Central PA Open Source Conference

The Central Pennsylvania Open Source Conference (CPOSC) is a one-day technical conference for open source users and developers. Presentations and sessions cover all aspects of open source, with talks ranging from novice to expert skill levels and featuring case studies, best practices, code-alongs and more. Join us for a day of meeting with and learning from your technology peers.

Decentralized Web Summit – Live From The Internet Archive

Re-decentralizing the web, for good

A web that would be open for good, have a time axis (13 min – 14 min)

How to bake our values into the code (14 min)

The conspiracy of open (15 min)

HTTP is not set in stone, it is open for changing (17 min)

Mozilla Principles: (Mitchel Baker)

  1. Immediate, Safe, without intermediaries (URL)
  2. Open. Anyone can publish without permission or barrier
  3. Universal. Content runs on any device on any platform
  4. Agency: user agent can choose how to interpret content provided (from font size to link color, tracking protection)

Vint Cerf: The digital dark age (now works at google)

  • When I die, I want to know that there is a digital archive of what I do
  • Collaborate & Cooperate
  • Open design and evolution process
  • Anyone can join: follow the protocols
  • Multiple business models acceptable
  • Modularity, layered evolution (info hiding)
  • E plurabus Unum


  • The web is a complex reference structure, much harder to archive than a single object
  • hyperlinks have to be reformed because domains may no longer be active
  • Document formats change (tiff not supported)
  • Publish/Subscribe model for archiving
  • Digital publishing raises questions about “editions”
  • Automatic archiving on “publication”.  Is this a service you sign up for?
  • Does this system make financial/judicial transactions of record?

Lots of people are shifting to a mobile apps format.  How are we going to archive them? (52 min)

Digital velum (favorite term)

Something can’t go viral if its in an app. (~58 min)

People ask if they can get a “selfie” with you, suggesting that social norms could develop

Tim Berners Lee (~1 hr 05 min)

  • Tim asked his boss for time to work on this internet project
  • All he needed to do is step back and thing about things from a higher level of abstraction
  • Vince did his work 20 years before me.  Europe finally got around to using it.
  • The goal was to make something universal.
  • Some people designed matrix oriented systems.  Others were tree-oriented.
  • The first 5-10 years of the web, there was a euphoria about how open things were, there was no concept of the nation (1:12 min – 1:13 min)
  • Anyone could create some files, setup a web daemon, and plug their computer into the internet, and boom — they were a publisher. (~1 hr 14 min)
  • It had no attitude about what you should use if for. (~1 hr 21 min)
  • What happened to the leveling of society and re-working of government?
  • Now they just want to do some things on a few big websites. (Flicker, Facebook, LinkedIn) but these silos don’t talk to each other.
  • Except that all these companies share your information that you’re having a baby and track you and your children.
  • Its assumed that this is part of the deal and that it is optimal.
  • The private data is more valuable to the individual than the companies.
  • We’re going to separate the apps from the data
  • We’ve had this decentralized web group at MIT for years but now we’re opening things up to talk to more people.
  • Maybe there should be a .archive domain that exists forever (~1:25 min)
  • Rather than thinking about things as a location, maybe we should use a cryptographic hash of the content. (~1 hr 26-1 hr 27 min)
  • When you are linking to things, you can add a hash as well. (1:27-28 min)
  • Perhaps we publish the link where we can find all the different versions of the website stored in a git repository (1 hr 31 min)
  • How do we get better design than the walled-gardens (1 hr 34-35 min)
    • The signup process for decentralized experience is crucial
    • PGP’s is great technology but hardly anyone has put effort into the user interface (~1 hr 36 min)
  • The web was designed for documents, rather than data over the web, how would you go about standardizing the data? Use the SOLID project.  Think about using turtle
  • A lot of the advances that have come have been accidental (~1 hr 44 min)
  • What is web 3.0?  payment systems, filesystems
    • exposing the web of data
  • http was meant as a web of identifiers for any type
    • # was meant for identifiers
    • we’re constantly changing (v 2), adding headers

