Is there still an appetite for SAFE Network-based website publishing tools?

First of all, no one get too excited, I’m just testing the waters while I get reacquainted with the safe network APIs.

SAFE Network publishing tools

I’ve spent the last couple of days reading through a lot of the app related posts in this (and other) forums, trying to grok how I fit in to this bold new world of SAFE.

One of the most perpetually popular ideas for an app seems to be publishing tools, a la Wordpress. You can see the hype around tools like Safe-CMS and Safepress and the appetite doesn’t seem to have died down at all - in fact, there seems an almost melancholy at the lack of quality publishing tools.

I’m still interested in creating website publishing tools, and wanted to guage public interest before I made any sort of decision.

Where we went wrong last time

In my opinion, the original Safe-CMS was a flawed project:

  • It was an electron app, this meant that updates had to update local executable programs, which is always messy. Electron apps take up a lot of RAM, a lot of system space, and ultimately it’s just a lazy wrapper for a website. It’s much easier and quicker to simply go to a web address within the SAFE browser.
  • By virtue of it being an app, people had to download it from the clearnet, meaning that without some sort of complex (and expensive) application signing certificate there was no way to prove that builds hadn’t been tampered with.(it just wasn’t financially feasible to be delivering 300MB of data over SAFE network for every download).
  • The code for the app wasn’t public at the time and ended up being lost to the ether due to me being a key-man-dependency.

Lessons learned

If I created any follow up project to Safe-CMS, it would have to abide by the following doctrine:

  • It would have to live within the SAFE network, as a web application.
  • It should have zero clearnet dependencies.
  • It would have to be open source from the very beginning, with the source available via Github.

Like I said, I’m just gauging public opinion. If there’s significant interest I’ll strongly consider setting forth plans and putting out a development timeline. If not, I’ll keep thinking.

Cheers,
Shane

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There is definitely significant interest from my side!

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Welcome back Shane! I’ll add my vote to @Sasha’s. An easy-to-use app that provides a friendly front end for creating a website would be an ideal way to get people interested in SAFE. In my mind’s eye this would be extensible, so that extra funtionality could be added on over time allowing users to manage storage, make private data public and so on, via modules or plugins - although I realise this is probably a big ask.

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I’m interested, especially if focused on ease of use with several modern looking templates available!
in a creepy emperor palpatine voice ‘Do iiit!’

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There’s definitely an appetite for easy web publishing for SAFE and the more immediate the better (as in edit / publish in the browser). Did you also see Solid Plume which will also run on SAFE. That’s not a good code base to start with, but I think the model is good and could be built on in stages - although that is just a simple blog.

Ideally also ways to take existing content from other sources, not just WordPress but a variety of ways to get content from other systems into a similar publication on SAFE.

I think starting static is good, but I’d be interested to hear any ideas for including more fancy features too.

A big :+1: from me.

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I am happy with any level of involvement you put forth to SAFE. I think the project will be in desperate need of app developers upon its launch time. I think for you personally it may just be worthwhile to formulate great ideas until the official network is here so you don’t waste effort until they have something finalized to integrate with. I know as a dev I would be bummed if I built out something awesome and complex and the network was either not delivered or the integrations were crazy different. I still see RFC data type changes flying around, I would want a v1 set of API’s and data types I am given a 100% guarantee this is what the initial customer facing live network will use before grinding on an app.

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My plan is to build on top of the nodejs API (since the web browser uses a thin abstraction over them) so it should be reasonably simple to keep up to date as long as I abstract away all of my networking calls to named functions (for instance, a createDNSRecord function which could be reused and in turn called the underlying safe API), so I’m not overly concerned about staying up to date with any changes.

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Glad to hear its not a concern. I haven’t ever gotten into the dev weeds of SAFE yet to be knowledgeable on it. I hope to when/if we launch some though :slight_smile: .Just too busy to invest time until its assured we are going live. So anxiously waiting for Flemming(if it represents the first birth of real usable SafeNet), or w/e release will signify the on boarding of all users and SafeCoin :slight_smile: . Enjoy your weekend!

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How many yeses does it take take to move on to the next round? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Adding a big fat yes!!

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Go for it Shane. You will get plenty of support both technical and moral.
Hopefully many WP-plugins will be able to be ported/used as inspiration as well.

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If, finally, you decide to start this App, which would be wonderful for this project, exist any possibility of using Webassembly?
I know that it is possibly asking too much and that it would mean entering unknown territory but if I have seen someone with enough talent to do it, is you.

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Shane, I forgot to mention that I also made a (very simple) dWeb blog using ReactStatic, the main feature of which is the ability to deploy to either or both of the web and SAFE dWeb simultaneously.

I think that would be a valuable feature for adoption, so worth considering if you want to support that.

BTW ReactStatic is very good, but if I was doing this now if probably use Svelte which I’ve been very impressed with.

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@Shane it’s worth looking at just modifying Wordpress via a plugin. That is THE most popular cms atm. And with some hooks / a plugin , with safe cli, it should be very possible to use that to generate a safe site.

There already exists plenty of static site generators eg. And this could let anyone using WP on clear net bridge to safe easily.

Just my €0.02c

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Aw naw - do I have to go and study PHP again…?
this could be one area where I’m just not going to try to follow along.
I’ll try to teach myself rudimentary Rust, am happy with Python, will get tore into node-js, explore React and Svelte etc cos @happybeing is such an inspiration, but PHP?!?!
I should add I’m not really any kind of developer, I just took a screwdriver to an Amiga PSU one day and things got a bit out of hand for 30 years

I dont mind using WP, but thats it.

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That’s it. I think a lot of folk are in that boat, which is why a simple ‘Automatically PUT this on SAFE’ plugin would be great IMO. No PHP etc for the user, just another WP settings page, and it all happens in the background automagically

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Building that plug-in looks like a major multi-faceted project though…
What would the top-level plan look like?
I’m just jotting down some quick notes here, if there is interest we’ll maybe make this a wiki and move it to its own topic.
Obviously not all WP sites are viable candidates for super SAFEness as they rely on external resources. CDNs we can probably handle fairly easily, databases not so much.
Crawl the site looking for external links.
If the links are easy, scrape the site and repackage for SAFE, upload and report new SAFE url
If not, show an error with help on workarounds.

Maybe start with a search for tools/plugins to generate a static website from WordPress.

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I’m curious, what external resources do you think aren’t viable for usage on the SAFE network? I was putting together a little network flowchart for a comment system tonight (think disqus) and didn’t run in to any issues.

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e-commerce sites, anything that relies on a backend database.
I know there are workarounds and would love to see what you are thinking of.
I must admit to not looking at any existing code you may have had before your hiatus.