SAFE Network decentralized applications. More than just storage?

At which point will it be possible, if ever, to create apps that use the SAFE network for more than just anonymous, incentive driven, decentralized storage ?

The main tasks of social platform like Facebook, Reddit and Discourse require computations to provide each users with filtered and sorted view of the information available. (list of friend, most popular posts, ect) They also need to enforce access control dynamically, allowing and restricting access to many aspect of the application.

Basic search capabilities and conditional actions. Will SAFE ever do that and when ?

When I see all the craze about rewriting every existing app into it’s SAFE counterpart I can’t but wonder what am I missing? Ethereum has been focusing on decentralized computation from the start with a team of 30+ and barely have anything working that equate what some of you guys expect to achieve.

Is a “simple” functional decentralized storage network where every user’s bandwidth, storage and latency requirements is met with proportional incentives possible without decentralized computation and a complete rewrite of every existing webapp possible ?

I want to belive…

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The challenge is to be able to write front-end applications instead of having all of the storage being held and computation being done on a server.

Even when decentralized computation is implemented, the scripts will still have to be only on the client side. Decentralized computation is not performing back-end options, but rather performing the front-end computation on behalf of the user. So it’s still just front-end applications, but a dev would then be able to count on having more computational power than the user’s local machine would be able to provide.

This is a very new paradigm, and one that is to be encouraged. See this blog post for a approximation of what we’re talking about.

Basically, yes, it is completely possible with a little ingenuity and lots and lots of trial and error - just like any other new technology.

EDIT: I get it, it’s hard to imagine the internet without big datacenters and black-box back-end code running the applications housed therein, but this platform provides the perfect opportunity to flesh the ideas of one such as that out. While the end-goal may be functionality similar to Reddit/discourse/facebook/etc, the approach will be completely different - both in the sense of decentralization and front-end driven applications.


I never interpreted it like this, that would be pretty limiting and not enable something like smart-contracts.

Actually similar to bitcoin, The nodes don’t do any computation from the ledger, and can still move money around based on signature and verification. That’s enough to get started with Safe Contracts :smile:


I think I see what you’re getting at, I guess I should read your whitepaper soon. Ethereum’s approach has shaped my concept of smart contracts too much I think.


Anyway, to answer the question of the OP, social platforms like Facebook and reddit are definitely possible on SAFE without decentralised computation:


There’s work to do, and we have to think differently, but we are actively working in these things in parallel with MaidSafe getting the network in place.

It’s hard, extremely exciting - because it’s all so new - and a great opportunity.

For those who remember web 1.0 (static HTML - not even client side javascript), it is not hard to believe that this will happen, even though it is hard to imagine how!

I recall the MD of an innovative software company he started up with my then boss saying he didn’t think the web would be more than an online brochure.

This guy was not an idiot - he and his partner created a whole niche of visualisation and analysis software and sold it throughout the world, and wrote the first version themselves in a back bedroom. But he still couldn’t imagine what people might do with servers. We missed the first dot com boom partly because of that, but before I left there we were part of that revolution.

It’s our job to imagine and create the next SAFE internet, without servers! :smile:

Not to be out done :smile: , see also:


@seneca a better reddit is one where users own the content and the dev team still has food to eat, and a comfy chair!! I think you’re onto it. maybe…

I think of ethereum as just a fast blockchain, so you can now make an app with a fast blockchain, and so when you store all the lines of code, it’s a transaction and costs ether each step of the way.

It’s like imagine if you put each line of code onto the bitcoin blockchain in a series of transactions and made a client read those lines one by one compile the software execute and give you the result of its execution; THat is inefficient.

Unlike ethereum all the activities we’ll make I mean any application can do the same without the huge expense; since we use idle resources. The cost is just at the storage or creation.

i’m as techy as i wish i was, but i am hearing it to be like this:

SAFE Net will just hold all the data (ID’s, chunks, etc)

and all these future super-clients around the world just call data from it, and then do everything on the local machine? (and in the future, can pull additional CPU etc from others’ local machines?)

So the network is really efficient, and only stores data, unlike today’s internet, which stores and mutates data with PHP etc

clients are gonna become super amazing in the future! maybe new client-side languages will start to be developed?

is this kinda right?

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This is how I understand it as well. The big sticking point for a lot of people is the server (or lack of).
Reprogramming how we think about the interaction with data is a big thing to get your head around with the new decentralized storage.

I tend to think of SAFE as a giant network drive. Data will be stored but interacting with the data will not be done through the old way of client/server interaction (pearl, php, etc.)

The client side will have to pull all the weight…it will be interesting indeed to see how this is tackled…but owning your own data and not having it stuck in some centralized server for sale or hacker bait is well worth it!!!


Keep an eye on IPFS – this is one of those problems that lies within the overlap of SAFE and IPFS… Most of their data is immutable and there are no servers per se… IPFS is significantly further along so it is a bit more tangible to play with.

They use Git Style Merkel DAG is their architecture, and it would be adequate for many apps. The problem is that the whole chunk of related data has an address that changes, so you have to add a mutable layer to keep track of what the current version of “everything” is… (They use ipns) I suspect that MAIDsafe’s SD will be able to provide that kind of “mutable list of immutables” service… You still have “lock” issues where two users are updating the same tree at the same time - and that would need to be reconciled.