No less a person than Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in the early 1990s and was ennobled for his services, is less than ever happy with the development the Web has taken. “I’ve always believed that the Web is there for everyone,” Berners-Lee writes. “But […] the Web has evolved into an engine of inequality and separation and is driven by powerful forces that only pursue their own goals.” What Berners-Lee means by that are corporations like Google, Facebook and Amazon, which collect, exploit and sell the data of the user to an unimagined extent.
To counter this development, he now announces Solid. Solid is a platform that builds on the existing web. Solid is free software and is designed to manage and connect all the data a user wants to store in it in a novel way. In particular, all data remains private. On the platform run apps that the user selects. It also defines exactly which apps have access to which data. Data can be made available to other users so that collaboration is possible. While this is already possible in broad terms with platforms such as Owncloud and Nextcloud, in Solid the apps work much more together to provide the user with a greater benefit.
To enable Solid, Berners-Lee has taken leave from MIT and is returning to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Together with John Bruce, an experienced manager, he founded the company Inrupt, which aims to create an ecosystem around Solid.
Solid is far from finished, but as with most open source projects, developers have decided to go public early. Solid is decentralized and in addition to public servers and private servers can be operated with solid. You can already get an identity and a pod (private data storage) and developers can start writing apps right now. More information can be found on the Solid website.
The Solid Server is an application for Node.js. He is under the MIT license and is developed on Github. Binary packages are available from the NPM website.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht