Textile Update | November 2018

November was developer month at Textile, here’s what we did…

The Textile team unofficially declared this past month developer community appreciation month. To celebrate, we (pre-)released a new developer framework for building decentralized mobile apps on IPFS, conducted a series of polls, surveys, and interviews with community developers, and published several new posts on Textile technology and ideas. Along the way, we took a moment to bring our distributed team together for a week of intense and productive hacking, and have started to reach out to partners and collaborators in earnest. Sound good? Read on to find out more, and/or reach out to discuss collaborations!

Outreach

As always, the Textile team has been actively engaging with users on social media and our blog. We published a tutorial on how to create a self-editing, (im)mutable web profile (expect a follow up post on this one!), and an early sneak peak at Textile’s new Textile Files and Schemas framework. We’re also trying to step up our micro-blogging game by releasing sneak peak Tweets and Videos, so don’t forget to check those out too…

Textile also continues to show up elsewhere online, including regular spots in the IPFS community newsletter, a mention on the Graphite blog (The Lead), and others.

[With Textile Photos] You can share with others by encrypting anything you share with that user’s public key, but as a user you don’t notice that. And that’s what makes the experience so great.

Speaking of great, we’ve recently seen a nice bump in ⭐️ and forks on both our GitHub repos (textile-go 84 ⭐️ and 7 forks, textile-mobile 121 ⭐️ and 11 forks), and we’ve even recently merged our first community pull request! In related news, the Textile Photos wait list continues to grow like crazy, and we are working hard to get the next major release out the door so we can open the floodgates. So if you’ve been waiting and still haven’t received an email from us yet… a release and referral codes are coming soon.™️

Other outreach activities include a developer survey (👈 take it now!), and one-on-one interviews with community developers. We’ll be continuing to conduct these interviews and discussions, so if you have an opinion or thoughts about mobile, #dweb, decentralized app development, whatever, get in touch! We’d love to get your take, discuss collaborations, or just nerd out a bit with you.

Technology

This is where the Textile team has put most of our focus this past month. After months of planning, and then building, and testing, we’ve started to pre-release our latest and greatest Textile files + schemas frameworks. We can’t stress enough how excited we are about this release, and the major awesome new features this will open up for Textile Photos users, and mobile dweb developers in general. To start, we’ve added support for backup and account recovery for any and all Textile accounts. This means if you drop your phone in a mud puddle, all is not lost, your photos are safe and secure on the IPFS network. Speaking of which, with this update, all our users will be back on the main IPFS network, which means faster network access, better update speeds, and an all around snappier user experience for all.

We’ve also started the long process of pulling the textile-go library into smaller, more easily consumable modules, so that other developers can start hacking and playing with Textile and IPFS on mobile. We encourage anyone and everyone to start playing around, and get in touch with us via issues and on social media if you need support, have a question, or otherwise want to touch base. Documentation is still coming along slowly, but expect updates in this regard over the coming months, along with more demos and blog updates. In the mean time, here’s how we’ve been describing the new Textile library:

Textile provides encrypted, recoverable, schema-based, and cross-application data storage built on IPFS and libp2p. We like to think of it as a decentralized Firebase with built-in protocols for sharing and recovery.

Essentially, the new APIs support reusable workflows to ingest, process, encrypt (we’ve written about encryption before), host and consume data on IPFS from any device running a Textile peer. The whole system is based around the concept of schemas and Threads (we’ve also written about Threads before). Sander also goes through schemas more generally in the video above, comparing them to Transloadit schemas. Essentially, schemas describe what the node should do with incoming files. Skip to the video at 2:15 to get a nice explanation about some of these concepts.

Why this is all so exciting is because moving forward, any app integrating Textile APIs (like Textile Photos), will get simple tools for creating structured data on IPFS, and things like encryption, chat (yes, chat!), sharing, recovery, backup, etc… ‘out of the box’. Get in touch for details, we think you’ll be impressed.

Sneaky-peak behind the scenes… Textile chat?

What’s next?

So what will the end of the year bring to Textile devs and users? You can expect a new Textile Photos release with an impressive set of new (and breaking) features, a push towards more tools and libraries for #DWeb developers, and even some new and exciting ways to interact with Textile Photos outside the mobile app. So stay tuned to our blog and GitHub repos for the latest and greatest updates and new features as they come. Plus, stay tuned for a few more tutorial posts this month to get people excited about Textile + IPFS development progress…

Alright, consider yourself updated! If you’re excited about Textile — or just want to learn more about our apps, ideas, and vision for the future — feel free to reach out on Slack, or share your thoughts on Twitter. If you’re a fellow decentralized web developer, let us know what cool distributed web projects you’re working on — we’d love to hear about it, and maybe discuss partnerships! In the mean time, sign up for our wait-list to get earlier access to Textile Photos, or our mailing list to get updates about new features and progress.

Carson Farmer

Carson Farmer