How to Kill a Decentralised Network (such as the Fediverse)

How to Kill a Decentralised Network (such as the Fediverse)

This piece is a good history lesson of why XMPP failed to gain momentum and a cautionary tale on how companies can commandeer open, “public good” protocols.

My experience with XMPP was limited: in an unpublished project, I wired GMail to MSN Messenger though the protocol. I know enough to know XMPP as a precursor of things being re-invented (my other favorite that falls into category is NNTP, and even e-mails to a certain extent.)

From the post, it sounds like the danger arise of an intentional commercial protocol fork that designed to compete with the original protocol. I wonder if there are things to learn (like governing model) from protocols that so far had survived risk of fragmentation.

Something to dig further.

The A.I. Dilemma

When people talk about LLMs being at its “Netscape Moment”, this is the thing that ponders me the most.

Tristan Harris, which I covered his early work,, and Aza Raskin, discuss, quote, “how existing A.I. capabilities already pose catastrophic risks to a functional society, how A.I. companies are caught in a race to deploy as quickly as possible without adequate safety measures, and what it would mean to upgrade our institutions to a post-A.I. world.

The Internet already died once, and it, and the remaining human creativity, may very well die again.

Towards a modern Web stack by Hixie

Towards a modern Web stack

by Ian ‘Hixie’ Hickson

This is not the first time people talk about a Web Platform design for applications, by sidestepping HTML. This is, nonetheless, the first time such idea is being lad out in a detailed proposal.

What is surprising is that this came from one of the editors of HTML5. In the link in the footnote, he asserts that the unfulfilled promises of HTML can only be solved by revamping the stack altogether, ditching the old HTML/CSS/JavaScript trilogy.

Overall it is pretty complete — except for addressing the fact that WASM is a byte code. Unlike HTML/CSS in its declarative form, which browsers are free to parse and render partially downloaded content, there is going to be a loading screen for WASM widgets/apps like Java applets.

This sole issue isn’t going to be a showstopper in any way. HTML/CSS will continue to live on as the best document format.

It would be interesting to see if the browser vendors (his employer included) will ack on these.