Fission Fragments Weekly Links June 24th

Fission Fragments is our weekly links roundup. You can also subscribe by email.

Weekly Links

We quietly pushed out the Laika release which supports multiple apps per user and has a separate file system implementation with encryption and metadata, as well as raw public files. If you’re not attached to your username, you’re welcome to create a new account using the CLI, just follow the install instructions. Drop in to chat or send us a support note if you want to switch out your original password based account and keep your username.

We’ll be sending out a longer Product Updates email with more detail as we flesh out docs and examples, and of course this means that a Drive beta release is coming up soon, too. :slight_smile:

DarkLang goes Dark

We’ve been following the Dark Language and company closely, as it is an inspiration for us. It was one of the first things we posted here to the forum – we really liked their “deployless” wording, which is how we some times say Fission is “hostless”.

Founder and lead contributor Paul Biggar announced today the company is shrinking to just him, laying off the entire team. Going forward, the intent is to build the language and platform much more in the open.

Dark is a solution for the toils of building backends. It’s about removing all the complexity and challenges of building software, all the surface area of Kubernetes and Serverless and AWS, etc. This problem hasn’t gone away since Dark started. If anything it has gotten worse: Serverless has joined Kubernetes as a technology with a massive and complex surface area.

If you use Firebase today, you’re not going to get Dark’s amazing trace-driven development, but you will get a fantastic built-in auth solution. With Dark you’d have to build that manually — and what’s the point of having all this complexity removed, only to have complexity added by having to roll your own auth solution?

We have some of the same aims and goals, but rather than creating a new programming language, development environment, and hosting platform, we opted to change how apps are built, and design a web native file system :slight_smile:

Also, we very much see a “fantastic built-in auth solution” as being a key building block that leads to complexity and reduced security and privacy if not built in from the beginning. We wish Paul and the Dark Lang community all the best, and hope to do more with them now that they’re more open.

Sacha Chua Emacs News

Since last week’s fragments was a “Vim Edition”, we really should include an emacs link this week.

Sacha Chua is a long time blogger and sketchnoter who posts emacs news every week.

In her 06-22 emacs news, she links to fossegrim’s Exploring Emacs I: What is Emacs and Why Should You Use It?, which looks like a great starting point if you’re going to dive into emacs.

Mapping the Growing Ecosystem of Community Tools, Commsor

The team at Commsor started compiling and mapping community tools, gathering a list of 130+ across several categories. “63 (45%) of the tools are less than 3 years old” is a really interesting stat.

Free Software’s Radical Past, Bruce Byfield, OCS Magazine, February 2019

Bruce Byfield’s article, Free Software’s Radical Past is from Feb 2019, but is part of a continuing discussion around the evolving free / open source landscape. I think, given the state of the world today, we all have to think about being more radical.

Can FOSS return to its radical roots? Should it even try? I can’t even guess what form a revival might take. Still, no matter what the future might hold, I think it’s worth remembering that, in FOSS, radical ideas about labor did something extraordinary, quietly defining the working conditions of tens of thousands across the world.
Bruce Byfield, OCS Magazine

The End of OS X, Ben Thompson, Stratechery

We can’t really let this week, with Apple’s WWDC happening and a wall of announcements, pass without including at least one Apple related link. Ben Thompson’s Stratechery covers the end of OS X:

Yesterday, 18 years later, OS X finally reached its own end of the road: the next version of macOS is not 10.16, but 11.0.

Steven Sinofsky - A Different App Model

9/ Everyone knows that iOS/iPadOS apps are “different”. Everyone experiences the positive attributes of security, power management, safety, privacy, apps that can’t break each other, {no DLL hell}, etc. These come from the app model and APIs, not magical properties of ARM.

This is a tweet from 2 weeks ago by Steven Sinofsky, on the Mac transition to ARM chips. We clipped it into our product channel. Soon, we’ll show you how Fission apps are “different”. Security, user ownership of data, privacy, re-use of data between apps.

What has been challenging for us is explaining this: that we want to do away with 30+ years of LAMP style architecture, and equip people to build for a web native file system, where everything “runs” client side without a backend. Brooke @expede found a good article about this challenge, You Can’t Tell People Anything.

Dropbox is a total Mess, Om Malik

I decided that I have had enough. I have since slowly removed all the archives. Most of them have now been backed up to Backblaze. My paid Dropbox account will end in two months. It will be a long goodbye, but when a company forgets its credo — simplicity as a virtue — then all you can do is go elsewhere.
Om Malik

No schadenfreude here. We loved Dropbox Apps support, Dropbox Paper was a much loved collab tool, and it paved the way so others could follow. Any interest in Dropbox integration into Fission Drive? Let us know!

~~ Fission Updates ~~

Boris’ presentation for Drupalcon was rescheduled from the in-person Minneapolis conference to be selected as one of the live presentations for Drupalcon Global. Join him on July 14th for Drupal and the Decentralized Web.

Join us Thursday, June 25, 2020 4:00 PM for our weekly video chat. We’re back to a highly technical presentation about UtahFS, an encrypted storage system that we linked to in last week’s links. Presented by Brendan McMillion, the creator.

Also on Thursday, we’re doing a little get together in Vancouver’s famous Dude Chilling Park. Come by for coffee and a popsicle if you’re in the area.