reliance on Google by a lot.

Overall I'm pretty dissatisfied with existing browsers' bookmarking tools, but am hopeful that offline-first browsers like Beaker Browser will tackle this problem in a serious way.

The Firefox address bar works like you want basically. Searches bookmarks (and history) and generally prioritises them above other results.

But does it index bookmarked pages locally, full text search their contents and present the results in a quickly browsable list with context? Cause that would be nice.

Especially if integrated with an offline caching/browsing feature.

No good point, I don't think it indexes any contents

Maybe some combination with Pocket?

I like the audacity and hope you succeed.

I have actually wished for someone to create an open-source self-hostable copycat of Gmail (the UI) for a long time. Having trialled a multitude of alternatives (both commercial and open-source) I haven't found anything that doesn't require a huge adjustment re: usability and many compromises feature-wise.

Unfortunately, both in design and feature philosophy, Gmail is and has been for years the "non plus ultra" imho (and I gladly left Outlook-style emailing behind for it). Of course it too still has room for improvements but they will probably never happen (such as a one-touch PGP integration or better usability with many aliases), as we have most likely already reached "peak-Gmail". (Many other services, incl. Google Search, have also been deteriorated slowly, de facto killed (Google Books) or "optimised" to fit Google's/Alphabet's new strategy).

As a user of pretty much the first hour (when it was still invite only) and having moved several companies over to Gsuite from Exchange, I've felt more and more queasy over the last months and years...

When I found out recently thanks to a HN post that even my highest-paid Gsuite accounts track ALL my purchases (and many that aren't actually mine) and this CANNOT be switched off or deleted, it sort of finally broke the part of my heart that kind of still hung on to the old and long-since gone spirit of "don't be evil"...

Sorry for the rambling.

Bottom line: I do not know if you have any plans to add a "Gmail"-type email client/front-end (which could easily utilise one of the many very good open source email servers and spam filters) but I for one would welcome it with open arms.

Bonne chance!

Merci pour les encouragements !

Mails are currently not a priority because it's really hard to make it right (IMAP, POP and all the things...), but if the community shows an interest, we may plan it :)

What does "non plus ultra" mean?

Literally, it means "not more further", i.e. it is the peak, there is nothing better, this is the ultimate thing compared to others (like, you could say "my Model X is the non plus ultra of electric SUVs", just for example). I guess it is not a common expression but I like the phrase. ;-)

I think a (slightly) more common expression would be "nec plus ultra".

"Bloom Drive" is a paid service. 30GB free, then it starts to cost. "Secured by SSL", which probably means the data is not encrypted against access by them.

The Bloom Drive site is one of those sleazy "sign up and then maybe we'll tell you something about what we're selling" sites.[1] You can almost hear the sucking sound of the onboarding funnel.

[1] https://bloom.sh/drive

Hi, Thank you for the the harsh feedback.

Bloom being open source, if you want a more private option than the hosted service bloom.sh you are totally free to host it yourself.

On the other hand, It's just a beta launch, we made it work (and free and open source), and thanks to your feedback, we will make it great :)

I appreciate your generous work, but I think this person is commenting on the lack of any screenshots. That is normally a "smell", no matter how wonderful your intentions are <3

+1, thank you for clarification.

Just didn't had time to setup it before launching.

You should be more transparent with your pricing. What's the charge after free trial?

The gripe is about the scummy bait and switch artifice to get people to sign up!

The project claims a position of moral superiority over Google, but, from the terms and website, has little to act superior about.

Disclaimer: i'm part of the cryptpad team.

If you are interested in a similar alternative but which is adding the challenge of end to end encryption to the table, check out cryptpad.fr It is Open source and has now 3 years of developpement to bring realtime encrypted documents.

Tackling Google's non open source business model is an important task. There are already quite a few products that are going after that, including NextCloud, OnlyOffice, etc. Most of them target the enterprise where there is money.

To go after the end consumer the main problem is the "surveillance capitalism" issue which you cannot just tackle with the promise of not looking at things and just be open source. End to End encryption is needed, which is what we are working on at CryptPad (on hackernews Time to Encrypt the Cloud https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13692856). Other products are proposing zero knowledge email or drives. End to end encryption is key, because it guarantees that the surveillance business model won't be activated down the line. It also protects the data from cloud hacking.

From there the biggest challenge is funding. Without revenue from reading the data like Google, or selling super expensive devices like Apple, or selling to the large Enterprise like Microsoft, how do you provide a good service to end consumer. Open source can help solve the hosting part by distributing it and by self hosting but it won't solve the R&D issue. To fund this level of R&D help is needed. At cryptpad we have subscriptions and Open Collective.

Ludovic from CryptPad.fr

Yes, it definitely needs a feature list. My top questions:

- do you support rsync?

- how is my data protected (encryption...)?

- do you offer snapshots?

I like what you're trying to do and definitely something id use when it's more mature. Not a comment on the quality or feature set, i just like to know tech isn't going to stop being supported after I spend time migrating to it.

I do have to say though that I think you're really setting yourself up to underwhelm with that Google comparison. Google is absolutely a search engine first and foremost in everyone's minds. Normie or geek. No one says "I googled it" to mean they innovated.

Second after search their most prominent product is Gmail, something you're not tackling either.

You are totally right, and we put a big warning that data saved during the Beta may be lost.

Regarding Google, and after all these comments maybe 'Apple' is more accurate.

Apple makes hardware.

I think what might be more accurate is something along the lines of G Suite. Though, without email, it still might not be the best comparison

Currently there is only Drive which is similar to GSuite,

All other apps are more for personal use rather than productivity.

Do you have a comprehensive and viable plan to pay for costs? If it involves getting enough donations, does your plan include a viable way to optimize donations? Simply including a donation link, bitcoin addresses, etc, is NOT a comprehensive plan for that. I see only 2 patrons, zero ETH donations, zero BTC donations, despite what appears to be a considerable amount of work put into this.

Any plans to partner with someone who specializes in marketing or otherwise running the non-technical side of things? You'll attract more interested parties (including potential partners with expertise) by having a higher percentage of what you're presenting, something that looks like it's made by a winning team.

Hi, Actually my plan didn't even rely on donation to sustain the project and reach a global scale. you can learn more about the master plan here: https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-goo...

1. Build free software and charge for hosting, security of hosted data and enterprise support

2. With this money reduce prices, free the data and the access to scientific knowledge

3. With this money and this community create the open infrastructure to run these software and host this open data

Donation are just a plus, and because I didn't had time to implement payments before launching :) (it's the first day I talk publicly about the project, so I think it's understandable that donation metrics are not so great).

Regarding how much work have been done until today, it's been 6 months I eat pastes :)

This is interesting and (like everyone else) I have a few questions:

- Will this be based on open, industry standard protocols?

- It looks like there are multiple applications combined into one giant system in the web- and Android apps right now. Will those be interchangeable (with say, third party implementations)? Are the apps somehow connected (do the music player and the gallery for example get their content from the drive)? (Basically, does it follow something like the Unix principles [1]?)

- Can I self-host this without AWS? If no were there any privacy/ethical considerations taken around the decision to go full-AWS?

I know these are critical questions but as a potential customer I'd like to know this kinda stuff. I understand if you don't have answers to everything atm though and I like the spirit of this project! :)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy

(1) Currently not really, we have a (self made) HTTP API, and S3 API support for blob storage. We don not support (and do not have yet examined things like WebDAV...)

(2) You can see current Bloom as an Unikernel, So yes the music player and the gallery lets you play files directly from your Drive :)

One things like oauth will be implemented I see no constraint to use third party implementations (planned for Q4 2019).

(3) Totally, Better self hosting documentation is planned for next version: https://gitlab.com/groups/bloom42/-/epics/5

Thank you, this sounds pretty promising (and ambitious) so far. Will watch this project for the future!

It looks like the download manager, music player, and gallery are all built to work with the drive. The other ones that could don't say and don't really require much storage so it's not clear if the raw data is stored on the drive in case you want it.

I like your enthusiasm but I am afraid you are overambitious. For me, it sounds a bit like GSuite alrernative hosted on Google Cloud. It doesn't make sense to me. What is the advantage of it being opensource when it is hosted by you. I have been hosting my own NextCloud instance on a bare metal server for years, email (exim, dovecot, roundcube), dns (bind) and it all replaced gsuite for me, they are awesome libre and OSS projects. Of course managing it is not easy and not something every enduser should be doing. But this is how the internet was expected to work in the beginning - decentralized. If you start building gsuite alternative, you will end up being gsuite anyway because of all the availability and large-scale management. You will be using third party public clouds, networks and it will be expensive and you won't be able to guarantee it will continue to work for next years and people don't want their email to stop working. Anyway, good luck! I would like to be wrong!

Thank you for the feedback.

The plan is as follows: Code is free and open source, but 98% don't have the time/the knowledge/the will to self host and will happily be us to manage and secure their data (like DropBox).

Open source is not much a marketing argument, but in my opinion the only way to build a sustainable future.

> Code is free and open source, but 98% don't have the time/the knowledge/the will to self host

The vast majority of people who use GSuite won't understand or care about the OSS angle. Even if they do, they won't have the sophistication to examine your code. Thus, they must simply "trust" you, the same way they'd trust a corporation like Google.

People who really care about OSS are more likely to choose a more established solution for each use case (ie. Nextcloud for storage), and to self-host those solutions.

> will happily be us to manage and secure their data (like DropBox)

Again, if your edge over Dropbox is "we're open source!", I think this is just not compelling to most potential users who still want someone else hosting/managing their files. In that case, the open source transparency doesn't even mean anything, because the code in your repo isn't necessarily the code you're running on your servers.

In my case, I don't trust Dropbox, but I want their infrastructure. So I use a third-party encryption tool to ensure that they don't have access to folders I want to keep private. Best of both worlds.

Disclaimer: I’m part of the Nextcloud team (and formerly ownCloud before we forked).

With Nextcloud we don’t offer hosting for a reason – we would compete with Google, Dropbox, Amazon etc. in a race to the bottom, and it wouldn’t be private either. nathan-io said it very well already in their reply.

Another thing which then makes it super simple for people to self-host is a) PHP (yes, we got ridiculed soo much for that through the years …) and b) a dead-simple installation which in the simplest case (with SQLite) only asks for username and password you want for the admin. Most importantly, we use open standards and formats like WebDAV, CalDAV, CardDAV, IMAP, gpx, ActivityPub, etc. which makes Nextcloud universally compatible.


