Textile Update | January 2019

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

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.

Textile in the docs

To help make it easier to develop on top of Textile, we’ve also started to spend some serious time on improving our documentation. We’ve started with a few getting started guides, but we’re slowly building out our entire textile-go wiki. If there are gaps in the docs, or things you’re unclear on, please don’t hesitate to reach out, create a ticket, or even add some documentation yourself, its all open!

Textile in the wild

Half of the Textile team is heading to ETH Denver next week to meet with fellow Web3.0 devs, peddle our wares, and hopefully learn a thing or two! We’ll be holding office hours at Sports Castle (ethdenver.com/#venue) on Thursday to meet n’ greet fellow devs and prep for #BUIDLing! Stop on by and talk shop with us!

Textile in the community

Finally, we’ve also started a community dev call (technically this first one happened in February…) initiative, which was recorded, and you can see here. We’ll aim to have these semi-regularly, with a bit more advanced notice for future sessions. The idea is to bring together developers, users, and others from the Textile community to discuss plans, align development efforts, and update each other on Textile-related news.

Textile in the news

Oh, and Textile was in Wired Magazine’s January issue! Our team was very excited to see this come out, so here’s a pic of Sander’s copy:

Textile is on page 13 in January’s edition of Wired magazine

Textile in your tech

As part of our efforts to do more frequent releases from both textile-go and textile-mobile, we have now pushed out over 32 version 1.0.0 release candidates. These are incremental updates on the way to a stable and ready-for-others-to-build-on 1.0 release… Some noteworthy updates include better contact support and contact search, new thread/group types — so things like private, read-only, and public threads/groups are now possible — and greater access control for those running their own Cafes. A particularly nice addition, thanks to core IPFS devs, is a fix to libp2p that should improve content discovery and access for the network as a whole.

Textile on your phone

On the mobile front, the team has organized Textile’s shorter-term plans for Textile Photos ‘screens’ and user stories into a ‘live’ Textile Photos Screens Airtable. This will allow others to keep tabs on new features that we’ll be exposing over the next few months. The team is hoping this will increase transparency, and provide a way for folks to see what’s coming up, and make requests/have a say in features they think are important. The goal over the next few months is to majorly streamline the user experience — fewer taps, more snappy interactions, and a stronger focus on user stories within the app.

The other big news in mobile was our recent Textile Photos release, and subsequent mass new user invite blast. This has generated a tone of new users, issues, and updates. Some noteworthy updates here includes better contacts, better group joins, some UI changes and a move from threads to groups, plus a whole slew of bug fixes and optimizations. This release was a big move for us, as it brought along a bunch of under-the-hood changes to Textile’s threads that will make way for our much anticipated backup and recovery work… well under way and almost ready for prime time.

Textile under the hood

On top of all of these updates, we’ve been stealthily working on a Textile React Native SDK and associated demonstrator app. These products will help developers run IPFS-based apps on mobile (iOS and Android). In fact, we will soon be moving Textile Photos over to this SDK, which means its almost production ready! We’re hoping this new SDK will make it easier to build compelling decentralized mobile apps. By taking the guesswork out of running a mobile IPFS peer, we’re hoping app developers can focus more on app development, and less on peer lifecycle routines and all the nitty gritty details we’ve had to figure out while building Textile Photos. The plan is to also build specific platform SDKs for iOS (objective-c) and Android (Java). On the left, check out a sneak peak at a basic IPFS peer running on an iOS sim.

Textile on the job

In other news, Textile is starting to look at new hires. If you’re interested in the future of the web and decentralized mobile systems, get in touch. Seriously, do it, we’d love to hear from you. We’re just starting the hiring process, so the full positions have yet to be fully scoped out, but you can bet we’re looking for dweb enthusiasts with experience in the tools and technologies that Textile produces and writes about regularly. Join us on our Slack channel if you have questions!

Textile in the know

If you’re excited about Textile — or just want to learn more about our apps, ideas, and vision for the future — feel free to reach out on Slack, or share your thoughts on Twitter. If you’re a fellow decentralized web developer, let us know what cool distributed web projects you’re working on — we’d love to hear about it, and maybe discuss your employment future! In the mean time, sign up for our wait-list to get earlier access to Textile Photos, or our mailing list to get updates about new features and progress.