[tahoe-dev] Bespin+Tahoe (just an idea)

Zooko O'Whielacronx zookog at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 03:16:47 UTC 2009


Here is an excerpt from my blog today:  (On my blog, it has lots of hyperlinks.)





(My mom, and others, have pointed out that my blog is chock full of
jargony goodness and they can get only the vaguest idea of what I'm on
about, mostly by reading the verbs. I don't like those sorts of
communication gaps (even though they are inevitable), so I've decided
to try the exercise of translating each item that I post from
programmer-speak to English. If it is hard to translate into English,
maybe this tells us something about what it means in its original

Last week I saw from Simon Phipp's blog this interesting project named
Bespin. It is a programmer's text editor implemented in JavaScript and
the Canvas element. That same day Tom Lord mentioned Bespin to me in
email. Bespin is exciting stuff! I really want to hack it to save the
files to a tahoe-lafs grid. If you saved your files to a tahoe-lafs
grid, then you wouldn't have to rely on the server to make sure your
file isn't deleted or corrupted, that its contents aren't stolen by
someone else, nor that permission to write to your file was
accidentally given to someone else, nor that permission to write to
your file was accidentally denied to someone with whom you had
intended to share it. (By the way, the list of claims in that sentence
should arouse great skepticism in security and distributed systems
experts. On the other hand, webapp authors and users probably paid
little attention, thinking to themselves "Well, why shouldn't it Just
Work?". I love this chaos.)

I had a lot of fun hacking TiddlyWiki to store itself to a tahoe-lafs
grid, with the help of TiddlyWiki hackers FND, Eric Shulman, and
Jeremy Ruston. The result was two small JavaScript plugins that anyone
can add to their TiddlyWiki to make their TiddlyWiki into a gridapp:
HTTPSavingPlugin.js and TahoePlugin.js.

I would love to do something similar for Bespin, but I can tell that I
need to focus on the tahoe core right now. The announcement of
tahoe-lafs 1.3.0 has encouraged more people to start contributing to
Tahoe, and I'm busy teaching them how to get their patches accepted
into the tahoe core.

That said, if any JavaScript/Caja/Tahoe/Bespin/TiddlyWiki hackers out
there want to have a go at Bespin+Tahoe, do let me know and I'll give
you a little help. :-)

Mom: Hm... This one is pretty hard to translate into English. I think
that in the future new applications such as word processors,
spreadsheets, tax software, photo album browsers, email, etc. will
live on a web page and you will use them by pointing your web browser
at that page. I think the most fact about this is that the market for
software is likely to get more competitive — a greater marketplace of
useful software, easier to use and with better features, that you are
able to try out and then adopt. A large part of the motivation for the
Tahoe project is to explore whether we can get all those values and
still let you retain ownership of your own data.

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