However, for people who do want to simply sign up we do have an easy way: https://nextcloud.com/signup/ – this is also very presently available as "Sign up with a provider" in the mobile and desktop apps.

How it works:

- We have a list of participating providers (of which there are many more at https://nextcloud.com/providers/ ) with some strict guidelines like minimum storage space, minimum set of specific apps, uptime, reliability, etc.

- On the signup site or step we show exactly 1 provider (instead of a list like Mastodon etc.) to not overwhelm people with choice. This is based on your location and it just shows the nearest one, assuming it’s probably best regarding law and performance. There’s an option to "change provider" right below the provider.

- The only thing we ask for is your email address, and you only have to wait shortly while they provision your new instance. Sign up approaches the simplicity of Google or Dropbox this way.

I’m curious to see how it will fare for you, and wish you best of luck. If you ever want to join us or collaborate regarding integration, you are very welcome → https://nextcloud.com/contribute/

Maybe targeting businesses that want the same thing but also want to make money. They could open it up to people, maintain the server with updates and if anything goes wrong you (OP) can step in and fix it. You'd (OP) be able to focus on developing it rather than infrastructure.

I've been using Google Play Music with my own music collection uploaded into it, and I've loved how easy it makes it to play my music collection on any of my devices now. I no longer have to mess about with syncing my music files across my devices, use a different music player on each device, and inevitably have to re-create my playlists on each device because they don't support the same playlist format.

However, it bugs me that Google Play Music isn't under my control at all. There's a few features from Rhythmbox I would like in it (around how it handles queuing music while listening to a collection), I wish I could share my music collection with my partner, and I wish I could synchronize playing music across multiple devices. Listening to music is something I do during a big fraction of my waking hours; I'd like to be able to edit the code for that. Also Google is discontinuing GPM in favor of YouTube Music at some point, which doesn't yet have the private collection features of GPM and it's unclear what features from GPM are going to be copied over. I really don't like not knowing what's going to happen to an application I use in so much of my life. Regardless of how it turns out, it feels like I've made a mistake to find myself in this position.

It disappointed me that there don't seem to be good open source solutions for "play my private music collection from the cloud". That's not the sort of thing that the classic Linux / open source community focuses on for example, which I think is a sign of it falling behind the times. I'd started thinking that I would love an open source GPM alternative that contained the cloud collection functionality, and it's awesome that this project looks like it's going for this open-source cloud philosophy that seems to have been un-pursued.

> It disappointed me that there don't seem to be good open source solutions for "play my private music collection from the cloud"

FWIW, I've recently been able to do this with Airsonic (on server) + DSub on Android. Favorite tracks are replicated to my phone, so I can offline listen, and tracks can be re-encoded on the fly for low-bandwidth situations.

Isn't what you are looking for Funkwhale https://funkwhale.audio/

Too much risk of lawsuits from the music industry, perhaps?

Probably has nothing to do with anything, but I find it funny that a website trying not to be Google is using Google's Material Design.

Ignoring that, this stuff all looks fantastic.

Google's design language is pretty unsurpassed, well documented and very user-friendly, thanks also to a ton of research that has been done in connection with Android, I guess.

So I see nothing wrong with him using that, in fact it would be a major factor for me personally in considering any Google service alternatives.

Keeping the switching barrier low is key for successful and widespread user adoption.

I actually think bad UI design is THE single greatest impediment for widespread adoption of free or open-source software imho. A lot has been written on that subject but I think the trope is "open-source developers cannot create good UIs". It is an old but well-accepted axiom, same as "Poland cannot into space", and it seems everyone adheres to it... ;-)

So using an established and "known good" design language is in fact ingenious.


I call it outsourcing ;)

Joking aside, it's because my friend who help me for the graphic design don't have so much time, and me the developer, don't have much graphic design skills.

Material design is one of the only design system freely available on the internet, with very good documentation, and very good libraries in all languages.

This[0] is an CSS implementation under the MIT license I'm using on 3 different websites[1][2][3] right now. Google can't really take back Material Design at this point (IANAL), which I'd call a feature!

[0] https://materializecss.com [1] https://danger.world [2] https://taormina.io [3] https://www.print2press.com

These seem a bit similar to some of the services offered by Disroot.org? They're also leveraging open source software such as NextCloud in providing related services. I'm curious of how you are paying for initial hosting costs, especially if more users start using it and you'll need to scale up? Are the operations strictly relying on donations at the moment?

EDITED: I just read your comment and realized you plan to charge users for the services. I noticed Disroot's free services experience down time quite often, but it's free. You're probably going to need an army of support staff since the expectation will likely be quite high once people have to make payments.

How are you going to do all these amazing things? When I go to bloom.sh and click About, I learn that the core team is one product designer and one graphic designer.

If you're asking for support, I think you'd benefit from learning from the Kickstarter model -- go to great lengths to prove to supporters that your goals are realistic.

Comparing yourself to Google doesn't help you with that, IMO.

To prove our goals are realistic we released this beta.

We had much more attention than we expected today. You can follow us on twitter to stay informed about the future updates :) https://twitter.com/bloom42

What are your plans as far as sunsetting unpopular or unmaintained services?

Ha, hopefully that's not the part of Google they are talking about emulating.

Never, ever :)

At least They will remain open source.

But sorry I haven't thought more about the question.

