Ah, on lobste.rs already? The site just went up! ;)
Anyway, Spritely’s development has been happening for quite a while but there wasn’t a website until now because, with the goals being so broad (with the end-goal being transitioning the fediverse to distributed virtual worlds), I didn’t want to make a big deal of opening things up to the community until I:
With the subprojects listed, you can see a good portion of the map now at least, and with the latest release of Spritely Goblins including the beginning of the distributed networked programming features, and with the documentation getting to the point where at least a few people have made it through the Goblins tutorial… I think we’re finally approaching that stage.
The video from the ActivityPub 2020 conference on the site hopefully lays out some of the broad vision without getting into the technical specifics. There’s a lot of layers of technical specifics to cover, but for the Goblins stuff, I’m hoping that the video I’m putting together now for RacketCon will help answer that also.
Anyway, happy to answer questions if people have them.
I am a firm believer that all tech tools need a cute mascot. I’m glad this meets that standard.
I understand the motivation for decentralised social networks, but I don’t understand the motivation behind the rest of this stuff. All of the summaries seem very complicated – why wouldn’t I just write my game in a central/traditional manner?
The same motive, I believe. You might write a centralised game, but then you can shut it down without prior notice. If the game was decentralized, I would be able to take my marbles elsewhere even if you started blackmailing.
On the one hand, it’s not very likely that many people would or should run their infrastructure, services etc. It would be inefficient and time-consuming and people have other interests.
On the other hand, personally this entire federation universe looks to me a bit like romanticized version of some cyberpunk novel. People running their own nodes, a vast variety of different hardware and software and everything around it exists, and still within it there lives a network, or networks of many different goals and worldviews and modes and paradigms and it all coexists. Kinda like the early web but on more then just the data level. Beautiful chaos.
Reality is different though so it’s just a bunch of software though.
The “game” aspect is only one layer listed here, but it’s the layer that really requires all the others. It would be great to have… it’s the kind of thing that excites and motivates me, and especially “worldbuilding with friends” (one only need look at minecraft to see how desired such type systems are). However, as the Fantasary entry mentions, the “game” (virtual worlds, really) is the driver for the rest of the technology. In order to pull it off, all these other layers are needed.
But even if the virtual worlds part fails, all of these other layers which were necessary are still useful. It’s still useful to have a distributed programming environment that works well in mutually suspicious systems, to have distributed debugging tools for it that support time travel. It’s still useful to have tooling that can serialize a running object graph and wake it back up while maintaining its authority structure. It’s still useful to have portable and encrypted storage foundations. It’s still useful to have distributed small-world finance tooling to allow for communities to support each other. All of that stuff still turns out to be useful, even if the distributed virtual worlds part doesn’t take off.
But hey, it could!
I’m really interested in this and will try to pick Goblins for a spin. The stuff in this roadmap reminds me a lot of how SSB works.
There are some similarities between the systems but also a lot of difference. The main thing I think is great about SSB is how it supports store and forward messaging (if extremely inefficiently). Moving to more p2p’ish models is good though.