Separation of Apps and Content

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the ability for a competitive app market. To do so would require that the content that apps serve by accessible by all similar apps.

If my litestuff app stored my files for me, then I found safe-dropbox to be a superior app, I should be able to still access my files that I stored with the former by the latter.

Same goes for public data. I should be able to access mp3 files with any kind of music player. png files with any kind of image viewer. html files with any browser-like reader.

This in itself isn’t so hard to comprehend, but it does get more convoluted when things such as comments and likes are added into the picture.

Do “likes” follow content across apps - or would they be app-specific? Same with comments - can I see the comments in safe-reddit the same that I could with safetube?

My thought is that these “public dataset” attributes should be linked in the files themselves. Many times I’ll see youtubers say “comment below” or hit the like button. We all know that those are stored on the server publicly but they are not accessible outside of that current site.

What we have the opportunity to do is - given a comment section with the root at one xor address on the network - have the uploaded file generate their own “root for comments” file and provide the link to it. Or have a piece of content link to a piece of StructuredData that counts likes, etc.

This allows similar apps to establish standards amoungst themselves on how comments are displayed, likes counted, etc. It also frees them up to concentrate on the users’ experiences - config settings, user interface, etc. without having to worry about maintaining databases individually.

It’s like we’re adding another dimension to the information age. We don’t have to worry about restricting access to data on servers for security’s sake; freeing it up for - what I like to call - collaborative competition.

Why did Google open-source their core machine learning algorithms? “It’s simple. Machine learning algorithms aren’t the secret sauce. The data is the secret sauce.”

P.S. For clarification - subscriptions aren’t the same I don’t think - as that would be an per-app config setting rather than a public contributable-to dataset.


I’ve mused about this but not had the time to keep it active for long periods - life intervenes - but I agree this is a big opportunity for this decentralised internet. Definitely hope this will flourish, and I do believe it is feasible.

So far my thoughts start to get quite complex and I back off to let it percolate, and try to think of a simple first step. But life has got in the way so good to see you (and others) also are actively thinking about it. :slightly_smiling:


Dude that is a f**king great idea. Because the content is already available on the network the user should just be allowed to switch it over!

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I believe this is what @Seneca is trying to achieve with the decorum protocol. If two apps use the same protocol, the app is just an interface to display the user’s data. Also, since on Safe the data belongs to the user, there’s an incentives to use apps that follow some kind of open standard to make your data no locked in to an app.


That’s right! I’ll of course present the envisioned Decorum standard before the first implementation so everyone can give feedback. A standard should never be designed by only one person, it’s not “my” standard after all. I don’t claim any ownership.

The initial version is mostly concerned with the overall data structures of conversations (comments/posts) and several types of endorsements/sharing. I think the first extension should be concerned with contact lists (social circles) and identity management.

I hope together we can make it good enough to prevents tons of different standards for the first few years at least. Still, there will be other competing standards, that’s inevitable. That has downsides but it’s also necessary I believe (standards need competition as well).


Sounds like what discord has done. The discord blog that links to the personal blog forums.

I look forward using decorum protocol.

contact lists (social circles) and identity management.

I am formalizing an concept of decentralized ID protocol which should be very flexible for all to use. The ID is a global social ID (think passport mixed with facebook) which maintains your reputation, activities, access, and other means. The ID is the main hub to all things. Each slots contains information about that person, education, work history, gaming, products, etc. The slot links to the content data which provides said data, normally json/toml. Decorum could be used in the ID system. It could access to social circles. Ethereum could be used in the ID system.

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Sounds cool, I’m curious to see what you’ll come up with.

One of the things I focus on with Decorum is management of anonymous and pseudonymous identities and their respective data and social circles. I think people should be able to have many of those, each dedicated to one or more different parts of their self (convictions and activities). That should allow people to (digitally) escape social pressure, repression, prejudices, nosy grandma’s, etc.


I hope your partnering up…it sounds like a lot of work and thinking…ouch.

Definitely! What I’ve been doing on my own so far is identifying the most fundamental functionality that I believe any implementation of the (basic) features in question will need. This way I first try to create a minimal core standard that hopefully none will ever find lacking. More specific and extensive functionality can then be added later after much more public deliberation.

The Decorum implementation(s) will follow a similar route, core functionality first, then slowly build on top of that. It allows us to adapt standards to reality rather than trying to force reality to match our standards. As I understand, that was a hard learned lesson in several web standards (HTML, CSS) as well.

Great stuff and David gave you a big tick. Is there something in there that will provide an investment opportunity for us mortals?

Yes, but I probably shouldn’t go on about that here, that’s very specific to Project Decorum. This thread is about open standards to achieve this desirable state of seperation between apps and content.

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What I’m trying to figure out is why would non-ideologically motivated app creators go along with this, outside of when it’s financially beneficial, since it seems to me like this is a strict disadvantage otherwise. Yes, the network itself does this, but we know the app devs are going to jerryrig it so that their app’s data is inaccessible to other apps.

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A lot of the software on the SAFE network is going to be open source because the dev rewards (hopefully) enable a dedicated developer to make a living off of contributing to various open source programs.
Generally open source software doesn’t try to create data silos. And even if they try, their data structures could be converted to another more open format if there’s a dev willing to put some time into it. And why wouldn’t there be? It would be in the best interests of each app to support data created by other (more popular?) apps to encourage migration. So devs would probably write interoperability layers when a popular app decides to try to silo the data.


I doubt the economics of safecoin will work out so that people can run a business solely off of network rewards long term, but there’s nothing but speculation on that so that’ll just have to be something that I get to say, “I told you so” later on. Even if that is the case, just because you pay someone X, doesn’t mean that they won’t try to make > X or at least prevent making < X through other means.

I’m not a computer expert yet, but making the data of uncooperative companies the size of amazon available, and doing it consistently sounds like something that is easier said than done. I’d imagine that the network would prefer this to be the case, since if it isn’t, and if the (big) app devs consider this to be a big enough deal, they could take their data (and their userbase) to their fork and leave safenet in the cold outdoors, with the pedophiles and terrorists.

It may not be that people are sustained by the Network alone (in fact, I hope this isn’t the case), but that apps are in competition and don’t hold the user’s data prisoner. Which, wasn’t that one of @dirvine’s main motivations in creating this Network in the first place?

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The big tech companies seem to hold data (meta-data, collected data, etc.) has a very valuable asset in it’s own right to keep to their respective selves, beyond it’s value in generating ad revenue. As such, I’d imagine it’ll take something like massive consumer demand for… letting more than one company have their data, something that could be push by the big tech companies as a further invasion of privacy, for the tech companies to go along with making their data accessible to their competitors.

I’d actually hope for a paradigm shift on the Network.

With the creation of a config directory built-in to the user’s FUSE drive, it’s now the users who have their private data. Companies can only access what’s available to everyone - their public data.

But I do agree, Companies will see this as a short-term loss rather than looking at the long-term implications of this. All we need are two or three successful companies to show that this is a valid business model to open the door.

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