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Solid-compatible data mashup library and Databrowser

NPM Package

The mashlib library (mashlib.js) is a solid-compatible code library of application-level functionality for the world of Solid. It compiles all of the following repositories into what we know as mashlib.js:

  • solid-logic — core business logic of SolidOS
  • pane-registry - an index to hold all loaded solid panes, whether statically or dynamically loaded
  • solid-ui — User Interface widgets and utilities for Solid. Building blocks for solid-based apps
  • solid-panes — a set of core solid-compatible panes based on solid-ui.

A colorful dependency tree can be seen here.

Content of README



Developing mashlib

As part of the SolidOS stack, mashlib can be developed locally by setting up the SolidOS code. Read more about that on the SolidOS Readme.


The goals of mashlib overlap with the SolidOS Goals.

Typical uses

One major use of mashlib is as a "databrowser" for a personal data store.

Mashlib is used in SolidOS and contributes to:

mashlib is also used stand-alone as the SolidOS Databrowser Webapp and can be tried out at

mashlib is also used as a library by adding mashlib.js (or minified version) directly to your applications. For example:

<script src=""></script>.

Previous versions of this documentation

Check out SolidOS Pod for an earlier version of this documentation.


Different implementations

SolidOS Databrowser Webapp

The static/browse.html page is compiled one to one into the dist (output) folder of mashlib and makes mashlib available stand-alone as the SolidOS Databrowser Webapp.

You can see and try out a SolidOS Databrowser Webapp deployment at

browse.htmlserves as a perfect example for Solid WebID authentication and for making use of mashlib functions and variables.

To run/test it locally we created a script npm run startStaticOS.

SolidOS Databrowser Frontend

The src/databrowser.htmlpage is compiled into the SolidOS Databrowser Frontend which is displayed for each WebID on This is the case because the Solid Server is configured with SolidOS as its front-end.

More information about the SolidOS Front-end and how to use it visit the User Guide.

SolidOS Data-Kitchen

SolidOS Data-Kitchen uses mashlib.jsas a direct import in its source code. Visit the code at SolidOS Data-Kitchen GitHub.

Mashlib global variables and functions

If one wants to use mashlib as a direct import (as a package dependency or script import), one needs to know which global variables and functions are available.

The availability of these global variables depends on how the sub-modules are imported and exported and on where the variables are instantiated. For a basic theoretical read, please see this resource.

What does global mean in mashlib? We mean the global object which depends on different environments. In mashlib, for now, we use the window context which means these variables will not work if directly used in non-window contexts such as Node.js environments. (This does not mean you cannot use mashlib in Node.js environments; just import it through npm). At some point, we will switch this to the globalThis.

These are the most important window context/global variables and the sub-repos from which they are exported:

  • solid-logic exports among others: solidLogicSingleton, authn, authSession, store, chat, profile
  • pane-registry is exported entirely through the pane-registry variable
  • solid-ui exports among others: authn, store, rdf, dom under the UI variable
  • solid-panes exports getOutliner and the entire solid-ui through the UI variable, and solid-panes itself can be used through the panes variable

For backward compatibility reasons, there are now different ways to make use of the same variables from mashlib. For example:

  • to make use of the UI (solid-ui) one can use UI or panes.UI
  • authentication session, part of solid-logic, can be called as authSession or UI.authn.authSession or panes.UI.authn.authSession
  • the store (from solid-logic) can be used as store or or
  • rdflib is entirely acessible as UI.rdf or panes.UI.rdf
  • the currentUser function is called as authn.currentUser() or UI.auth.currentUser() or panes.UI.authn.currentUser()

You can see example usage in the SolidOS Databrowser Webapp code.

Code changes due to moving authn from solid-ui to solid-logic

One function has been renamed and does not have a backwards-compatible fallback. To make use of the login pop-up, one needs to call the UI.login.loginStatusBox function. The old UI.authn.loginStatusBox function will no longer work from v1.8.0 onwards.

Some packages have been moved and with them some functions too. Here we report on these changes:

Solid-ui & Solid-logic related:

  • There is no more authn as you might have known it in solid-ui pre mashlib version 1.7.18 (solid-ui 2.4.16).
  • Some functions in solid-ui which initially were found under solid-ui/authn are now under solid-ui/login.
  • Three functions were renamed:
    • logInLoadPreferences -> ensureLoadedPreferences
    • logInLoadProfile -> ensureLoadedProfile
    • logIn -> ensureLoggedIn

Functions that moved:

  • currentUser, checkUser, saveUser, offlineTestID are now part of solid-logic/authn/SolidAuthnLogic.ts-> this is because authn itself moved to solid-logic.
  • setACLUserPublic, fetchACLRel are not part of solid-logic/src/acl/aclLogic.ts/ and are exported in index.ts.
  • loadIndex, loadTypeIndexes, ensureTypeIndexes, registerInTypeIndex and are exported in index.ts.

The databrowser hack: upgrading your browser

This refers to a specific way in which the mashlib is deployed for users who at first only have a conventional web browser - a hypertext browser not a data browser. It is a hack -- in the original computing sense of a crafty, though not beautiful, little thing which gets the job done.

How does the data browser work?

  1. The user goes with a normal web browser to access some data object (like a to-do list).
  2. The server sees the browser doesn't understand the data natively.
  3. The server sends back a little placeholder HTML file, databrowser.html, instead of the data.
  4. The databrowser.html file loads the mashlib.js Javascript library, which can now understand the data.
  5. The mashlib.js then re-requests the original data, but accepting data formats.
  6. The server supplies the actual data of the to-do list or whatever it was.
  7. The mashlib.js code provides an editable visualization on the data.

The mashlib part of SolidOS Databrowser Frontend is read-write; that is, the user is allowed to edit data and create new things. It is live, in that often the databrowser subscribed (using a websocket) for any changes which other users make, so users' screens are synchronized.

A major limitation of this data browser hack is that current web browsers are made to distrust any code loaded from one domain that uses data from another domain. This makes it hard, strangely complicated, and sometimes impossible to do some things.