YES! I'm SO EXCITED to say that the Spritely Institute (of which I'm CTO) just got a substantial amount of multi-year funding from the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web! https://spritely.institute/news/ffdw-support-announcement.html
We also just put this lovely blogpost giving a tour of the Spritely Institute's technology! https://spritely.institute/news/blast-off-spritely-institutes-tech-tour.html
This is really huge! I'll expand more on what it means below in this thread!
First off, I know people are gonna ask, so let me answer it up front: no, this doesn't mean Spritely is doing anything cryptocurrency based... the FFDW funds decentralized network stuff *in general*, and Spritely nicely aligns with that. (There's a separate but interrelated org named the Filecoin Foundation which *is* Filecoin oriented)
So! Let's talk about what we *are* doing :)
So, what does this mean? For one thing, it means that Spritely is moving out of a "scrappy couple of developers" project to a real research institution. We're actually already approved as a 501c3 nonprofit in the US! https://spritely.institute/news/spritely-institute-501c3-approval.html
(If you know anything about how hard it is to get open source tech nonprofits to get that status, that should be an indicator of its own!)
This is pretty cool and there are some fun things it can do already! For example, what happens when you have an unlimited amount of transactional rollback? Time travel, as demoed in this space shooter game Terminal Phase!
Goblins also has a distributed programming environment which means that p2p tech can be written really easily... such as this p2p, end to end encrypted, chat protocol example... which only took 150 lines of code for the backend and never even needed to mention the network once to function! In Spritely, building secure, network-ready software is the *default* way you program!
See more in our tech tour thread: https://spritely.institute/news/blast-off-spritely-institutes-tech-tour.html
We're not just building cool nerdy tech for programming theory nerds! The end goal is changing how people communicate on the internet in general, and we are working towards that end-user vision also.
But there's more public to talk about the lower-level tech stuff right now, so that's more of the focus in this thread :)
Let's hop back to that transactions and time travel bit though!
This is possible because Goblins has something which is called a-erm, excuse the programming lingo here--a "transactional heap"
But as you can see in this illustration (modified from Mark S. Miller's dissertation, thanks Mark) it looks like there's two ways of communicating...
Okay, at this point it should be obvious, Spritely Goblins is doing some pretty cool stuff.
This is just the *fundamental layer* of course... there's more coming. But we're already launching the @spritelyinst with a powerful foundation!
The @spritelyinst is being built on a merged history of experience: I (as CTO) brought experience co-authoring ActivityPub, the currently most popular decentralized social network protocol today, and wrote most of Spritely's tech core.
But hey, who's the other co-founder?
Why, that would be Randy Farmer, who's been doing this for so long that he co-ran the world's first graphical online virtual world called Lucasfilms Habitat in *1985* on the *Commodore 64*!
You can see a funny promotional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVpulhO3jyc
Habitat was so ahead of its time that Randy Farmer and friends had to come up with new technical terms like "avatar", because nobody else had a technical term for it then (iirc it was Chip Morningstar who borrowed the word from Sanskrit)
So Randy's been doing this stuff a while. ;) He's also our Executive Director!
But the two of us started talking because @spritelyinst's technology kept borrowing from a not-as-known-as-it-should-be branch of CS called "object capability security", which Randy and his peers were heavily involved in. That's how we got talking.
But to be more specific, we got talking because Randy Farmer found out that I showed off this video in a talk of him presenting Electric Communities Habitat, a decentralized and secure graphical social community platform back in *1997*! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNiePoNiyvE
But we just went down a rabbit hole of @spritelyinst's tech stuff. That's cool and all, but the purpose of Spritely is to build a networked communities platform of the future for *everyone*.
Building that future requires the right foundations.
It also requires the right *governance*. I'm excited to say that we're already a 501c3 nonprofit in the US: We also have an awesome board, not only me and Randy, but also @o0karen0o, Alex Handy, and Libby Reinish. Off to a great start! https://spritely.institute/about/
Also one more thing. I mentioned Randy, myself, the whole board... but I forgot to mention one other person. @tsyesika has already been working directly on Spritely thanks to support from NLNet, and is in many ways the first real engineer on the project other than me!
And the other exciting thing to know about that is that @tsyesika and I are both co-authors of the ActivityPub spec! ;)
Congratulations Christine! I am very happy for you. This is a major step on the #Spritely adventure quest. I know this is a very exciting journey, but that it is also a path with many obstacles you had to take. Putting tremendous effort, sweat and tears, stressful at time. I really admire how you pursue your dreams. This is a major step forwards in making them come true. I'll be rooting for the initiative and help in the small ways I can!
Onwards towards the Fantasary!
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