Imagine we build an actual useful app on the current alpha network (let's use a chat app as example)


#1

I’m not skilled in the way you guys are and I’m just curious to the usability and ‘public’ value of the current state of the network. So my apologies for silly questions up front.

Imagine we create an app and add it to https://apps.safenetwork.org/ or even better, in the app stores for everyone to download.

First, is this even possible?

Now, imagine that we create a mobile app, Android or iOS doesn’t matter, but preferably native.
Let’s make a chat app. We call it SAFECHAT :roll_eyes:

An app like Telegram/Whatsapp etc. Something that is actually useful and not just a techy-proof-of-something-hardly any masses understand.

Would this be possible?

I’m pretty sure that, if that is the case, we can easily mobilize a group of people here to bootstrap this, different people contributing (from money, development, to designs, whatever it takes). We could even do large-group-ownership approach somehow.

We all know that MAIDSAFE is building the biggest thing ever, and we patiently and respectively let the development team work their road-map in their own time.

However, a little useful use case could boost in understanding and popularity would probably be having something useful that is used by people and being a show-pony of the network.

Would this be possible? Ans in addition, could we make it that it keeps hopping to the new releases of the network in the bakcground (loosing your chat history doesn’t matter. Keeping your contacts would be nice).

What would it take?


#2

Assuming that the public API exposed by the SAFE network remains the same between alpha 2 and alpha 3 (and onwards) apps published would not have to be amended. The most likely occurrence, however, is that Maidsafe will have to make minor changes to the API going forward and people will have to upgrade the versions of the apps which they are running to a more modern version.

With that being said, the amount of effort to actually perform these upgrades as a developer is usually negligible unless there is a massive backwards compatibility change, so apps developed now should be persisted for quite a long time.


#3

Thanks Shane.

Updating some things in the app-code when the network updates shouldn’t be a big deal – it doesn’t need to be automatically.

I guess though that they ‘empty’ the network with updates in the current state so we would lose our content/groups etc. However, not optimal, it would be acceptable.

But can we technically actually build such app today? By the community?
One that can be used by anyone without installing additional software (all whats needed would be shipped in the app)


#4

Your chief concern here seems to be long-term persistence of the data, so let me assuage that for you: The data which is stored in the SafeNet is irrelevant of the actual code for the apps, if you send someone a message through the proposed app, assuming you keep hold of your vault secret/password the message will be retrievable “forever”.

Updating any apps with different code or to use different SafeNet APIs shouldn’t matter, since the code we will use to build our apps should always match up with the data stored in the network.

In terms of building apps, that can be done right now and in fact, that’s what I’m doing as we speak to build a blogging platform application on top of the SafeNet!

A slightly technical understandingl in case you’re keen to learn:

There is a NodeJS app here (https://github.com/maidsafe/safe_app_nodejs) which may be used to create a “server”, then you can create a “client” within the same codebase.

The “client” is what the user sees, the application they interact with, this is what will be displayed in their browser.

The “server” is (for the time being, anyway) what talks to the SafeNet. When you click the “send message” button on your client, the client tells the server to persist a message to the SafeNet. The server tells the client if it need to display any new messages.

You can build both of these in to a single executable which users can run (or install) with no external dependencies, so it runs for them as a single application.

Edit: Clearly you meant the alpha-to-alpha resets, so I’ll address that too:

Yeah, the data will be lost between alphas, but since we know that this is a possibility, the apps can be built such that they store the message data locally as well (in fact, this actually makes sense since you want to be caching messages so that you’re not constantly requesting the same data from the network and making it run slowly), so you could theoretically persist conversations between alphas. :slight_smile:


#5

Thanks again :slight_smile:
This is indeed one of my concerns, but actually not the main (bit of a misleading title, I agree, i updated it now).

My main purpose of starting this post is to find out if we can actually make an app using SafeNet today.
I haven’t been visiting the forum for a while and the only apps displayed are still the old ‘test-apps’ that don’t do much to anyone (with all do respect).

So given that (as I now understand now) this IS possible, i’m actually very surprised that we still don’t have a (massive) collection of apps available (such as some very obvious ones as given in my example).

I would immediately start using it, as well everyone else here in this forum. It would create momentum, joy, and it will generate a lot of attention outside of our inner circle when leveraged correctly .


#6

@Thomas here is an example - the proposal I put out earlier on tonight: Safe-CMS - Censorship is a thing of the past

I would assume that others are building apps too but somewhat less openly. The hope and dream is that by the end of this alpha we have a nice handful of supported apps to offer extra functionality on top of the SafeNet. :slight_smile:


#7

Nice project, however, way more niche as what would be good for the brand (how many people need this? again, being a bit devil’s advocate) :slight_smile:

I would like to see something simple-stupid that can be spread out that all the maidsafe fans can use, and use as conversation-tool to our peers trying to explain it.


#8

We need ‘normal’ things that actually can compete/fit with the current world. We all want a better thing in the background (actually, many people don’t care because they don’t feel a problem), but in our world - for adaptation - its the front that appeals to the user.


#9

something like

Pidgin, the universal chat client
https://www.pidgin.im/

reworked on top SAFE Network would be a good way to tap into existing chat environments and use the SAFEchat you propose as separate chat sphere with the same client (Pidgin)

There are known Pidgin security vulnerabilities which could also be addressed with the rework.

The plus is you would not be starting from scratch and Pidgin has been around long enough to garner a bit of attention from the tech developer crowd…

R2


#10

Thanks R2, I’ll have a look!


#11

your welcome :slight_smile:


#12

Remember the puts allowed per account are pretty limited in this alpha network.


#13

I’m a bit confused about your questions - is it possible to build a chat app? - when one of the examples is a chat app. Can you clarify why that doesn’t answer what you want to know?


#14

My bottom line question is that I’m surprised that nobody within the community made an app/use-case that is actually useful. It would help the network