So, I tried bitflow, pasted a magnet with 2500 seeders. Same in to seedr.cc. The latter it was downloaded in roughly 45 seconds, on bitflow it's still queued. No title/name, just the magnet link. Can you share details on this?

Resource were not size for the load. I'll increase resources :)

Thanks! It is completed. But I can't do anything, clicking it does nothing, I cant see any files in the folder of the torrent. Long press does nothing. No documentation, help pages empty.

Ok, so the bitflow interface does nothing once it's downloaded,you have to go to drive. Best make this clear

This looks great! I REALLY appreciate the up front and honest business outline. Please never change it (*ahem, Google).

Although to be perfectly honest the post linked is a bit too long and sophomoric for geeks and early adopters. But it highlights your passion and the fact that you're probably persisting with a small team of founders. (Could be wrong, but I admire either way).

I also offer a free alternative to several Google services, for free and without limitations. I don't want to plug, because your products are far, far nicer in the UI and polish deptartments.

Thanks for sharing! I look forward to following along with your progress.

This reads like an episode of Silicon Valley translated from French with Google Translate.

Haha, I'm sorry if the English is not perfect, but as the blog post is long, I've translated it using my 3rd year of high school teacher's advice: formulate in your maternal language, and then translate it like if you're a 4 years old.

I've not tried to be fancy because English is simply not my primary language, and because I have studied CS and sport last years, not literature.

I was thinking the same thing, still not 100% this is real.

You lose a lot of credibility with the whole Google Search thing. Not trying to be harsh, but your responses on Search just seem to dig that hole deeper.

I'm impressed by your high goals, but I feel like the announcement on Show HN is quite premature, or the "Google" title is very misleading.

I'm aware of the beta label, but currently I seem to only be able to use the "Drive" product, which seems like it is a simple file upload/download tool to and from S3. It's as if the other products are just placeholders for the future; ideas that look like products if you don't touch them. Am I missing some features from my account for some reason?

You are totally right. Today's announcement was to explain THE why: https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/the-just-cause-and-the-infinite-...

We had very good feedback and a lot of people would love to contribute :)

The what is an ongoing process.

A lot of people expected search engine. I did too. But I also expected something about privacy. I presume that would be the main impetus for a lot of people to switch. Make sure you get the privacy / encryption done right (as in even Bloom would not be able to access your documents in the clear). Better privacy is what made search engine alternatives grow in popularity (duckduckgo, startpage, or qwant in france). It would not be any different for G Suite.

Wow! Yes! Awesome!

I will happily pay twice as much as I do/would for any given google service if it means this survives.

If there could be a "sign in with bloom" on every site, that would be great. I would be happy to donate for email for something like this as well. I really want an email service that isn't gmail.

God I just hope non-technical people can be made aware of and interested in this, because it would be absolutely incredible for everyone if it succeeded.

erm, try protonmail then?

It's our goal :)

Since your focus is on "productivity", you shuold probably retitle from "Google" to "G Suite": https://gsuite.google.com/

So, the only way I would EVER use something like this is if I controlled it. The only way other people are going to adopt this is if it's easy to install in your own environment.

I think that offering this as a cloud service is short-sighted. Not only is running this in AWS going to be prohibitively expensive if you're doing it for "free", guaranteeing that you'll either need to add advertisements or start charging for service (making you no different than Google, as a service), but running it in the cloud eliminates most of the advantages of using Google Apps.

I think that the website should be more focused on installing the software to your own server, and that if you have a cloud portal at all it should be a demo environment, rather than a planned SaaS solution.

It's also sort of out-of-character for a .sh FOSS website not to include some sort of .sh installer for getting everything up and running on a fresh Linux VM.

Given that this stuff is supposed to be a replacement for Google's suite, and Google focuses on ease-of-use, it wouldn't hurt to create apt/yum repos for installing official binaries so that people can throw this onto a cloud server and get up and running in a few minutes, rather than digging through your source and trying to compile all that Rust code from scratch.

I'm going to work on getting this running in my VMware environment, and I am going to play around a little with the docker container, but it would be really nice to be able to install this in production easily, and have the ability to update it in-place easily, because that's the only way I am going to play with it as a serious tool.

The warning that none of my data being guaranteed is pretty much a dealbreaker for me to beta test this thing for any important task if I don't control it.

Hi, thank you for the harsh comment.

We made it works, and thanks to your feedback we will make it great!

Our vision is as following: In the future, Google and Microsoft will be replaced by a federation of Bloom instances. boom.sh being one of them.

98% of the users don't have the technical knowledge/the time/the will to build, host and secure their own instance, and that's how we (and other instance providers) will make money.

You are right, AWS hosting is short-sighted, but it's because I've some credits, and easier to setup.

Privacy being one of our cor value, end to end encryption is on the roadmap.

> What would happen if tomorrow Twitter went bankrupt and stop its services?

Everyone's lives would improve and productivity would increase worldwide? Was this a trick question?

This is an awesome initiative. Is anybody else thinking of the Watchdogs Blume though? ^^ https://watchdogs.fandom.com/wiki/Blume_Corporation

I think of Mozilla as a free and open source Google.

I think so.

I didn't mention it because Mozilla is not really known for mere mortals (non geeks). But Mozilla is a great inspiration for me (their privacy first designs...)

I thought Mozilla is relatively well known, due to wide usage of Firefox.

