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Jaiku or Laconi.ca?
12 points by marnujra on May 4, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments
Looking to use microblogging tool for a large scale instance. After spending a couple of days evaluating them I havent been able to figure out which one to use..

Laconi.ca - Its PHP based. - Partial XMPP support

     - Supported by a good number of clients include mobile
     - Supports OpenMicroBlogging (OMB)
     - API is similar to twitter's
     - federation support
     - GNU Affero license ( would have release all UI changes as well)
     - Creative Commons Attribution for all msgs. AGG
     - UI sucks & looks amateurish

Jaiku - Python based - Not sure about the XMPP support Pros - Licensing is Apache based - Pretty good UI Cons - Not a open standard - wont work with all or most twitter clients - No federation support

Anyone have thoughts about this? Any pointers to feature comparison.

Both seem to be in active development, but neither is perfect!

Thoughts or Pointers pls?

Hi. I'm the lead developer for Laconica.

You're incorrect on one important point: you can license the content of your own server however you want. We use the CC Attribution license by default, since it so closely matches how most people share microblogging data (e.g., you can copy and reuse it as long as you credit the author).

Jaiku will soon support OpenMicroBlogging -- we're working with the JaikuEngine team to make that happen.

Also, why do you say that the support of XMPP in Laconica is "partial"? And what don't you like about the UI? Do you use IE6 or something? It doesn't look very good in IE6.

Good luck on your microblogging service and let me know if you have any more questions.

All of my impressions are based on my analysis and hence the mistakes! I am happy to hear that the licensing can be changed. A big relief.

Well, most of our clients would like to make the site skinnable. By default the fonts dont look as pleasing as either twitter or jaiku. I have tried it on Camino, firefox & Safari. I guess its a matter of opinion.

I was referring to the XMPP Pub-sub support. I am happy to be corrected.

I would love to go with laconi.ca. Could we take this offline? Is there an email id I can reach you at?


Laconica is theme-able see http://laconi.ca/trac/wiki/ListOfServers for some examples. It can also integrate custom Plugins which allows you to do a good range of stuff. http://army.twit.tv http://bleeper.de http://todaysmama.com/connect are few of the larger laconica communities that have custom themes and plugins implemented.

Hi, I'm one of the Googlers working on JaikuEngine in my 20% time (BTW JaikuEngine is to Jaiku as Chromium is to Chrome) and I just wanted to add a few things.

Firstly either Laconica or JaikuEngine would make an excellent choice. They're both open source and they're both built by teams who believe in the idea of lots of small microblogs that can talk to each other rather than everybody using one massive microblogging platform.

Laconica is further ahead in terms of federation at the moment and has an active development community.

JaikuEngine also has an active development community but has only recently been open-sourced.

However the code runs on Google AppEngine. This means setting up your own instance takes less than 5 minutes. You don't need your own hosting. You don't have to pay any money for hosting unless you get enough traffic that you go over AppEngine's free quota: http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/quotas.html

As Evan's pointed out JaikuEngine doesn't currently support OMB but we are planning to do it. See this document for our plan: http://code.google.com/p/jaikuengine/source/browse/trunk/doc...

Jaiku.com currently does have support for XMPP but JaikuEngine doesn't. That code will be open sourced when AppEngine publicly launches it's XMPP API: http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/roadmap.html

JaikuEngine's project page is here: http://code.google.com/p/jaikuengine/

We have a mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/jaikuengine-discuss but most of the activity takes place on the Jaiku channel here: http://www.jaiku.com/channel/jaikuengine

Our backlog of bugs and feature requests is here: http://code.google.com/p/jaikuengine/issues/list

If you have any questions or need any help then drop by the mailing list or the JaikuEngine channel. We're happy to help in any way we can.

P.S. If you're interested in Open Micro Blogging then you should sign up to the mailing list: http://lists.openmicroblogging.org/mailman/listinfo/omb and help define the next version.

Thanks for a detailed response. A couple of quick questions

Is there any plan to support the twitter API for now so there is no need for an separate client? Is there a timeframe for support for XMPP & federation? They seem a while away.

To us federation is not as important as XMPP.

Also Are there any migration tools available? Just in case things don't pan out well.

We don't have any current plans to support the Twitter API. That's just because no-one's asked for it. We'd have no objections if someone filed a feature request on our issue tracker: http://code.google.com/p/jaikuengine/issues/list or sent us a patch to add Twitter API support.

We also have our own API which is supported by a few apps.

Open sourcing the XMPP support is dependent on the AppEngine team's release of the XMPP API. However their roadmap: http://code.google.com/appengine/docs/roadmap.html says they'll be launching XMPP support sometime before the end of June 2009.

We don't currently have any migration tools although the JaikuEngine API exposes the complete history of every post a user has made and so does the website. It should be relatively simple for a user extract all of their data out of any JaikuEngine instance. We'd like to make this even easier but we're still thinking about the most user-friendly way to do this.

If you set up your own instance of JaikuEngine then you can use the Remote API: http://code.google.com/appengine/articles/remote_api.html to easily extract all your data out of AppEngine's datastore.

In general my advice is that you sign up to both Identi.ca and Jaiku.com (as they're the single biggest instances of both Laconica and JaikuEngine) to get a feel for how the two systems work. Not only will this give you an understanding of how they compare to each other but you'll see how they differ from Twitter and be able to interact with the respective development teams.

So, wouldn't it be awesome if this were the main question people were deciding right now?

Why would Jaiku being Python-based be considered a con?

If I have a choice between working in PHP or Python, all other things being equal, I'm certain PHP would never be my choice.

Not me. When trying to get mass usage of an Open Source Web tool, I'd go with PHP every time. It's what's available on commodity Web hosting, and there's a big community of part-time Web programmers who know and use PHP. Compare: MediaWiki, Drupal, WordPress. Python is more glamourous and fun, but it's harder to build momentum for a massive FLOSS project written in Python.

I actually agree with you. But he's not asking about getting developers. He's talking about developing and maintaining an installation of it himself.

If I have to work on the code myself, Python is generally nice and PHP is generally nasty. I'm not a language dilettante, however. I choose the best tool for the job, and when we needed a new website, I ended up building (still building it, as we speak actually...just wrapping up a few last minute tweaks) it with Drupal. And, if I wanted something to get a lot of users, I would probably write it in PHP (and I think the first shopping cart plugin we build to work with our products will be for Drupal+UberCart, because it is not at all horrible to work with as many PHP shopping carts are, and it has a very large user community; so I'll be doing a lot more PHP work in the future).

I just didn't understand why being written in Python was in the cons section. It seems the OP didn't intend for it to be and has corrected it.

Oops, didnt mean for it to be a con. The text box to type into was rather small and hence the typo.

I agree with you. We would pick python over php.

I have made the correction.

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