An introduction to
the Solid ecosystem
Ghent University – imec
Solid aims to give people back
their choice on the Web.
People should be free to share
whatever they want
with whomever they want,
while paying a fair price.
The Solid ecosystem enables you
to use the apps you need,
storing your data wherever you want.
You own your data,
and share it
with the apps and people you choose.
The Web strives to be universal
of many factors.
You freedom to use the Web
shouldn’t be influenced by:
- network access
The Web brings freedom of expression
to everyone across the world.
Anyone can say anything about anything.
We all have our own spaces,
so we don’t have to agree.
We can link to opinions of others
to discuss about them.
The Web brings permissionless innovation
at an unprecedented scale.
Anyone can build anything for any reason.
You don’t need anyone’s permission
to join the Web and launch a new idea.
This contrasts with app stores,
where your app has to be approved
and you have to share your revenues.
People started their own blogs and sites,
sharing things on their own terms.
A generation of social platforms
helped people interact and share.
The Web has changed tremendously
in just a couple of years.
Our data has become centralized
in a handful of Web platforms.
Data that would be on people’s personal blogs
is now on Facebook and Twitter.
Their user experience lowered the barrier,
but we are no longer in control of our data.
This has far-reaching consequences for privacy.
It endangers the Web’s universality.
Sign in with Facebook to see this content.
Facebook works better with the native app.
The walled gardens of social media:
you have to move either data or people.
These social media platforms
reduce the Web to television.
Rather than deliberately choosing content,
decide in our place.
We do not actively control
what parts of other’s data we see.
Our comments and reactions
also get engulfed by The Stream.
Hyperlinks lose their value as a currency
and voting mechanism.
Ironically, permissionless innovation
even allows platforms that prevent it.
The Facebook founder has no intention of
allowing anyone to build anything on his platform
that does not have his express approval.
Having profited mightily from the Web’s openness,
John Naughton, The Guardian
he has kicked away the ladder that elevated him
to his current eminence.
Without Net Neutrality,
these platforms gain even more power.
Net Neutrality keeps the network
and service markets separated.
Startups don’t need providers’ permission
to compete with big companies.
Platform neutrality can be seen as a step
beyond network and system neutrality.
You choose your provider, device, and app.
Decentralization in Solid is not needing
centralized platforms to enjoy the Web.
Decentralization is broader than blockchain.
Decentralization in blockchain means that
no central party is needed to reach a decision.
Blockchains replicate data across many nodes.
Solid decentralizes to avoid a dependency on
a central party’s data ownership or permission.
- Store your data where you want.
- Still use the apps that you want.
- Switch at any time.
Different platforms tackle decentralization
at very different scales.
You can choose where you store
every single piece of data you produce.
Every piece of data can link
to any other piece of data.
PREFIX as: <https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams#>
PREFIX xsd: <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#>
<#ruben-likes-webfoundation> a as:Like;
You can grant apps and people access
to very specific parts of your data.
Separating app and storage competition
drives permissionless innovation.
Solid is not a company or organisation.
Solid is not (just) software.
Solid is an ecosystem.
Standards explain how different instances interoperate.
Solid is a movement.
We’re shifting the mindset on how to build apps.
Solid is a community.
Different people, companies, and organisations build it.
Anyone can build or host
software for Solid.
You can have a server at home
or at your workplace.
- Open-source implementations are available.
You can rent server space
or even dedicated Solid space.
You can use one of the
free community servers.
The Solid server acts as a data pod
that stores and guards your data.
Your Solid data pod is a regular Web server.
- with support for access control
- with support for Linked Data
Your Solid data pod is application-agnostic.
- You can build any application.
- All application-specific logic resides in clients.
Your Solid data pod is like your website.
- Yet your data can be opened with all apps you want.
A typical data pod can contain
any data you create or need online.
- profile 👤
- photos 🖼
- comments 🗣
- likes 👍
- … ✨
Solid clients are browser or native apps
that read from or write to your data pod.
You give apps permission to parts of your pod.
- You can choose very precisely what they can access.
Friends give you permission to parts of their pod.
- They can choose very precisely what you can access.
Apps build a unified experience with all that data.
- Browse your friends’ pictures along with yours.
Any app you can envision,
you can build with Solid.
- calendar 📅
- social feed 👥
- photo sharing 📸
- academic peer review system 🎓
- … ✨
The Solid server and several apps exist
and are usable for developers.
Solid is transitioning from research project
into an ecosystem backed by a start-up.
MIT has been our home
- initial development of server and apps
Inrupt is accelerating development
- open up the ecosystem for all
- maintain common building blocks as open source
- create tooling for developers
- offer services and apps
We will bring the Solid experience
to people all over the world.
- October 2018
- more about Inrupt
- Fall 2018
- developer toolkit & common UX
- early 2019
- MVP of the ecosystem
Solid lets you take control
over your personal data.
It breaks up silos on the Web
by linking to information
rather than harvesting it.