Brewster Kahle

  • Http is not something set in stone, it could be rethought
  • Can we lock the web open, so that it can’t be closed up (~2 hr 20 min)
  • Code is law, it determines how we live, so we should think about its design
  • The average length of a web page is 100 days before it is changed or deleted (2 hr 23-24 min)
  • With wiki links the British Intelligence agency monitored who read it and sent the IPs to the US, who then added them to a “trigger list”
  • Goal: Reliable, Private, Fun
  • Internet is reliable, robust, resilient (can be nuked)
  • 5 guys locked in a room for a year, with 1 guy trying to poke holes
  • Can we make the decentralized cloud function like the Amazon cloud
  • Reader private
  • Writer private is harder (which is the opposite of print)
  • Build a time axis into the system itself
  • So scientific publishing lives on
  • Payment so that people can make money when they publish (2 hr 31 min)
  • Javascript can be used to create emulators that run Oregon Trail
  • Encryption was illegal at the time of the web, but we won those encryption wars
  • Peer-to-Peer: every reader could share what they read and verify
  • Blockchain/Bitcoin:
  • Only the stupid survive: some of these systems are complicated
  • Can we make a wordpress equivalent, but decentralized?
    • Features:
      • Normal browser
      • Good names
      • Snappy performance
      • User identities
    • Extra points for Payments, versions, archive
      • namecoin
    • Versions and Performance
      • ISPs & Cdns: would have incentives to adopt
    • Decentralized identity
      • bitcoin figured out a system to provide identity (~2 hr 40 min)
  • Make it so openness is unrevokable

Kevin Marks: Indyweb (~2:43 min)

David Dias (~2:47 min)

IPFS: Interplanetary File System

Gavin :

  • Etherium: Distributed HTTP POST

Feross Aboukhadijeh:

  • Web Torrent: make the videos powered by web torrent to have the visitors help serve the content

videos were centralized, github centralized a decentralize protocol

If Github misbehaved, people could switch, but it would break hyperlinks

The links matter. There has to be distribution on the level of the names

UX matters.  Mobile is moving to Apps because of this.

  • Facebook and Github win because they are excludible (~3 hr 00 min)
  • Can you get funding if you fund something really open (~3 hr 04 min)
  • The Internet centralizes things because you can’t run services on your own server with your neighbor partnering

How do you finance the decentralized web? (3 hr 09 min)

  • Bitcoin taught us that you can incentivize people to provide services (mining)

Bitcoin is successful because of thin clients.  What’s with etherium’s thin client plan?

Naming and User Identities (3 hr 19 min)

Chelsea Barabas:

People don’t think about the value of decentralization, but if you talk about identity theft they see value

Jeremy Rand (name coin):

  • https is very centralized around certificate authorities: Iran broke into a certificate authority and impersonated google, facebook, etc
  • Bitcoin repurposed for identity

Muneeb Ali

  • How many trust points are built into logging into facebook: more than 10
  • Blockstack: decentralize these trust points: naming, identity, they are in production for 2 years

Christopher Allen

  • First world problems vs problems for female entrepreneurs in Afghanistan.  How do you prevent the Afghan authorities won’t abuse their data, etc
  • Syrian refugees were fearful of giving their hand prints
  • Holland had great records but more jews, homosexuals, etc were executed by the Germans because of these records.
  • TLS

Brewster: (~3 hr 37 min)

  • The key is to decouple data from application
  • SOLID does this
  • Data is not locked into silos. It can be reused for different purposes

Muneeb Ali (3 hr 39 min)

  • There are only a few survivors of the 1990s. P2P systems.
  • What makes us likely to succeed where they didn’t:
    • Bitcoin solved a lot the hard problems

Jeremy Rand

  • Other systems shifted around the trust problem.  Bitcoin solved it.

Muneeb Ali (3 hr 43 min)

  • Werner owns his name
  • To change anything on the page, you would have to take down bitcoin
  • You have to pay attention to the UX and performance issues from the beginning

How have companies you dealt with thought about the decentralization? (~3 hr 46 min)

  • The big players don’t want to participate because they’ve won, Metcalf’s law favors them
  • We don’t allow any processor to have more than a certain percentage of the market

What happens when you loose your private key?

  • You could retrieve your identity if say 5 out of 9 backups collaborate.
  • You can look to the weight of your network to verify you.

The problems of solving reputation are 10 times harder than identity (3 hr 56 min) – Christopher Allen

Cory Doctorow (5 hr 12 min)

Ulysses pact: wanted to hear the sirens, so tied himself to the ship’s mast

The constitution is a Ulysses pact.  We should design a Ulysses pact for the web.

There should not be the capacity for remotely override the owner’s wishes

Computers obey their owners.  People should be able to tell true facts.

Primavera De Fililippi  (Backfeed)(6 hr 03 min)

Decentralization should be a means to an end, not an end in itself

Peter (6 hr 05 min)

Protect the authenticity.  What is the truth?

Decentralized tools allow marginalized communities to take ownership of their own records

Max Ogden  (6 hr 20 min)

  • Software design is political; and http 2’s decision to put encryption into the standard is an issue
  • Fork the browser and build something that emulates the future.

Juan: (7hr 45 min)

MediaChain: ContentID  (8hr 01 min)

  • Attribution: Identify the Mona Lisa in all its permutations and formats
  • Annotation, Analytics are possible
  • Allow the next Spotify because the data is not locked up