How does Solid work for an utter beginner

Hi
i would much appreciate guidance on how one uses Solid - in lay terms
I cant see even the basics
(i have an account)
questions
How does it relate to the day to day use of the web? I cannot see the cross over - its like i have opened solid account but i cannot tie this to my use of the internet - its like i have a solid account which i can log in to and theres nothing there - if i want to use the rest of the net it has nothing to do with solid. Anyone got a infographic or the like?

Is it effectively a pod to store my data?
but if so how does that data then get used on the web?
At the mo there seems no practical way to use it unless perhaps youre a developer?
there appears no practical “use” for my pod, no way that i can link it to my day to day web usage.
Is it that its very early days ?

If this is going to take off there must be some guidance on how the functions of solid relate to simple folks like me
Thanks

Hi @nicknicely & welcome…
You got an account that we call a Pod and that’s a good thing to start.

You ask good questions : what is the link with the internet I use ?
My answer would be a ‘normand’ answer : it depends on how You use internet… :yum:

To go deeply, first Solid is based on web standard, so nothing is really new it’s just the way to link all those things…

The main principle is to separate data & apps.
I would say that the aim of Solid is to allow each user to manage it’s data.
I suppose you currently use mail, bookmark, chat, or social apps. The problem with those apps is that your data (mails, likes, comments, friends…) are stored on multinational company databases and you have to be agree with their policy ( sell, aggregate,…) … Policies that none of us read…

With Solid you got a space ( or more that one) like a Google drive where you put your data and you can choose to migrate it to one or another provider, you can also become a provider…

But the most interesting is the way the data is stored, it is based on LinkedData, to link data and link knowledge bases ( like database in common world)

Everyone can store the data he wants and build apps that link it . For example recently, @walter.almeida has build an app to help user to store the place he visits and share it with his friends. The app is linked to DbPedia a knowledge base that provide all Wikipedia in LinkedData format, so if you use this app and say I visited ‘the Eiffel tower’ it is linked to that kb, and you instantaneously get a lot of information about that place or what can be visited aside.

On Solid, You can store images, videos, blog, documents, website, apps and link them the way you want…

Finally Solid is just a space to play and to do what you want allowing you to not depend on major company…

Personnaly I’ve for worked on many prototypes to play based on libraries that other contributors build & recently worked on Shighl https://scenaristeur.github.io/shighl for Solidarity
https://scenaristeur.github.io/solidarity/
with @jucole a chat app based in Solid

And now I’m on Agora https://scenaristeur.github.io/agora/

Solid is a way to reverse the use of internet.
What is your use of internet? Are interested in developing apps? Or just want to try what other build?
Feel free to ask, many apps are build by some interesting involved people :blush:

5 Likes

Thank you so much for you answers.
The reasons you describe - data stored on company dbs - is the reason im here. I belive that we need to get away from this.

Perhaps, if you have time, we could look at one example of the use of internet to demonstrate Solid in practice?
Taking bookmarks as an example. At the moment i bookmark in a browser (actually Firefox). What i seem to need is a demo of how i could store bookmarks in Solid. Is this something you can help with?
I appreciate that to folks who code this might look very basic but if we dont make this accessible it will only ever be the domain of the few.
I have no skills to help develop app but happy to input as a user
I appreciate you time in this and respect that you may be too busy to help
Regards

You example is a good example, an bookmark app has been build just for you :wink: Bookmarking Application

1 Like

Thanks
Unfortunately this demonstrates either 1, i am a fool :slight_smile:
, or 2, it is not intuitive
I followed the link to the bookmarking app
logged in
clicked create bookmark, pasted the bookmark in and clicked “post”
all good so far.
i now see this in my pod


the problem starts here now
I dont know how to add it here…(see following post)

i added the bookmark (URL) here but cannot see how this is used

Nice
So using the bookmark app and click on ‘create bookmark’
Gives you something like this

That app create as you say a file bookmark.ttl that you can access by clicking on the right arrow in the picture you show just below red dot .
Mine is here https://spoggy-test2.solid.community/public/bookmarks.ttl

That file is shown by you like

And in LinkedData said

For now and demonstrate it’s by default in your public folder, so be careful of what link you put here :wink: but that’s how it basically works…
What could be done is app that store it in your private folder, and allow you to share it only with the friends you choose, for example…

Did you search for ‘begin’ in the forum ? https://forum.solidproject.org/search?q=Begin

Thanks again
I feel like i might! be getting somewhere… but (and i feel like a simpleton! ) which “bit” is the actual bookmark? In simple terms, like in a browser, id “see” my bookmark and click n go, which bit do i click to visit a given bookmark? what im seeing in the demo you gave above is lots of data but which of these links in pic below is “the” link to the website? I have clicked to no avail
feeling rather dumb
Thank you tho!

The value of the “recalls” property leads to the actual bookmarked page:

But be aware, that this data browser is kind of a developer tool to browse the raw data.

Usually as an end user you would use an app like markbook.org or poddit to view and use your bookmarks.

The cool thing is, since the bookmarks are stored in your Pod, you can seamlessly switch between those apps, and both are totally aware of your bookmarks at any given time you use them

1 Like

So i thought clicking on the link in pic would take me to the url, but no, it takes me to my pod.
and then to the location in the next pic - Confused. I feel stuck in loops going nowhere. How does one use that bookmark to get to the URL?


tons of appreciation
Thanks

In markbook you can just click on the bookmark title to go to the target location.

Perhaps you accidentally clicked on the time (“a few seconds ago”) which links to the raw data in your pod :confused: I guess thats counter intuitive

Oh no I see. You actually bookmarked your bookmark.ttl file The “link” your are assuming (forum.solidproject.org…) is just a title, but not the actual location you bookmarked

Did you mix up fields when creating the bookmark? First one is a title you can choose freely, second ist the link you want to bookmark:

I did!
Sorted now, thanks
I so want this to work and to get away from central control and give autonomy to the individual but the guys building this stuff really need to accommodate folks like me or they just wont come.Accessible it aint!
Im generally tech savvy but navigating Solid is a nightmare. I have tried to encourage friends away from FB etc to diasopar and frendica but they get lost and lose interest and go back

Thanks for the help

1 Like

Yes, Solid currenty is a usability nightmare. Those apps are mostly proofs of concept, nothing that could replace established apps right now. It’s a long way to go and we need a lot more developers (and companies) to work with Solid standards. But feedback and involvement from non-developers like you is highly appreciated.

5 Likes

In my opinion, for non-developers using a Solid app and a non-Solid app should be the same. They should only see a difference in the login experience (It’d be similar to using “login with Facebook”, but using “login with Solid”).

But the problem here is that depends on the app. If the app hasn’t been developed like that, it can be confusing for users. That’s why I think the key for Solid to succeed is the app ecosystem :).

So the ideal use-case for Solid is that you find an app that you like and you recommend that app to your friends, if you recommend “Solid” they’ll be lost just trying to learn what that means.

5 Likes

Glad to be of some help
and Yes Noel totally

2 Likes

I could not agree more with your opinion Noel! The experience should be the same as using ‘standard’ apps. If we want to see Solid succeeding and widely adopted, this point is crucial.

Also, as @aveltens pointed, is too important that every time more developers could get interest around Solid (let me say also enthusiasts around data privacy and data decentralization) as well as more companies that share this values (which is not easy in an era where data has become the power of income of too many).

@nicknicely welcome to Solid :slight_smile: It’s always great to see new ‘faces’ joining the Solid resistance :wink: Anyone is welcome! Nice to see you trying to encourage your friends for alternatives, more ethical & respectful with users privacy.

That’s the spirit :slight_smile: