Loomio
Sun 30 Sep 2018

Tim Berners Lee's Inrupt

D
Draft Public Seen by 292

Hi everyone,

Somebody send it on a mailing list, seems pretty interesting. They use solid.

The article : https://www.fastcompany.com/90243936/exclusive-tim-berners-lee-tells-us-his-radical-new-plan-to-upend-the-world-wide-web

Web page of the project : https://www.inrupt.com/

Documentation : https://solid.inrupt.com/docs/

BH

Bob Haugen Sun 30 Sep 2018

@jonrichter is SolidBase related to the Solid semantic web project? Or coincidental?

VG

Vincenzo Giorgino Sun 30 Sep 2018

Thank you! As a curious sociologist I will get a look with great interest.
Vincenzo Giorgino

SG

Simon Grant Sun 30 Sep 2018

I read the FastCompany article as slightly -- well -- skeptical? Admittedly it's nice to get TBL as leading one of the projects in this area, but I must confess when I last watched a video of TBL I was underwhelmed, and felt he may have passed his best. Which is a pity for W3C. What impression to others get? I mean, if it's genuinely good, let's go for it, but how do we tell if it is any better than other initiatives? TimBL's name alone doesn't do it for me.

JR

Jon Richter Sun 30 Sep 2018

Yes, the naming is coincidental. But it is not coincidental that I have chosen the SoLiD stack as identity and data provider.

BH

Bob Haugen Sun 30 Sep 2018

I couldn't read the fast company article because of all the videos autoplaying in the right panel with gesticulating crazy people.
But their blog post tells me a couple of things:
1. They are focused on business startups, and
2. they claim to have created some easy dev tools for apps.

Solid has been one of my potential infrastructure possibilities since it first emerged, but I couldn't get anything running reliably then, so I lost interest.

Now they might have their tech act together, but I don't want to play in a VC startup ballgame.

But I give TBL some respect. In the Solid dev chats, he was hands-on. And he's been trying to get money for his vision for 20+ years. Melvin Carvalho is the only dev onboard that I have interacted with, but he seemed like good and collaborative to me.

So, mixed review...will be interested in @jonrichter 's experience.

M

mike_hales Mon 1 Oct 2018

I see the same things as @bobhaugen Also, as a commons-oriented 'mere user' I see 3 things . .

  • The initiative sits very much in dev territory, It's good to see the library of tools - looks like they're really trying to help devs to fly with this. But despite 'for the people' rhetoric there's quite a gulf between the present Inrupt community and the life of folks like me who don't hack code or run servers. Same old same old.
  • Devs in corporates will exploit the Inrupt infratsructure, for sure - they'll be happy to have private data networks. Libertarian TBL doesn't mind? But there's an opportunity at this early stage, to emphasise small apps running on low-tech devices for non-tech poor users, as @mfioretti was emphasising here. Anybody feel like picking up the SOLID ball now and running with it, to make such an ecosystem?

  • The new TBL company could be another gitHub > Microsoft waiting to happen? Might anybody want to open a coop-owned repository for SOLID apps & tools? Maybe specialised in small apps for poor folks? Relates to @strypey here? Maybe an "app store" platform, with eco benefits over very many servers, as @mfioretti was pointing up?

BH

Bob Haugen Mon 1 Oct 2018

My hesitation about playing in a VC-financed game is that I want a cooperative software ecosystem where all the members play nicely with each other, and are friends.

I doubt that VC financing will lead to that. I see conflicts over money in other communities with much less on the table than VC money.

M

mike_hales Mon 1 Oct 2018

I guess that's why I was floating the coop repo idea. Could it be possible to initiate a parallel coop-commons oriented community, hacking on open source SOLID code & protocols, without geting snared in VC politics and InRupt corporate compromises? I dunno. Surely the free code base enables this, if somebody has the energy to underpin the alternative with labour? Now, who has a spare 3 days per week . . . and the FLOSS experience to surf this wave?

BH

Bob Haugen Mon 1 Oct 2018

Among the OAE people who are focused on economic networks, we currently have one project going on ActivityPub and another on SSB. And are talking to Holochain about another potential project.

I had Solid on my short list 2 years ago, but this makes me less interested, although I do appreciate that they seem to have some usable code. But if Jon and gang are trying it out, they could change my mind.

BH

Bob Haugen Mon 15 Oct 2018

@jonrichter how are you getting along with Solid as identity and data provider? More to see somewhere?
@ivan116 of our multiple-parallel P2P economic network projects is also Solid-curious and would be interested in an experience report, or some side conversation.

JF

Josh Fairhead Tue 16 Oct 2018

I know its not Inrupt, but if its a commons orientated FLOSS ecosystem your after take a look at Aragon. Theres a lot of interesting projects in incubation through their nest program

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 16 Oct 2018

If I understand https://blog.aragon.org/introducing-aragon-nest-1aa8c91c0566/ correctly, they are offering funds for projects that build on their stack, which is in turn built on Ethereum. Roughly accurate?

JF

Josh Fairhead Tue 16 Oct 2018

Yup, thats about right, those being funded being tools for a distributed governance ecosystem.

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 16 Oct 2018

These are interesting alternative approaches to an Open App Ecosystem.
* Avalon and Holochain want you to use their stack: become part of their ecosystem, play by their rules. (Disclaimer: I just started working on a Holochain OAE project, so I am not complaining, it's just one way to do it, and it has the advantage that everything might work together better.)
* Scuttlebutt, where @luandrovieira has an OAE project in motion, is similar in that it has to play by the SSB protocol and a lot of the logic but could be developed at least in different languages, with different clients.
* Holochain also allows different languages and clients but might be more restrictive about the environmental rules. We'll see, not sure yet.
* SSB is more protocol than required logic, although it has some of that, too.
* DigLife and some others (sorry, don't have all the names ready-to-hand) assembles a bunch of independently-developed apps and puts a dashboard and bot on top of them, but as far as the apps themselves communicating with each other, I haven't seen it yet.
* Solid might be more decoupled, as in, the fewest rules, but I want to see an example of an actual network using it.
* IndieWeb is another contender that might be even more decoupled...

Any other approaches? What am I missing?

JF

Josh Fairhead Wed 17 Oct 2018

Thanks, ECSA also looks primed to do some interesting stuff too. Generalised, configurable consensus (graph) and capabilities based design paradigm on top of it.

JR

Jon Richter Wed 17 Oct 2018

I like the word play with inrupt <> "disrupting", which was running around the start-up scene lately.

Also a little tutorial on how to use it is now available at https://solid.inrupt.com/docs/app-on-your-lunch-break

Previously they claimed they'll release a simple to use SDK in the near future, but that mention has been removed from https://solid.mit.edu