With an ambitious decentralized platform, the father of the web hopes it’s game on for corporate tech giants like Facebook and Google.
For years now, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over.
The difference here is that, on Solid, all the information is under his control. Every bit of data he creates or adds on Solid exists within a Solid pod–which is an acronym for personal online data store. These pods are what give Solid users control over their applications and information on the web. Anyone using the platform will get a Solid identity and Solid pod. This is how people, Berners-Lee says, will take back the power of the web from corporations.
Phi Beta Iota: Early criticism from our technical advisors is that Tim Berners-Lee is still trapped in the URL world (much as Amazon is trapped in the data center world). We are reminded of Doug Englebart and his Open Hybertextdocument System (OHS) which called for the ability to link (and weight) at the paragraph level. We salute what Tim Berners-Lee is trying to do. We believe there is a larger better solution and hope that he will agree to join us as we create the post #GoogleGestapo local to global Internet.
HUGE: No matter what happens in the private sector, governments own the fiber lines. A solution is needed that blocks government-sanctioned control of the fiber lines and the content that flows over those fiber lines.
I thought about this “new, distributed” Web. The original Web took place because Berners Lee solved a problem accessing his colleagues’ write ups at CERN. Word leaked out and users were pulled to an easy way to implement hypertext, which had been around for years. This Inrupt play is more of a push thing. The user of the existing Web accept it like electricity or packaged red meat at the grocery store. There is no pull yet, and I am not sure that there will be. This is more of a push thing, and the comments are indeed breathless, but breathlessness does not quickly mutate into usage. Mainframes are still around. Change is difficult. Push change can be very, very difficult.