Advancing Web standards to empower individuals and groups.

Curious what others think of this? This was linked in Tim Berners-Lee’s open letter on the state of the web at 35yrs.

  • @DingoBilly@lemmy.world
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    142 months ago

    Some interesting points, and some things I disagree with.

    Firstly it’s annoying he keeps calling it his idea and trying to enforce this concept that the current internet needs to align with his original goals. That’s stupid and ignores that things will go where they go, he can’t control them.

    So his first point about centralisation being an issue isn’t that big a grievance. But his second point rings true - the issues around our data and advertising have grown significantly and the Web is getting much worse as a result.

    I actually think the solution is just government needs to step in and regulate it, along the lines of what the EU is doing. Realistically I think that’s the only solution that’ll help. Doing some grassroots movement and hoping it picks up steam is just unrealistic. Like looking at Lemmy and Mastadon - they’re great but at this pace they’ll never take over the other giants in the space. You need someone to step in and force the change.

    • Lvxferre
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      92 months ago

      I agree with most of your comment so I’ll focus on details that I disagree with.

      Centralisation is an issue because it enables enshittification. A centralised system is always controlled by someone; and once that someone is at odds with the users, the users need to choose between 1) ditching the system completely, or 2) sucking it up. Decentralisation gives you a third option, to ditch only the parts of the system controlled by that someone.

      Decentralisation does introduce additional complexity; I think that’s why Mastodon and Lemmy have such slow adoption. However I also believe that this resistance against enshittification should allow the Fediverse as a whole to retain users better.

      I fully agree that governments need to regulate the issues around our data and advertisement. But it won’t be enough, because corporations (and people, in general) are damn great at finding loopholes at legislation, or newer exploits.

      • Victor
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        62 months ago

        I agree with most of your comment so I’ll focus on details that I disagree with.

        Can I just say that this is such a freaking wonderful way to start a wholesome discussion with a grounded and calm outset for an argumentation style.

        Up voted before I read any further into your comment, just because of that.

        Love you, dude.

        • Lvxferre
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          42 months ago

          I should do this more often then! (Thank you.)

          • Victor
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            22 months ago

            Heck yeah. I think it should work very well IRL as well. Definitely will try that.

      • @atrielienz@lemmy.world
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        32 months ago

        Centralisation is something we see in other facets of our society and it fails there too. Look for instance at the grass roots movement to have a third party in the US government. The numbers aren’t there even though people agree the 2 party system is broken. So you’re correct that centralisation is an issue, but I think op is also correct that grass roots movements don’t have any teeth in the internet space, and an equally large or larger power has to step in and in this case legislate. Not that it seems you were arguing the other point exactly. Just that I think the two points are kind of entwined together.

        • Lvxferre
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          42 months ago

          I agree that relying solely on grassroots is bad; larger groups of people are specially hard to coordinate towards common goals. However, as @higgsboson@dubvee.org mentioned there’s more than grassroots backing Solid up. And, even for the Fediverse, it seems that Mastodon caught some positive attention of government entities, like Switzerland.

          So, perhaps that’s a bit of wishful thinking, but the teeth might eventually grow, even if they aren’t there from the start.

          Regarding your example: it’s tricky for me to talk about USA’s government because I’m not from USA. For me the main issue seems to be the use of winner-take-all representation perpetuating the two-parties system; if that’s correct you’d need more than just a social movement to have a third party, you’d need structural changes. [Don’t trust what I said here, please. From the outside, details are always lost.]

          • @Feathercrown@lemmy.world
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            2 months ago

            You’re correct about the election system. Because we use a winner-take-all first-past-the-post (who came up with that name?) system, any vote for a third party weakens the position of whichever of the two main parties you would’ve otherwise voted for, and has an impossibly small chance to elect your chosen candidate, so it basically just works against your own interests.

    • @higgsboson@dubvee.org
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      2 months ago

      It’s not just a grassroots movement. TBL also founded a company, Inrupt, to sell Solid to governments and large companies. Bruce Schneier is their Chief Security Architect.

  • Victor
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    92 months ago

    Where is that xkcd about yet another standard when you need it.

  • @Feathercrown@lemmy.world
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    22 months ago

    I discovered this a few years ago but I haven’t set up my own server yet. I love the concept and I’m glad people are talking about it!

    • @higgsboson@dubvee.org
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      42 months ago

      Swing and a miss.

      You didnt bother to read about it beyond a marketing blurb, so you completely fail to grasp what Solid is. You then proceed to confidently draw erroneous conclusions based on a spurious premise that we have to fix everything or nothing at all.

  • @wirehead@lemmy.world
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    12 months ago

    The web is the way it is because TBL put out a feeler and looked at the sorts of things people were playing with around him and managed to assemble enough of them into the solid core that everybody else glommed stuff onto, and then was able to serve as a reasonable steward for enough of it for a long enough time period that it solidified into something reasonable useful.

    But not perfect. [shrugs in fediverse]

    Part of why it’s not perfect is because TBL was an academic person of privilege and so he’s never had to actually viscerally feel the sorts of struggle that most of the world feels. And he’s spent the past 35 years being fawned over.

    For whatever reason, TBL has smacked face-first into “linked data” formerly known as RDF repeatedly for decades now. I mostly understand what’s going on there and it kinda makes sense and I’ve even written some code that uses linked data and I’ve been generally following along as it goes.

    There was RDF and a version of RSS that was based on it, but then a more approachable thing ended up actually being the real RSS and instead of RDF-styled tagging, the formerly influential startup Technorati and the still vaguely popular photo site Flickr got everybody tagging because that was something people could grasp.

    If you think back to the dream of a “What would a Semantic Google look like” that folks were going on about a bunch of years ago and fast-forward to today with all of the AI-generated search result abuses and whatnot, you realize that if they had succeeded at it, the web might actually been a worse place.

    These days, ActivityPub is actually a proper constrained system that fits into the RDF thing that TBL has been face-smaking into. It’s actually got arcs in ways that Technorati/Flickr/et al tags don’t. So I guess we can call this progress, but I don’t know what percentage of people, even folks who care deeply about the Fediverse, actually grok the complete concept. Either way, the fediverse has pushed forward the “linked data” dream more than anything TBL has done. And part of this is that the successful fediverse apps have been grounded in being practical forward steps for people looking to jump off of a train moving in the wrong direction.

    So, dono, I guess you could see a Fediverse refactor such that the data, which is already linked data anyways, ends up getting stored using Solid mechanisms with a decentralized concept of identity and Pods, et al. And if they were actually practical people, showing up with patches would be a great way to get people onboarded because there’s at least a few things there that might be useful.

    But, in the end, it’s not that they are failing at being practical people who can deliver a useful solution, it’s that I don’t think they can really conceive of the important bits well enough to spend a lot of energy thinking they are making a better world when they are actually paving the way to make it even worse than had they sat around having fancy cocktails and bemoaning the state of the world and not tried to make Solid happen.

    • Mubelotix
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      12 months ago

      IPFS is best for static content. That is for personal information