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Week Updates 2019-12-18
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Updates
Mitzi László

This Year in Solid 2019

Hello and welcome to another edition of This Week in Solid!

Solid is a standard that describes how to build data storage and applications in such a way that users can conveniently switch between data storage providers and application providers and take the data generated along.

This is the last edition of 2019 so here's a recap of This Year in Solid to look at the highlights of the year.

The main activities happening within Solid GitHub are: governance, awareness, standardisation as well as implementation and tooling which is happening both in the Solid Github as well as in other locations. Let's go through each of these activities one by one.

A record of who is working on what, where

At the start of the year newcomers were not sure how to contribute to Solid. Over the year we have worked on recording who works on what and where so that new comers know how to support others and when to start new projects.

The Solid properties have been collected and maintained by the Administrators

The test suite is in development

solidproject.org is live

At the start of the year information about Solid was dispersed over various location, by different people, sometimes duplicated. Over the year we have come together to collect the information about Solid in a single repository (which was called 'Information'). This was the base content used to build solidproject.org which was put together with a lot of hard work from the Creators.

the mailing list was set up

This Week in Solid has been set up as a touch point to easily stay in the loop and share information with each other.

Solid Events

Over 2019 we had 25 Solid Events in 18 locations in the USA, Europe, and Beijing. Thank you to all the hard work by the event organisers for making this happen.

Public Speaking

63 talks mentioning Solid

Articles

There were more than 150 articles mentioning Solid across 2019.

Weekly recurring and well attended calls on specific themes to develop Solid

Clear destination repo for Solid

At the start of the year Solid was being worked on in several different respositories asynchronously. Now, there is a clear agreed destination where to put the final result.

Defined milestones of work to work on Solid

Tooling

Implementations

  • Solid team employed at Empathy: At Empathy.co we envision an e-commerce search based on the Solid ecosystem following its specification & principles. Where user rights and data ownership prevails. We envision an e-commerce search based on data stored in Pods where relevant results could depend on context data stored by the user & privacy relies on it. We think that if we want to see this succeeding, the Pod management needs to be a Pod experience. Something that the user sees as a projection of themselves, something they love to feel endorsed by & they want to see it as a part of the 'I'. That's why we are working on the UX/UI Pod experience"
  • Course teaching how to build a Solid app at University of Oviedo Last year, the students that attended the course "Software Architecture" participated in the Solid chat challenge. It consisted in the development of a Solid chat app as part of the course assignment. The course is taught in the second semester, 3rd year, of the Bachelor degree in Software Engineering at the School of Computer Science from the University of Oviedo, Spain. The students were grouped in teams of 4-8 students and had to describe the architecture of the app and to implement a prototype using open source software. The total number of students that participated was 116. An important aspect is that the students had previous knowledge of programming languages like Java or Javascript, but 85% of the students didn't even know that RDF existed, and as the course was about Software architecture, the teachers didn't have time to explain RDF or semantic technologies properly. So part of the challenge was also to see how students could develop a Solid app without prior knowledge of those subjects or having to learn those subjects by themselves. In general, the students succeeded to create the Solid chat apps and 14 projects were presented, which are available at the course web page. A Jury was formed by 2 people of Inrupt and one teacher to select the winner project. During the presentation of the results, Mitzi Laszlo, from Inrupt, gave a talk abotu Solid and we invited several local companies to the event. The companies Empathy, Izertis and The-Cocktail were interested to sponsor some of the students which continue developing some projects using Solid.

Wishlist for 2020

Here's a little list of things that people have mentioned they would love to see happen in 2020:

  • Consistent coherent description of what Solid is
  • Stable standard
  • Improved onboarding
  • User friendly apps
  • Multiple Pod implementations
  • Better developing tools

Until next year :)

Mitzi László

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