Having a bit of free time recently, worked a bit on feedjack
web rss reader / aggregator project.
To keep track of what's already read and what's not, historically I've used
js + client-side localStorage approach, which has quite a few advantages:
- Works with multiple clients, i.e. everyone has it's own state.
- Server doesn't have to store any data for possible-infinite number of
clients, not even session or login data.
- Same pages still can be served to all clients, some will just hide
- Previous point leads to pages being very cache-friendly.
- No need to "recognize" client in any way, which is commonly acheived
- No interation of "write" kind with the server means much less
potential for abuse (DDoS, spam, other kinds of exploits).
Flip side of that rosy picture is that localStorage only works in one browser
(or possibly several synced instances), which is quite a drag, because one
advantage of a web-based reader is that it can be accessed from anywhere, not
just single platform, where you might as well install specialized app.
To fix that unfortunate limitation, about a year ago I've added ad-hoc storage
mechanism to just dump localStorage contents as json to some persistent
storage on server, authenticated by special "magic" header from a browser.
It was never a public feature, requiring some browser tweaking and being a
server admin, basically.
Recently, however, remoteStorage project from
unhosted group has caught my attention.
Idea itself and the movement's goals are quite ambitious and otherwise
awesome - to return to "decentralized web" idea, using simple already
available mechanisms like webfinger for service discovery (reminds of Thimbl
concept by telekommunisten.net), WebDAV for storage and
OAuth2 for authorization (meaning no special per-service passwords or similar
But the most interesting thing I've found about it is that it should be
actually easier to use than write ad-hoc client syncer and server storage
implementation - just put off-the-shelf remoteStorage.js to the page (it even
includes "syncer" part to sync localStorage to remote server) and depoy or
find any remoteStorage provider and you're all set.
In practice, it works as advertised, but will have quite significant changes
soon (with the release of 0.7.0 js version) and had only ad-hoc
proof-of-concept server implementation in python (though there's also
in php and node.js/ruby versions), so I
implementation, being basically a glue between simple WebDAV, oauth2app
and Django Storage API (which has
Using that thing in feedjack now (here
, for example) instead of that hacky
json cache I've had with django-unhosted deployed on my server, allowing to
also use it with all the apps with support
Looks like a really neat way to provide some persistent storage for any webapp
out there, guess that's one problem solved for any future webapps I might
deploy that will need one.
With JS being able to even load and use binary blobs (like images) that way
now, it becomes possible to write even unhosted facebook, with only events
like status updates still aggregated and broadcasted through some central
I bet there's gotta be something similar, but with facebook, twitter or maybe
github backends, but as proven in many cases, it's not quite sane to rely on
these centralized platforms for any kind of service, which is especially a
pain if implementation there is one-platform-specific, unlike one
remoteStorage protocol for any of them.
Would be really great if they'd support some protocol like that at some point
But aside for short-term "problem solved" thing, it's really nice to see such
movements out there, even though whole stack of market incentives (which
control over data, centralization and monopolies) is against them.