Many think the Beaker Browser is all about the ‘decentralized Web’. Yeah, uh, in
part. Sure, there are many that want this ‘d-web’—I imagine there is some
crossover with the groups that want grassroots, localized mesh networks—for
political reasons, speech reasons, maybe Mozilla wants a new buzzword, maybe
out of idealism or (justified!) paranoia. And maybe it’s for real.
No, my friends, Beaker marks a return of the possibility of a read-write Web.
(I believe this idea took a step back in 2004 when Netscape took Composer out of its
browser—which at that time was a ‘suite’ you could use to write HTML as well
as read it.) Pictured above, I am editing the source code of my site right from
the browser—but this is miniscule compared to what Beaker can do.
(Including Beaker’s dead-simple “Make an editable copy”—a button that appears
in the address bar of any ‘dat’ website you visit.)
(And, yes, Twitter has given you read-write 140 chars. Facebook gave a
read-write width of 476 pixels across—along with a vague restriction to height.
And Reddit gave you a read-write social pastebin in
gray-on-white-with-a-little-blue. Beaker looks to me like read-write full stop.)
Now look—I couldn’t care less how you choose to write your mobile amateur
Karaoke platform, what languages or what spicy styles. But for personal
people of the Web—the bloggers, the hobbyists, the newbs still out
there, the NETIZENS BAAAHAHAHAHHAAA!—yeah, no srsly, let’s be srs,
I think there are even more compelling reason for you.
The Web is the Machine
Broken software is a massive problem. Wordpress can go down—an upgrade can
botch it, a plugin can get hacked, a plugin can run slow, it can get
overloaded. Will your Ghost installation still run in ten years? Twenty years?
Dynamic sites seem to need a ‘stack’ of software and stacks do fall over. And
restacking—reinstalling software on a new server can be time-consuming. One
day that software simply won’t work. And, while ‘staticgens’ can break as well,
it’s not quite a ‘stack’.
And, really, it may not matter at that point: the ‘staticgens’ do leave you
with the static HTML.
The more interesting question is: how long will the web platform live on for?
and backward compatibility. I spend a lot of time surfing the Old Web and it’s
most often Flash that is broken—while even some of the oldest, most convuluted
stuff is exactly as it was intended.