To be honest, most of my goodwill towards Tim Berners-Lee (which there was a lot of, by the way) went away when he started shilling for web DRM. Requiring w3c compliant browsers to ship closed source BLOBs in order to correctly display w3c compliant web pages is against the very core of the open web; not to mention how the w3c wouldn’t even protect security researchers who want to see if there are security issues with said BLOBs. I know Berners-Lee probably isn’t responsible for every one of those decisions, but he publicly (and probably internally in the w3c) argued for DRM.
For further reading, here’s a great (albeit long) article from the EFF: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/10/drms-dead-canary-how-we-just-lost-web-what-we-learned-it-and-what-we-need-do-next
Computers, the Internet, and the web represent some of the greatest innovations in the history of mankind and the fruition of what could have only been a fantasy for billions of our ancestors for thousands of years. To see it so quickly, in the course of a few decades, and thoroughly corrupted by the interests of corporate profits is profoundly sad. I am severely disappointed to have dedicated my life to the pursuit of mastering these technologies which increasingly exist primarily to exploit users. DRM is a thread in a tragic tapestry.
At this point my usual plea is, judge what’s spoken, not by whom it’s spoken. TBL’s authority is one thing, and the merit of what he has to say about that “Solid” thing is quite another. The idea feels very sane to me, although I don’t see a clear path of shoving it past the influence of all the silo-oriented companies like Facebook and Google.
“At this point my usual plea is, judge what’s spoken, not by whom it’s spoken.”
This sentiment was drummed into me as a child and ordinarily I would strive to do this to a point, but the topic of putting locks on the open web by way of DRM is to me related to the apparently opposed mission of “solid”.
Arguing for decoupling data from applications provided by corporate giants in the interests of user control seems absurd when he just played a major part in removing transparency and control from a user’s web experience.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this.
Did you consider the possibility that DRM could also work in reverse? The Digital Rights Management of individuals. I think that is the underlying motivation for allowing DRM: to protect assets and information. Users can not freely copy media to which they have no right of ownership, and conversely, companies can not freely copy user data to which they should have no right of ownership.
Just had a look at the SOLID website.
And (of course), you can’t bookmark / ‘open in new tab’ the demo apps because they use a JS modal.
(I wouldn’t find this funny if it weren’t from Tim’s team).
I like the overarching idea, but for those who need more details, the readme on this repo gives a more detailed high-level overview as well as a link to the spec, talks, tutorials and implementations: https://github.com/solid/solid
In case anyone was wondering, the caption on the article says “We need to go basics” – which makes no sense – but the article itself does say the (correct) “We need to go back to basics”.
RDF, huh? Still plugging away on something nobody wants, I see, Sir Tim.
Did anybody else think for a just a second the man on the picture was Wladimir Putin and not Tim Berners-Lee? :D
No. This is definitely Bill Murray.
There is more than just Tim Berners-Lee’s thoughts in the article. There are also statements from Jason Lanier, Eric Jardine, Brewster Kahle, Jimmy Wales, and Wendy Hall.