Unfortunately, I do not share this point of view. At least in France.

My friends from CS school know it well, but my friends from Business schools does absolutely not.

I'm from France too, and Mozilla is already more known than many others in the Open Source space, and their user base is still huge compared to anything else.

Z0mbie42 is young and did not see when Mozilla was the browser alternative before Google Chrome and stole the show. It is coming back today though because users start to realize the "Google problem".

Now Mozilla is a browser alternative and not a services one. But this is a good example of how unrealistic and not so good it is to want to be a "google" alternative. Today Google is everywhere from search engine (the original google) to collaboration, music, pro apps, video, browsers and so on.

Building an alternative as open source is good but it should clearly not be as monolithic as Google is.

Now it's complicated because users want a more integrated experience and open source developers that manage to grow their tool in a specific area dont have that much time and funding to better integrate so it's slow.

Also copying as is Google as Open Source is also not the solution. What about privacy. I believe end to end encryption is key. There are advancement in this area (the project cryptpad.fr we work on is one of them). What about decentralization ? There are tools building up in this area like mastodon or peer tube.

I wish Open Source can come out with an alternative, but it will need to be an integration of solutions, and not only a monolithic solution. Check out Framasoft.org for an incredible list of open source services they host.


Hi, I would love to be in touch, please contact me: https://bloom.sh/contact

As being a huge topic, federation is planned for Q3/Q4 2020.

I checked cryptpad, but I feel it's really lacking focus on user experience.

About e2e encryption, it's planned for Q4 2019, but collaborative encryption is really not an easy stuff. "Cryptography is a serious matter".

The collaborative encryption is exactly what is solved in CryptPad.fr and at the core of the storage model. This is actually key because it's not the only problem you will get once you try to add encryption. You'll realize everything needs to be rebuild with no database on the server side, otherwise you will get only partial encryption. Encryption needs to be built in first and then the rest should be added.

Concerning user experience, do not confuse design and user experience. Yes some design is needed to improve cryptPad, but the user experience starts with making it super easy to start to share something. In the case of bloom you first needed to register which is not needed on cryptpad to start working collaboratively.

Note that cryptPad storage is a bit like S3 but with e2e encryption and collaborative documents built in.. so you could build your UI on top of it, but e2e encryption means everything needs to be done from the client side, not from the server side.

There is also a roadmap. I will contact you. We can meet. We are next to Beaubourg.

Interesting perspective.

This seems to go in a direction similar to Nextcloud. In order to make lasting impact, I think chances would be better by building on top of solutions as such.

A volunteer, state-registered nonprofit Neighborhood Association that I handle the technology side of things for was recently flat out denied by Google and I've been looking for meaningful alternatives so the association can manage its affairs without dipping into their meager savings. I'm encouraged by your project. It's missing a key apps, but I'll keep an eye on it moving forward!

Framasoft in France does the same thing (and has much more supported apps) if anyone is interested : https://framasoft.org/en/#dio

Thank you!

As it's currently in beta I would not advise to put sensitive data online for the moment, because it may be lost.

I love the sheer will. I can help kick off iOS development, how should I contact you personally before I start posting in your GitHub .org?

Thank you, Please use https://bloom.sh/contact to contact us

>> The problem is that today these data, produced by everyone, become the property of big companies (the giants of tech), and are used among other things to destabilize our political organizations.

>> Having these data in open access would increase the speed and quality of innovation in all areas.

The phrase "these data, produced by everyone" suggests that this is about personal data, like the data that is used by large corporations to profile users and target advertisement at them. So it's not, or not only scientific data, as the term is normally used.

In that case, then the problem is not how this data is used- it is that it is being collected and retained, in the first place. In other words, the consideration is privacy, not the motive for profit. Opening access to this data will not really do anything to ensure users' privacy. Quite the opposite. It will just make their data freely available to anyone who might want it for any reason at all.

Hi, Thank you about your feedback.

My though were more data like those produced by electric cars, Google maps users, smart wearable, IOT... Anonymized data, which are useful to make the world progress.

Privacy is our core value and one of our selling point. We will never sacrifice it for some quick buck by selling or mining private data.

But the kind of data you are talking about in this comment - wearable device data, IOT data, map use data, etc, is exactly the kind of data that risks compromising the user's privacy, and worse.

Anonymising the data is hardly sufficient to ensure that the user is protected. The data you're talking about is data that relates to peoples' everyday activities: driving, moving about, using home appliances and personal devices, etc. They can be used to model a user's characteristics, and then the model can be used to make decisions that affect the user intimately, such as the costs of medical insurance, say, or employment offers and so on. And I do mean that all this can affect the user whose data is used _even though the data is anonymised_.

I appreciate your assurances that you will never sacrifice privacy, but how will that be possible if all the users' data is free to access?

Any plans to use capabilities and Cap'n'Proto like SandStorm.io?

Sorry, but what are capabilities ?

About Cap'n'Proto what benefits does it brings, and what are the trade-offs ?

Capabilities is a kind of security model. Look these things up, very valuable info.

An example of a capability is any Android permission apps have to ask user for.

Google? I tried to find a "search bar" for 10 sec, and then left the site frustrated, sure to never come back.

