decentralize.js - shaping the internet of tomorrow

So here I am finding myself in between gigs in september. What to do? Of course, the main javascript event (jsconf.eu) has been sold out for ages. But it turns out that there is a javascript fest going on the entire week as a precursor to the main event. So I swiftly booked myself on decentralize.js and reject.js and also made sure that I get a couple of days to do Berlin. Here are some thoughts from decentralize.js. There may or may not appear a similar post about reject.js…..

When thinking about the current state of the web and also about where we are headed - this may be the most important event anywhere at the moment. The trend we have been seeing the last 15 years when we willingly give our own data away to for-profit companies to whatever they please with is distressing to say the least. I mumbled about this a year ago.

Some 20 devs turned up at the really cool betahaus cafe. Some getaways from this event:

  • webrtc removes the need for a server when doing p2p real time interaction in the browser. Useful for any streaming between clients.
  • the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) has been around for ages and it is really cool. Albeit XML based it has all the things needed to decentralize micro messaging. Actually many proprietary solutions are based on XMPP but are not advertising it - for apparent reasons. It certainly looks possible to have a email like infrastructure for this if major private players (like facebook, twitter and skype) would make up their minds. Shame on you….
  • the unhosted stuff is moving along. The problem of decentralizing storage is addressed with the remoteStorage protocol. There is also a messaging service thing called sockethub that aims to make it easy to send messages to any platform out there. It takes a practical approach to the problem aiming for something that can be useful today. It feels a bit off to have a hub for doing this. It is probably needed at the moment but I feel that this kind of thing should be a part of the internet infrastructure of tomorrow. Sending a message should just be a matter of addressing. Just like email.

These things are increasingly important if we are ever are gonna get a nice open and free internet. I am really happy that people are working on this and a bit sad that I haven’t been able to contribute in anyway myself.

Moroccan remote living photo by mariusz kluzniak.