Will your .pizza domain survive?
Beaker vs TiddlyWiki. ActivityPub against Webmentions. Plain HTML hates them all.
I step back and, man, all the burgeoning technology out there is at complete odds with the other! Let’s do a run down. I’m not just doing this to stir up your sensibilities. Part of it is that I am lost in all of this stuff and need to sort my socks.
(I realize I’m doing a lot of ‘versus’ stuff below—but I don’t mean to be critical or adversarial. The point is to examine the frictions.)
Beaker Browser vs TiddlyWiki
No, it doesn’t let you write from different places yet—so you can’t really use it—but hopefully I’ll have to come back and change these words soon enough—it’s almost there?
Big problem, though: Beaker (Dat) doesn’t store differences. And TiddlyWiki is one big file. So every time you save, it keeps the old one saved and the network starts to fill with these old copies. And you can easily have a 10 meg wiki—you get a hundred days of edits under your belt and you’ve created some trouble for yourself.
Beaker is great for your basic blog or smattering of pages. It remains to be seen how this would be solved: differencing? Breaking up TiddlyWiki? Storing in JSON? Or do I just regenerate a new hash, a new Dat every time I publish? And use the hostname rather than the hash. I don’t know if that messes with the whole thing too much.
Where I Lean: I think I side with Beaker here. TiddlyWiki is made for browsers that haven’t focused on writing. But if it could be tailored to Beaker—to save in individual files—a Dat website already acts like a giant file, like a ZIP file. And I think it makes more sense to keep these files together inside a Dat rather than using HTML as the filesystem.
Datasette vs Beaker Browser
While we’re here, I’ve been dabbling with Datasette as a possible inductee into the tultywits and I could see more sites being done this way. A mutation of Datasette that appeals to me is: a static HTML site that stores all its data in a single file database—the incomparable SQLite.
I could see this blog done out like that: I access the database from Beaker and add posts. Then it gets synced to you and the site just loads everything straight from your synced database, stored in that single file.
But yeah: single file, gets bigger and bigger. (Interesting that TorrentNet is a network built on BitTorrent and SQLite.) I know Dat (Hypercore) deals in chunks. Are chunks updated individually or is the whole file replaced? I just can’t find it.
Where I Lean: I don’t know yet! Need to find a good database to use inside a ‘dat’ and which functions well with Beaker (today).
(Cont’d.) Beaker vs Indieweb, TiddlyWiki vs Indieweb
But the Indieweb craves static HTML—full of microformats. There’s just no other way about it.
ActivityPub vs Static HTML
ActivityPub seems to want everything to be dynamic. I saw this comment by one of the main Mastodon developers:
I do not plan on supporting Atom feeds that don’t have Webfinger and Salmon (i.e. non-interactive, non-user feeds.)
This seems like a devotion to ‘social’, right?
I’ve been wrestling with trying to get this blog hooked up to Mastodon—just out of curiosity. But I gave up. What’s the point? Anyone can use a web browser to get here. Well, yeah, I would like to communicate with everyone using their chosen home base.
ActivityPub and Beaker are almost diametrically opposed it seems.
It feels like ActivityPub is pushing itself further away with such an immense protocol. Maybe it’s like Andre Staltz recently told me about Secure Scuttlebutt:
[…] ideally we want SSB to be a decentralized invite-only networks, so that someone has to pull you into their social circles, or you pull in others into yours. It has upsides and downsides, but we think it more naturally corresponds to relationships outside tech.
Ok, so, perhaps building so-called ‘walled gardens’—Andre says, “isolated islands of SSB networks”—is just the modern order. (Secure Scuttlebutt is furthered obscured by simply not being accessible through any web browser I know of; there are mobile apps.)
ActivityPub vs Webmention
This feels more like a head-to-head, except that ‘Bridgy Fed’[5:1] is working to connect the two. These two both are:
- Communicating between feeds.
- Handling the ‘likes’, the ‘replies’, the ‘follows’ and such.
- An inbox/outbox model.
I think the funny thing here goes back to ‘Fed Bridgy’: the Indieweb/Webmention crowd is really making an effort to bridge the protocols. This is very amusing to me because the Webmention can be entirely described in a few paragraphs—so why are we using anything else at this point?
But the Webmention crowd now seems to have enough time on its hands that it’s now connecting Twitter, Github, anonymous comments, Mastodon, micro.blog to its lingua franca. So what I don’t understand is—why not just speak French? ActivityPub falls back to OStatus. What gives?