I'm really happy that you still found the time to post a comment :,)

An exciting and audacious undertaking! I see the "Books" folder in the Drive. It would be great to have an ePub reader built in, perhaps using https://github.com/futurepress/epub.js/

Thank you. It's planned (but no ETA for the moment)

That's still great to hear.

The Bloom logo is almost the same as the google cloud logo just folded differently : https://yt3.ggpht.com/a/AGF-l79_dlSqckoEPCco9JxnGmDLrq-F10w0...

I didn't even notice this one haha

So to be clear, yes as the title mention, Google was a source of inspiration (especially their material design documentation), but foolishly copying is not our goal :)

How will you remain free when your user base increases to , let's use a silly term, "web scale"?

To be more precise, as written in the master plan (https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-goo...) we plan to make enough money with enterprise support and those willing to pay, to balance the loss of the free tier.

I can't swear it, but it's our goal.

Currently I didn't had time to implement subscription before lauching.

At least, as code is free (as in freedom) and open source, users with the knowledge will be able to self host.

In order to compete, I think it's important that there is some way to import existing data from competitors (read: Google). I would like to switch to try it out, but I don't want to spend several hours uploading or manually entering data.


it's planned (but no precise date) after the Beta :)

Wow, this is super badass! A few people mentioned email, Instead of making a hosted email system, how about a client for IMAP? PS I couldn't get create contact to pop up a dialog (Safari w/ublock origin)

Thank you!

Bug have been identified and is in progress to be fixed.

Having the balls to take up on a project of this scale is admirable. All the best! Wish I could contribute but not familiar with any of the languages used. Will try to contribute in other ways. Good luck!

Thank you, You can check frequently the issue list to see if something might interest you: https://gitlab.com/groups/bloom42/-/issues

Gave it a quick try and looks like very similar to cozy before they pivoted. I guess this is also like nextcloud/owncloud/seafile. Can you explain how your product will be different from those?


I'm not aware of cozy's story, but Bloom's goal is not to stay a nth productivity self hosted Cloud.

We have a different offering (like Bitflow) and our goal is to bring open source to far more domains like agriculture, architecture.

Our goal is to have like Google (therefore the title) an app for all the needs of our life. But open source.

Thank you, best of luck!

About the intro: how many more people (since Karl Marx) will rediscover the Pareto distribution and come to the conclusion that it should not be the case ...

It's perfectly natural, so many systems follow Pareto. From Wikipedia:

- The sizes of human settlements (few cities, many hamlets/villages)

- File size distribution of Internet traffic which uses the TCP protocol (many smaller files, few larger ones)

- Hard disk drive error rates

- Clusters of Bose–Einstein condensate near absolute zero

- The values of oil reserves in oil fields (a few large fields, many small fields)

- The length distribution in jobs assigned supercomputers (a few large ones, many small ones)

- The standardized price returns on individual stocks

- Sizes of sand particles

- The size of meteorites

- Severity of large casualty losses for certain lines of business such as general liability, commercial auto, and workers compensation.

- Amount of time a user on steam will spend playing different games. (Some games get played a lot, but most get played almost never.)

I will also add popularity of words in a language, and, the most popular instance: individual wealth distribution.

Given that you feel like the Pareto distribution can never be wrong I propose that we model all taxes accordingly. After all it should be natural that very few people pay most taxes while most pay almost nothing.

Nothing about wealth distribution is natural. With the help of the Pareto distributed political power that installed the system in the first place wealth is controlling itself.

I'm 100% for progressive taxes (i.e. higher taxes on richer people). People should have decent lives even if they can't participate in the workforce/markets with great success.

Also taxes are a very successful way of dampening the inequality: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/04/13/american...

It's just that the top 50% or top 10% or top 1% or top 0.1% will always hold disproportionate amount of wealth, and no system will change that. Under USSR the select few in the communist party had that wealth, although it wasn't expressed in dollars (or any other currency), but in the power and unquestionability of their decisions.

As others have said: you have some nerve. Congrats!

This idea is clearly doable. If I were you I'd have spiced it up with

- a non-tracking and completely anonymous web browser

- expert web search

Including those will attract talent to your startup.

You might also want to publish your app on f-droid.org, since it's the alternative to the Google Play Store and it's focussed around really free apps without tracking etc.

Hi, currently we absolutely do not plan to create a search engine: it requires too much resources for self hosting, I think we currently have great option for all the spectrum (From Google search to DuckDuckGo), and because an open source search engine will be tricked by all kind of nasty SEO Experts and it will be very hard to promote actually good Content.

I dared the Google comparison thinking about it's productivity suit, and because they have an app for all the need of our life. At an extraordinary price, even if it cost noting.

Productivity is the current foundation, but you can think having a Bloom open source tractor in some years :)

> think having a Bloom open source tractor in some years

You're building open source products in all markets with no limitations? Assuming you plan to harness the open source community to help out? Serious question: How is this different from GitHub? I can go to https://github.com/search and find alternatives to all your products already built somewhere and open source.


Our secret sauce is:

Bloom conciliate the best of the Startuplaland religion: radical execution rather than bureaucracy, scalability, flawless user experience, strong product culture, iterative process, and open source: a mode of development that has proven its superiority, open governance, an unmatched sustainability and a perfect symbiosis between the interests of developers and those of users.

You can also learn more about how we plan to make money: https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-goo...

In short: yes there is already a lot of open source project, but I found that those open source project lack the user experience required to reach a non 'geek market'.

