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Read Write Web — Monthly Open Thread — (January 2013)


The web was rocked this month with the tragic passing away of Aaron Swartz.  A mixture of tributes, anger and loss have been widely expressed.  Perhaps it was felt even more keenly by many in our group, as he was an active member of the linked data community.  Let’s hope that one day we are able to make the technologies that he dreamed of building, a reality.

The Worth Economic Forum this year witnessed a session with timbl entitled, ‘What is wrong with social networking‘.  I was particularly interested in Tim talking about a possible payments protocol at web scale.

A relatively quiet holiday period in the RWW still produced some interesting work.  There have been some updates to existing projects and some new ideas on the ‘realtime’ aspect of the Read Write Web.

Communications and Outreach

Continued discussions with the GNU Consensus group, including Richard Stallman, have lead to the possible idea of creating a User Data Manifesto.  A second draft of this concept is currently under way and could lay the foundations of some guidelines to help store data on the web in a way that offers users more control.

Community Group

Some great news in which, OpenLink announced they would donate their login widget to the community via open source.  Some of the members of the Community Group have been working with Sebastian Trueg of Openlink, to add this ‘polyglot’ login system to read write web applications.

The RWW also welcomes David Sheets, and Eric Bremner of Stony Brook University.


Some upgrades to existing applications.  My Profile  has undergone a redesign which has been very favourably received.  I put together a little realtime web chat demo with encryption as a proof of concept.

Some exciting news over at MIT with two new upgrades to  One is to provide a control panel to make access control more user friendly.  The other is realtime SPARQL updates over web sockets.  I believe the proof of concept is already working in the tabulator project.  More news on this next month.

Last but not least…

X-Editable, A really nice ‘edit in place’ system that could be used in conjunction with the read write web, has recently become available.  It works with bootstrap, jquery or jquery UI so feel free to give it a try, maybe even tie it together with write standards!

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