Thinking about database-filesystems and toying with a UI mockup

July 10, 2021, 9:30 pm
Thinking about database-filesystems and toying with a UI mockup
Thinking about database-filesystems and toying with a UI mockup. I`m unsure if I should pursue this, so I`d appreciate thoughts from folks in the community. I`ll write a bit more below

It could be web apps, right? With dbs as the first-class object rather than a file?

@okdistribute That sauce could just be new higher level HTML tags that take advantage of the environment? Im not sure. I cant seem to escape the need for an environment that manages the underlying data

@webdesserts *If* a filesystem is useful now, it might be because it acts as a low code or no code toolset

@webdesserts In a way its a debate about the importance of composition. Without some unifying UI metaphor, your only access to the data is writing code

@andrestaltz If files are useful as a modality now, its because theyre useful UI- a primitive equivalent to anchor tags and img tags

@andrestaltz Choosing a UI metaphor that meets the era is challenging when you want generality. We segment everything into purposes (apps) and they often fit that purpose well by ignoring others. You might argue the only reasonable approach is to make an OS for each purpose

I have to admit I don`t see the difference between DBFS and DB. I mean, on a very low level they are quite the same.

@webdesserts Apps often need databases, treating the FS as a database is doomed to fail

I think I definitely lean towards .db files over arbitrarily split json files. I could see some interesting metaphors still building on top of this. For example you could have .query files that could point to a .db file and offer a different view.

I still wonder if programming will ever head in the direction of dark-lang like experiences which are focused less on files and more on functions... especially if AR/VR ever become easily accessible. I think we`re still a long way off though.

I still think there`s a huge value prop in creating a development platform directly in the browser for building p2p apps, and I`m happy you`re looking at that again.

Who is the user for this? Just trying to wrap my head around what happens when someone double clicks on the db, moves it, drags it. Is it a file, like sqlite.db? Can I import it to another app that can read the Twitter database format?

looks interesting - put stuff (text, images, links, ) and have/build different view modes (blog view, timelines, photo grids, ) private/share with friends/public usable on mobile and desktop easy to customize via plugins

I think it depends on the Zeitgeist and a suitable metaphor. If you proposed this in 1996 when Windows 95 was hot and Windows Explorer was every computer user`s daily tool, then it would be revolutionary. But nowadays there are lots of folks who are iPhone-first & iPhone-only.

Anyway, folks in my community, any hot takes are appreciated. I`m going to play some TFT

I also have this vague idea that the Internet could be an MMORPG and the files are like items, and holding items could grant you magical powers like a magic bag of holding could? I don`t know, I wrote that down after a fever dream

I will say that one emotion which makes this appeal to me is general exhaustion with social media. Something as dry and simple as a files-oriented network could be a nice change of pace

But you still have to ask, is this the right metaphor to give people? Is a p2p file-sharing app, which is the simplistic core of a project like this, something people are still keen to have?

But there are also times where you just need queryable databases -- which is why this would need to be a DB/FS hybrid. As I wrote in the post above, there`s a pretty clear pathway to making that work

I`m not sure that`s wholly true. There are still many cases where files are a must-have, like when dealing with a code repository

Bridging the gap between personal computing and Internet computing is challenging. You could argue that files are an old artifact of the pre-cloud days, and they don`t make sense anymore

For instance, there are a couple of "programs" in the listing, like Schedule A Meeting. These might be self-contained .html files that contact one of my computers with a POST, or perhaps via some kind of p2pmail

The other convenience than simple data-sharing would be a simple program model, aiming for something low-code, like <100 LOC programs

The "Friends" folder would contain links to other peoples` spaces. The FS is linked, but with shortcut files rather than anchor tags. You surf and explore by navigating folders

With a small tool, you could merge the /Blog folders of many different people to make an RSS reader-equivalent. (This is something we toyed with a lot in Beaker.)

This would be somewhat more convenient than maintaining a personal website. Why build another site generator when you can just publish to a /Blog folder?

The main thing on my mind as I mocked this is that the files are UI. On a "profile space" like this, you`d put the files which are useful to visitors

I wrote about the idea of a database filesystem a couple days ago, and the mockup is in reference to ideas in there: is built on so, at its core, it`s a p2p filesharing app. With linked data and a programs model, it would aim to be an explorable Internet of files.

Let me try to paint a picture for what this would be: A global Internet filesystem for sharing and publishing information without the fuss of building a website.

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