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Re: Reviewing the Solid protocol

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2022 16:33:30 +0100
Message-ID: <CAFfrAFoLmJxVd7cB=01mx+L4QMHHpQBsvX1_RUE7qH9GvXAcAA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Amy Guy <rhiaro@w3.org>, Chief of Staff TBL <cos@timbl.com>, Daniel Appelquist <dan@torgo.com>, Osmar Olivo <oz@inrupt.com>, Public TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>, Ruben Verborgh <ruben.verborgh@ugent.be>, Sarven Capadisli <info@csarven.ca>, Timea Turdean <timea.turdean@inrupt.com>
(I believe this needs a tracking issue in the TAG github, presumably
https://github.com/w3ctag/design-reviews/issues ).

On Sun, 24 Jul 2022 at 14:18, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> wrote:

> Solid is a growing protocol/movement, and the tech parts of it — the Solid
> Project — are basically a W3C Community group.
> Solid adds things which the web needed but hadn’t yet standardized,
> including global single sign-in, standard access control, and a fast API
> for data read-write between an app and a store (a Solid Pod).  By making
> the API to the store universal, it means you don’t have to change the store
> when you make a new app, which completely changes the architecture and
> markets and business models which are possible. It also leaves individuals
> empowered rather than exploited.

Are you also open to sympathetically skeptical comments on how the Solid
architecture does or doesn’t support these incredibly ambitious goals?

I have this hard to articulate sense that the Solid project is tying itself
very tightly to one specific design for fine grained data interop,
potentially at the expense of its role as a unifying “rallying cry” for
users-first platform design, data control/access, portability,
transparency, openness etc. These are values that have been shared across
diverse groups who have been working on different (if hopefully
complementary) pieces of the puzzle, and exploring different tradeoffs and

I could well imagine that Solid’s formal protocol specs check out ok at
face value, i.e. “yup, it does what it says on the tin”, while still
meriting serious discussion on whether this very technical use of RDF will
get the web ecosystem to where you want it to be.



> Would it be reasonable for the TAG to review the architecture at a high
> level, or review the protocol?  It would be useful to get a knowledge of
> the Solid stack in neighboring parts of the technology.
> (A separate future question are the client-client interop specs which are
> needed for interop between apps, such as contacts, chat, etc.)
> See https://solidproject.org/. https://solidproject.org/TR is where the
> specs end up after their github-based proces.
> Best wishes
> Tim BL
Received on Sunday, 24 July 2022 15:33:55 UTC

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