Progress update

April 24, 2017

A summary of project progress over the last two months.

TL;DR: Many contributed features, now refocussing on core functionality, and unlicensing the code.

New features

With the help of many friendly and motivated contributors, a whole bunch of features and improvements have been realised:

One more thank is due to Oliver, who has been the main motivator getting all these people to help on this project, through his WorldBrain project.

Increasing focus

With the wave of enthusiastic contributors also came the lesson that reviewing and cleanly integrating multiple people's code can take a lot of effort, especially when these people are new to the project. I started to understand the need for developing less different things at a time, even when in theory others are doing a big part of the work. We have added a couple of features that each are nice to have, but we also drifted off from the development roadmap.

My plan is now to direct focus more towards the core functionality, the essence of which I came to understand better: creating and owning your personal piece of web. That means expanding the possibilities of browser, to enable you to save, create and edit pages and links, rather than just view them. And complementary to that you need the ability to browse and search through your own web and to share parts with others.

Of course, all such functionality would really become great when it fits well in your existing work flows. For example, it could enable you to add your local files to your personal web, and to import your browser's existing bookmarks, and a hundred other things you can imagine. We should definitely keep such features on the road map, but rather than tackling them all at the same time, it may be good to first get the basics working and get a functional extension out there.

Current development

So, back to working on the core. A few of the things that are being worked on at this moment:

Besides this, many small things are being worked on to make a coherent whole, fix quirks and improve performance, in order to make a release soon. Stay tuned.

Public domain dedication

One more note to close with: all code in the project repo is now published under the Unlicense, which is a rough equivalent of the more succinct "do whatever the fuck you want with this code"-licence. Its purpose is to undo copyright, by explicitly waiving all such exclusive rights the authors may have been automatically granted.

Copyright is a vague, complex, internationally inconsistent, out-dated system of laws. When effectively the only purpose of a licence (e.g. MIT/BSD/ISC) is to legally force people to mention your name when they reuse your work, it feels like an overkill to pull in the whole bulky legal system. Attribution can be a matter of honour, not law.

Hopefully waiving copyrights helps code reuse. If you copy a few lines of code from this project, you can think whether you consider it worth attributing, rather than having to think what a dozen legal frameworks require you to. No need to end up rewriting code to legally be on the safe side, nor to manage and carry around a bunch of copyright notices for every snippet you borrowed from elsewhere.

So go clone our repo and grab whatever you like!