The Spiderwiz Vision – Decentralizing the Internet

“And the whole earth was of one social network, and of one search engine, and of one online retailer. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a valley in the land of Silicon; and they dwelt there. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city of supercomputers and a tower of big data, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest our fortune be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Spiderwiz started as a project that meant to meet internal development team needs. Soon it became apparent that its real value laid in its competence as an inter-party collaboration enabler. When its use spread, its dazzling potential as a game changer of the global Internet started to shine.

Take the idea of Data Object Sharing that was presented in the first blog post, add few grains of imagination, and think what can happen if the Internet is turned from a place to exchange streams of bits to a platform of data sharing – along with standardized data descriptors, distributed search engines and collaborative learning systems.

Here is one scenario. You are the owner of a B&B unit and you want to market it. A quick search on the Internet brings you the standard B&B Descriptor (probably in RDF format). Double clicking the file brings up the data loader application installed on your device, tailored to this specific descriptor. You fill in details, attach photos and whatever the descriptor allows, and submit the data as a B&B Object. It goes to your local Internet Service Provider (ISP), registered and stored – a standard service that every ISP provides.

On the other side of the world, a family that is planning a vacation in your area is looking for B&B. They download the B&B Search Descriptor, fill in details (location, price range, amenities etc.) and submit the request. Within seconds they get a collection of results (B&B Objects) that include yours and similar submissions from your area, along with rating and reviews. They choose yours.

Their next step is to submit a B&B Booking Object, which you receive instantly and reply by submitting a B&B Booking Confirmation Object. They need to submit a Payment Guarantee Object, backed by the Distributed World Bank (a virtual institute “owned” by all Internet users) in which both of you have an account. In return, you send them a Lodging Key Object that they will send to the unit’s door when arriving. The door opens and the payment is actualized, in the currency of your choice.

Back home, the family receives a B&B Review Descriptor, which they fill in and submit. Just like your original B&B Object submission, their submission is registered and stored by their local ISP – ready to be collected when another family hits your submission.

Needless to say, the entire process is done with no brokerage whatsoever. You receive every penny that is paid – no commission on intermediation, money transfer or currency exchange. None of you see any advertising along the way – just the information that you are interested in. Both of you take absolutely autonomous decisions, with nobody and no engine deciding for you what is supposed to be best for you, but actually is the best for the pockets of service operators. And no agent tracks every move of your fingers and rewires your brain so that the fingers move in the “right” direction.

“And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the corporations builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the corporate is one, and they have all one proprietary language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to control the entire wealth of the world. Go to, let us go down, and there open their source code language, that all children of men understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered their data abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they were obliged to share their fortune with all children of men.”

Actually none of the ideas expressed here is new. The devastating effect of the centralized Internet has been recognized since the trend started on the beginning of the millennium. The solutions proposed here are also around for quite a while. What we try here is to establish a clear and practical trajectory to a solution, with milestones that each of them can be a developer’s goal of its own. If you do not succeed to change the Internet, change the way businesses interact over it. If you do not manage to do that, change the way your development team works. And if your organization prefers to stick to legacy and outdated technologies, change your own life by adopting a technology that will rocket your productivity.

Currently Spiderwiz is available in Java. JavaScript and Python are expected to follow pretty soon, then other languages, eventually making Spiderwiz a replacement to REST as the universal interface of choice. Code generators for all languages will be published as well. In parallel, a developer community is in the course of establishment. All kinds of contributions – bug reports and fixes, new features, plugins etc. – are welcome.

We expect the community to evolve into an industry-wide consortium that will push the vision forward. Its activities may range from standardization fora to the provision of decentralized solutions for data security, search engines, AI systems and whatever takes to fulfill the dream.

You can help to make it happen. Start by downloading Spiderwiz and practice it by following its tutorial. It is open source, it is free and it is published under a non-restrictive license. Then invite colleagues and counterparts to do the same and interact with you. Carry the word to other fora and communities.

Register as a SpiderAdmin member. Besides the great benefits of the service, you will be entitled to receive news, be invited to forums, seminars and conferences, and be offered to take part in pioneering activities around the project and its vision.

Participate in discussions. Comment here, on other blog posts or on any of the tutorial lessons. Ask questions, suggest improvements, make wishes, express support, criticize if necessary. Comments are instructive, and critiques are constructive.

Join us, and together we will make the Internet what it was meant for in the first place – a place for sharing information and wisdom, a market of decentralized services, the prosperity engine of a world with fair distribution of power and wealth.

And if you feel that this mission is too big, remember the words of Rabbi Tarfon, a Jewish sage from the end of the First Century:

“It is not upon thee to finish the work; neither art thou free to abstain from it.”