This is a set of projects that aims to reach similar functionality as g-suite. I think maybe the author is just getting ahead of themselves mentioning the tractor. The appeal of this is that it would be attractive for the same reasons google is - convenience and ease of use, but would be free and open source. Most foss projects don't focus on user-experience as much, or at all, or they're aiming for a good developer user experience, not a good mom user experience.

For Bitflow, how are you going to handle copyright infringement? You're going to be flooded with takedown requests. Surely you have realized this?

Good luck, this looks to be a good start.

Not if the files aren't public.

It works like any other torrent client, if a rightsholder finds a torrent of their content they can attempt to sue whoever was downloading by looking at the IPs in the swarm. In this case that would be Bloom's servers.

It's like a free VPN.

It's just me? Why no plan for email at all? How use contacts and Drive without email integration? Or am I missing something?

This feature has been requested a lot, and I'm very open to include it!

Please add some screen shots of product. Idk about others but this would be a great way to get people to try the service.

Thank you for the feedback. I've added it to the roadmap.

If it is to be run self hosted on a RPi how will you solve the problem of being behind a NAT router?

I recently tried NextCloud and was unable to configure my router so that I could access it from outside the LAN. It seems that my ISP (Telenor, Norway) is making it difficult, whether intentionally or not I don't know.

> Drive

> A safe place for all your files. 30GB free.

Great. Hope cli is supported and this Drive don't use Google Drive under the hood.

I don't know if it is intentional or not, but the Bloom logo is an almost exact copy of Google Drive's.

Some friend said the same thing, I've to admit that I'm not a designer and found the inspiration from the brand who spend big bucks on their logos.

In case the product gets popular you are 100% getting a copyright notice from Google, so may as well change it now rather than after the brand is established

On the other hand there is absolutely no copyright infringement, it's only the result of following material design guidelines.

Material design guidelines do not allow you to use or edit Google's logos

This would be trademark (or possibly trade-dress, or even design-patent) infringement, not copyright per-se.

Regarding Bloom Drive you mention

> And Bloom Drive is encrypted using SSL.

You mean the connection is encrypted, right ? Or was there a typo ?

Sorry, it was a copy/past from One drive or something similar.

Currently it's only uploaded on a S3 (with encryption activated).

End to end encryption is on the roadmap.

I like the idea, but I think you missed the most important product that Google has monopolized... Search!

> Bloom is an organization which use open source / access / data... to redistribute freely its production, relying on new technologies to do it cheaply at scale, rather than using them as an imperialist weapon.

FYI to the site maintainer: The above excerpt is repeated in subsequent paragraphs.

Thank you! I've pushed a fix.

I wonder whether this is how it was when RMS had the userland and all he needed was someone with a Kernel.

Actually, we have a kernel: https://gitlab.com/bloom42/bloom/tree/master/server/kernel

Joking aside, as you can read in the blog post I'm really eager that people join the project and contribute.


Sadly my time is like all taken up and Rust skills are zero but I'd love to contribute to such a cause for sure.

Google got skilled at large scale search, then generalized on that and went on to create a distributed big data compute engine, and asked themselves, now what can we build?

You're thinking of following those steps but in reverse.

I love it. Two thumbs up!

eeeh, I'd never miss Google, except for the search... 1/10 for the effort

BTW: what about Nextcloud. Seems to have exactly the same featureset and you don't need to sign up to some fishy service

Clicked, didn't see a search engine, closed the tab.

Hi, it's great that you still had time to comment this post :')

First mistake in the account creation of the bloom app, assuming all people|cultures have a surname...

It seems that's also impossible to register an account without revealing name and last name. I'd like to use services anonymously as is only possible.

ToS gives me very restrictive vibes - it feels like it's oriented to work for provider and not users.

Open Source Google but hiding the pricing page! There is no pricing page I could find.

Big No No!

Minor nit: you probably mean "suite" instead of "suit".

Yeah, Thank you!

Fixed :)

Sure! I like the bold vision. Good luck!

You have a typo in your first paragraph:

> We think that open soruce is...

Thank you, fixed.

"Get started for free" - warning enough.

While I agree in principle, like, it probably applies to most companies, this seems a little dismissive for something with such a clearly altruistic goal. At least look into the profit model and remark upon that instead of adding two words to a four word citation and posting that to the thread.

Thank you for the comment.

We were focused on making it work first, and thanks to your feedback we'll make it great.


Hello Sylvain,

Today I was reading news.ycombinator.com

and found your website: https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/bloom-a-free-and-open-source-goo...

You may consider me free software supporter since 1999. That is how long I am using GNU operating systems with Linux kernel.

I am business consultant too, helping people to startup in business.

Let me give you few comments on your website:

Congratulation on publishing software under the GNU Affero Public license.

> Bloom: a free and open source Google

Please note that "Google" is a trademark. While Google will not react that fast, you should. As you are using the trademark to promote your own services, be it free software or not, that is really wrong approach.

> The social crisis

I agree there are social crisis situation in the world. But I don't agree in generalities and presentation that is making it general. As it is not. There are many areas in the world where people do not have social crisis. You would not be able to convince them.

> How is the world's wealth shared among its > population?

Well let me say that "world" does not own any wealth. Your statement is deceptive, and I even don't see why that type of politics shall be involved with the software that you so nicely published under the Affero GNU Public License. Don't give people politics, if you are providing software that everybody can use. That is incompatible.

