Solid for non-geek users: why, how and what’s next?


#1

What is Solid?

Beyond code, applications, servers, software and protocols there lie You and Your data. Solid takes care of both. It is an ecosystem enabling personal data ownership and working on behalf of the user.

Your thinking and your code should be about things: people, events, relationships.

Cit. @timbl on Solid chat

Why Solid?

Each and every interaction and action of ours on the Web leaves digital footprints, scattered across platforms, systems and websites online. It is time these footprints become our own, personal archives. Archives and knowledge we can take care of, curate and share at our own pace and will.

We need to take ownership of our digital belongings and the data around us. And we need to be able to do whatever we want with that data and to link anything to anything without restrictions that are beyond our control.

How Does Solid Work?

The ecosystem of Solid works very much like the Web. It is built of links and anything can be linked with anything. Actually, Solid is a layer of the Web itself, a grid within the Web, formed of something called Linked Data.

Stripped of technicalities, Linked data is a powerful technology that enables us to link, use and share our digital belongings while at the same time being fully in charge of every piece of data with put on the web. Bloomberg do it (https://en.linkeddata.center/), the government of the United States does it (https://catalog.data.gov/dataset). BBC do it, the library of Sweden recently became the first national library to fully transition to linked data, why would’t we we, as individuals, do it?

To get acquainted with the concept in less than 3 minutes, check Manu Sporny’s video What is Linked Data?

What’s Next?

Bringing back the power of our own data to us is exciting. But we must mind the gap between the vision and the current state of Solid. Solid is a road assembling itself on the go and and increasing number of developers across the world are collaborating to make things work.

The vision is to get myriads of “small pieces, loosely joined” and make them travel freely across the Web. Meaning, whatever we do - like, share, give access to, reuse or modify a photo for example, the data around these interactions will be a. Interoperable b. Stored in our own place.

Image from @RubenVerborgh’s slides here https://rubenverborgh.github.io/Solid-DeSemWeb-2018/#title

Getting to that vision is a long road ahead. There is a lot of future work on building, testing, trying, debugging, coding and whatever we can and more often cannot imagine a developer is doing. And it is a work in progress.

By then we can just enjoy the beauty of the supporting creativity and building apps over a solid platform that will bring back our digital belongings and the interactions related to them to ask the web of people.

We can also tinker with the platform: [LINKS TO BE INSERTED]

Get a WebId.

Put your picture.

Create a folder

Change the privacy setting of a resource

Wrangle the rough edges of the data browser

All in all, get acquainted with the fragmented, under the hood part, of a integrated-to-be construct that will save us from the tyranny of centralization and give us the power to own our digital selves.

Resources Worth Checking While Minding the Gap [To Be Updated with Time]


Some basic resources for newcomers
#2

To get acquainted with the concept in less than 3 minutes, check Manu Sporny’s video [What is Linked Data?](https://www.youtstrong textube.com/watch?v=4x_xzT5eF5)

Cit. @TheodoraPetkova on this forum.

Erratum: ...https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4x_xzT5eF5Q


#3

Thanks so much for pointing to this! Fixed


#4

Hello @TheodoraPetkova, I got an Inrupt pod weeks ago but haven’t been able to do anything with it. Seems the browsers on this outdated iPad Mini aren’t supported. When I attempt to open my profile card, I just get a blank page…

At some point I’ll get my homebuilt desktop working and this will no longer be an issue. Is there anything I can do in the meantime?


#5

Hello! Could that be a browser cache issue Can you try to clear your cache and then see if it is working. If not, you can make a screenshot and O can open (or you of you are up to spending time with bubuhs :slight_smile: an issue on GitHub, so that we see why this thing is not working.


#6

@TheodoraPetkova nope, that didn’t help.

I blame Apple.

One huge issue is what I presume to be the login button on the top right, which just says “Loading…” In an unanimated way. Also, tapping on my inbox opens a new tab where the login button does nothing.

I can’t log in.


#7

@filsmyth It would help to know which browser exactly your ipad is still running; you can get the information on the browser version through this website: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/; Can you please post back which version you are running?
If your iPad is older than IOS 10.2, parts of the SOLID login page won’t work as it depends on newer technologies.


#8

Thanks for the link, @johanbove, but I don’t need a website to tell me Apple tries to get users to buy new devices by hobbling their older ones.

Looking forward to using this only as a camera and mobile platform for 2048


#9

I feel your tech sorrow. Having a similar paper weight at home which would still perfectly work fine, albeit slow, if only Apple would keep supporting their software for longer. But to keep things a bit on topic; the current mobile experience for the Solid databrowser is not good as it focused on mouse input by drag and drop. You could try to install Chrome on the iPad if it’s supported but I’m afraid it will still not work.