Scuttleverse Newsletter #3

Published on June 7, 2019 by Kay Rhodes

Welcome back Scuttle-friends. 

This month a number of people passionate about distributed computing got together for Data Terra Nemo. It was a two day event with roughly 150 attendees and speakers from Scuttlebutt, Beaker Browser, DAT, libp2p, and more.

We discussed technical (and some of the social) challenges in coding fundamental primitives that help people build a more distributed and decentralized internet. We shared language agnostic patterns for building solutions but also many concrete solutions — actual code that illustrates what problems we’re solving today. - Data Terra Nemo

After the conference there was a day of Scuttle Sessions with over twenty people coming together to discuss Scuttlebutt. Much of the discussion seemed to be centered around the age-old question of figuring out how to organize people and the tasks they want to accomplish, as well as how SSB itself could be a tool to help with that.

It’s clear from the Scuttle Sessions and the many discussions on Scuttlebutt itself that software is only a small part of the puzzle. Distributed software can only be successful on a wide scale if it can be used to help address and support social problems of communication and collaboration. 

It’s heartening to see that developers aren’t creating competing strategies, so much as they’re each exploring different possible solutions, sharing the lessons learned, and finding where those technologies can help each other. The most recent result of this can be seen in the latest release of Patchbay noted below.

With that said, let’s take a look at what our Scuttlebutt developers have been up to.

Development Followups

The Sunrise Choir continues to have fun working on ssb-patchql (the SSB GraphQL library) and their Rust implementation of SSB, although Piet has had to let others continue with out them. Hopefully they’ll be back soon. ssb-patchql now has a new Author type to let developers easily build Author related features. Mix put together a Demo Cast on YouTube to provide folks with a good intro to ssb-patchql.

Hendrik Peter has been leveraging that work in the new Tightbeam client for iOS and Android. You can check out a quick demo of last week’s progress on YouTube. It’s still early days in the project, but it’s exciting to see how quickly it’s progressing.

Rabble and team continue to work on the iOS client, and have quietly started Alpha testing. Similarly, Soap Dog’s Patchfox client has continued its steady progress and added the ability to run Patchfox in Firefox’s sidebar while you browse the web.

Happy0 has been continuing to iterate on the ideas behind how we’ll support Private Groups. They’ve also implemented a Java client in support of their work with Openlaw.

This means that developers who use Java (or other JVM languages like Scala and Kotlin) can build services which talk to a scuttlebutt instance over mux-rpc to make posts and query the database.

They’re “…using the scuttlebutt plugin implementation to make it possible to share data between openlaw instances operated by different organisations / people.”

Last, but not least, Dominic’s Documentation Drive continues with assignments being parceled out by the VillageTrackerBot to those who have offered up their time.

New Releases

The Patchwork Working Group has released Patchwork v3.12.0 which includes a number of bug fixes and stability improvements. More notably, it now strips EXIF metadata from JPG, TIFF, and WAV files to help protect user privacy, and also adds a new Greek language translation.

Meanwhile Patchbay v8.0.1 has been released with two massive features:

  • Multiple Identity Support
  • Large File Attachments.

The Multiple Identity support allows users to choose which existing identity they wish to read / post as, or even to create new ones on the fly. Multiple Identities makes it easy to do things like have one feed for each language you post in. This is especially useful with such an international and multilingual community.

The Large File Attachments are unlimited in size, but shared via the new DAT integration Mix announced last month. With DAT integration you don’t have to worry about them filling up the hard drive of everyone who follows you when you upload something large.


As always, your support is what helps keep this work moving forward.

This past month your support helped mix help happy0, created a video about ssb-patchql, and kept our servers online. 

Thank you.