Make one separate page for your world's wealth politics.

World does not "own" wealth. You are mistaken. It is owned by private individuals and corporations that in turn also belong to private individuals, some of them being non-profit corporations that are now owned by any particular person.

Wealth is not "shared" because "world" does not share "wealth".

Wealth is obtained by providing products, services, production.

Some of people are successful and they earn more than you do. Majority of people who do earn very much, may decide, but that it their own free will, to contribute to society.

However, wealth is theirs.

There is no such thing as "global wealth distribution", as nobody "distributes" wealth. It is earned and obtained by providing services in exchange, by providing products in exchange, by producing something in exchange for something.

If I am carpenter, and I produce a chair, I am giving you the chair and get some money. You have the chair, I have the money.

If you consider both of those items to belong to "wealth" set, then you must also consider both sides of the scale: the chair and the money.

If I have provided many chairs in the USA, there are many chairs in the USA "distributed" to various households.

But you don't consider in your observations how much wealth (chairs, goods, products, services, manufacturing of plethods of things) was created by people and private individuals and corporations who you are targeting with those silly graphics about "wealth distribution".

You only present it in the manner to say that there is something wrong that someone was smarter or some group was better organized and earning more than you.

I find it selfish and thoughtless.

> Patents and copyrights

I totally agree with you. But that is how it is, and now we and you are using GNU Affero Public license to protect the free software.

> Open source

No, I don't agree with you at all.

> Open source: The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. The open-source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code. The model is used for projects such as in open-source appropriate technology, and open-source drug discovery.

> The best known example of open source is GNU/Linux, a free and open source operating system that is used by the majority of servers and phones today.

Absolutely not.

You are so much mistaken.

Please read the definition of free software: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

“Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.

A program is free software if the program's users have the four essential freedoms: [1]

    The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
    The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
1. If it is centralized and free software it really does not matter. It can be made centralized. But "centralized" or "decentralized" is not subject of free software. It can be made by any model for as long as it is free, see definition above.

2. Open collaboration -- this really does not matter. Many free software programs have been programmed without "open collaboration". Who says that free software "must be open for collaboration" -- it need not have any Git access or SVN access or at all be "open" for everybody. It can be a package of software available for download with the free software license, that is good enough. As you have the freedom to modify it, you or anybody can decide to make some collaboration or not. It is not a characteristic of free software.

And finally GNU is certainly NOT a good example for "open source". In fact, with your lack of fundamentals about free software you are undermining the efforts of free software supports.

Please read here why: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point

I hope you understand the points and that you will respect this opinion.


Hi Jean, I received your email and will reply, please give me some time for the things slow down.

Best regards, Sylvain

Even the TL;DR didn't explain what I was looking at. Please fix before you've burned your one chance at a first impression.

can you give me more details?

Maybe 3 points about how to solve the issue you are raising ?

Not GPP, but in the tl;dr please state what you offer, not what you think you are ("a free and open source 'Google'"). Tell me what you offer and I'll decide what you are to me.

Bonus points if you can describe the benefits of your offerings without making me read a manifesto.

Best of luck!

Thank you!

I've tried to make it clear by appending a summary at the top of the blog post and a big visual banner at the start of the offering (to catch the eyes of those who will speed scroll). But apparently it's not enough. I'll try to fix it.

No. Stop saying you're a new Google in the TL;DR. You have some Google-style services and an app; list them. Summarize the philosophy at the end of the TL;DR in one sentence max. Cover the community model (open source self hosted, paid service, federated blockchain something, etc) so people understand what's going on past the software.

We already know the critiques about Google. Nobody cares about hearing them again. We don't want an essay.

Tell us, in specific detail, what (a) bloom is and (b) how it addresses specific issues with Google.

Is this just about privacy/advertising? Is it about hosting your own stuff? Is it about the poor customer support Google has? The shutdown of services? The intelligence concerns with the us government?

We don't want to hear another nerd voice complain on the internet. None of it will be new. Focus on what you're offering.


Thank you for the honest feedback.

Please take a look at the 2 following videos: https://kerkour.fr/blog/the-just-cause-and-the-infinite-game...

To understand the structure of the article.

This article is not intended to everyone, it's intended to those who believe what we believe. The early adopters, the potential contributors.

Communications point: the several pages of diatribe before the presentation of your product is in the way of expressing the more material value of what you are doing, i.e. the 'product'.

Your specific worldview is going to be less interesting to most people, outside of HN'ers who probably don't mind.

You can summarize all of that in a tagline, and tuck away the elementary school valedictorian bits on another page.

Also, the registration process before we even get to 'see what this is' is a little much, it'd be nice to be able to 'get in there' without having to give up my email address.

So try to get to they 'why it matters to your visitor' much quicker.

Good work though.

Thank you for this honest feedback!

Today is the WHY announcement: https://www.kerkour.fr/blog/the-just-cause-and-the-infinite-...

The what is an ongoing process :)

I'm in! thx 4 sharing

so I tried the app.... Design looks nice.... but the features ain't workin... I like your texting-skills.... put your stuff to github.. I will help out building stuff..... the tryItFree button on you page irritates me..... I know we all need money.... maybe some Bitcoin-whale will help out, once we get some cool features running?

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