A quick review of distributed hash tables, and why they’re a pretty cool idea!

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Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

It is pretty easy to start taking a given tool, algorithm, idea, or technology for granted after you have become intimately familiar with it, use it frequently, or have known about it for a long time. It is similarly easy to start believing that, because you understand something well, it must be simple or boring. But every now and then, I’m reminded of the awesomeness of a tool or algorithm that has lost its luster for me along the way…

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in one of the best explanations of one such algorithm (Kademlia distributed hash tables), I have ever heard (Oli Evans’ explanation involved some hands-on role playing, and lots of really nice, intuitive examples), and it reminded me of just how ‘magical’ decentralized systems can be. …


As summer continues to heat up, so too does Textile!

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Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

It’s been a lively summer for the Textile team as we continue to ramp up our developer offerings, test and explore new features in Textile Photos, and engage with our growing community of developers and IPFS/Textile enthusiasts. This month, I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach to our community update… by making it a bit shorter, providing less commentary, and including more individual updates. I think it will better showcase all of the amazing things that the Textile team has been up to (it’s a lot of stuff!), while making the whole update a little easier to digest in one go. …


Here’s the quickest way to build an offline-first chat app for Nodejs

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Photo by William Navarro on Unsplash

To quote offlinefirst.org, we live in a disconnected & battery powered world, but our technology and best practices are a leftover from the always connected & steadily powered past. At Textile, we think a new approach to app development that embraces modern, decentralized web technologies while at the same time promoting user-centered data control is the way forward. But decentralized app-development is still in its infancy, and has been notoriously difficult to get started with. …


Supercharge your desktop and browser apps with Textile

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We’re proud to introduce the Textile Javascript Client, a brand new open source client library that lets developers harness the power of Textile in desktop and browser-based web-apps. We mentioned @textile/js-http-client briefly in a recent post about Textile on desktop, but since then, the library has received some major updates, and has already been downloaded over 500 times! New features include a full re-write in Typescript, a bunch of new, fully-isomorphic APIs, plus some extremely powerful streaming endpoints (featuring ReadableStreams in both Nodejs and the browser). We’ve also reduced the library size and made it easier to install on Nodejs (requires fewer crypto dependencies), and added webpack support for easy deploying to browser apps (plus it works great with React and other web frameworks).


The fastest way to build your next decentralized app using IPFS

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The fastest way to bootstrap your next decentralized app using IPFS

Build a decentralized chat app in 3 commands? Check! Build a secure distributed database for location data in 5 lines of code? Check! It’s easier than ever to start building decentralized apps thanks to Textile’s ecosystem of decentralized developer tools. And we now have the docs to prove it. We’re pleased to announce a Tour of Textile, which is a great place to start if you’re a developer interested in using decentralized technologies in your next mobile, desktop, or web applications, or just interested in learning more about decentralized technologies.


March developer madness… making things easier for devs

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Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

The Textile team was pretty much ‘heads down’ this past month (hence the March update in April), with a major focus on improving the external developer experience. This means a lot of work on stability, library modularization, simplification of developer APIs, and just general house-keeping (moar docs!). This month’s update will be pretty short, but we’ll try to highlight all the bits and pieces that someone looking to build on Textile should know about.

Textile libraries

The biggest news in terms of new Textile developer tooling is our alpha releases of two new mobile platform-specific SDKs. Specifically, the team has been hard at work moving from a singular React Native SDK (which wraps platform-specific frameworks) to standalone Android and iOS SDKs (which the React Native SDK will depend on). Right now, the APIs are under heavy development, but are already ready to test and use if you’re interested in getting your hands dirty. Textile Photos will be the first production app to use these new SDKs, but if you’re at all interested in using these libraries in your own project, get in touch! …


Textile is expanding quickly. Our next target? Your desktop and browser.

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Photo by Norbert Levajsics on Unsplash

This week the Textile team is proud to kickoff our new ‘Textile Desktop Series’. As some of you way be aware, we’ve recently started to expand some of our developer tools and products to make it easier for folks to build awesome tools and apps on top of Textile protocols and libraries. These new tools are already starting to see some use from external developers and Textile early adopters.

But its not just external developers who are benefiting from these new tools. Textile is also expanding our desktop offerings to make it easier to setup your own Textile peers and Cafes. We’ve even started working on a Textile Photos Desktop edition, and a super handy Textile tray app. So to help get other developers interested and up-to-date with our latest work in this area, were going to showcase the work we’re doing, as we’re doing it. Each time we add a new feature, or expand an underlying library, we’ll try to add it to this blog series. …


Better late than never… here’s your February update, in March

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Photo by Aurora Wheeler on Unsplash

It has been an exciting month for Textile and our growing community of developers and early adopters. Riding on the high of last month’s Wired article mention, we have added tons of under-the-hood improvements to our underlying libraries, traveled exotic Denver for an Ethereum hackathon, and even released a few new libraries along the way. Whether you’re a developer looking for some fun projects to tackle, or a Textile Photos beta user wondering about the next big release, this past month has lead to some big improvements and updates that we think you’ll love.

Outreach

Last month we launched a ‘bounty’ program based on Gitcoin for funding small, community-focused Textile-based projects. We’ve already added several bounties and CFPs to the repository, and this month, we’ve actually had one or two projects already completed! In fact, one such project helped create the initial work for a new Textile project (see Technology section below). This is all part of a large effort by the Textile team to increase developer engagement, and explore how the technologies we’re developing for our own work can help other developers building the next big decentralized technologies. …


We’re starting the year off with a release, some new invites, and plenty of new ideas

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Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs on Unsplash

The Textile team jumped into the New Year with some pretty lofty goals, including a strong focus on pushing out more regular releases again. We’ve also spent the better part of the last month focused on planning, mid-term roadmaps, a more stable underlying platform, and plenty of UX experiments to keep our users excited about Textile and Textile Photos. We’ve also started working on some additional developer-focused tooling, including easier setup and install, an easier-to-use mobile SDK, and other goodies. All in the name of making IPFS — and Textile — easier to use across the board.

Textile online

As always, the Textile team has been actively engaging with users on social media, our blog, and our Slack channel — come join us! Additionally, we’ve ramped up public activity on our Github repos, and with the latest public beta release of Textile Photos, we’re seeing increasing developer activity there as well (286 ⭐️s between textile-mobile and -go). Speaking of which, Textile has recently launched two new initiatives for developers looking to interact more with Textile, Textile Photos, and the Textile team. We’ve launched a ‘bounty’ program based on Gitcoin for funding small, community-focused Textile-based projects. In conjunction with this, we’ve added a Request for Projects/Proposals repository to develop and propose new bounties. So far there’s just one new bounty in there, but we’re hoping community members and others will work with the Textile team to create some fun and exciting new proposals. …


A simple Python tool to import your Facebook data dump into Textile Photos

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

A few months ago, we wrote a simple tool to automatically export your Facebook photo export back into nice, easy to use folders for easier management of your data. The tool turned out to be pretty popular for a while, and gave us some pretty good insight into some of the motivations around #deletefacebook and similar calls to take control of personal data.

Since then, we’ve continued to work on Textile Photos as a safe, secure alternative to photo sharing! So one of the things we’ve wanted to do for a while now is make it easier to import your existing photo feeds (or at least, past feeds) into Textile. Today, we’re demoing a simple command-line tool for developers and our early adopters who want to play around with this a bit. …

About

Carson Farmer

Works at Textile.io. Former prof, turned dweb professional. Writes about ipfs, textile, dweb, decentralization, etc.

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