A DECENTRALIZED WEB- Spring 2017

Solid is an exciting project led by Prof. Tim Berners-Lee. The project aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy.

 

Social software has an inherent network effect, where people have to all use the same system in order to collaborate and interact online. This makes it hard for any new and creative applications to attract enough users to become useful. Even worse, because there is no single system that everyone is willing to use, it has become impossible to deploy any online tools that have the kind of universal reach that Facebook, LinkedIn and others have.

 

We are developing protocols that allow user data to be managed separately from applications, resulting in decentralized social software. Users are free to switch systems while keeping the same social connections, and developers are free to innovate without having to worry about capturing a user base or maintaining a massive back-end operation. We believe the result will be a dramatic increase in innovation, especially in non-frivolous applications, with an increased respect for user autonomy and privacy.

 

All work is open source and intended to feed into an open standards process.

 

Experience with JavaScript web application development is a requirement for front-end work, and familiarity with RDF Linked Data is a plus. We are interested in working with students at all levels - UROP, MEng or PhD. To apply, please send a resume and statement of interest to Amy van der Hiel at amy@w3.org.