Week 2: The components of the encyclosphere
What should the main software components of the encyclosphere be?
HTML, PHP, SQL, CSS, JS
MediaWiki & DocuWiki (majority of all wikis)
RSS / activitypub
JSON / XML APIs & compilers
Elasticsearch / Logstash / Kibana
Bittorrent / Webtorrent
Well, a list of the technical tools used to build the software isn't what I meant. I meant the higher-level software.
Basically, in any communication network, there are the nodes, the content and user accounts that reside at the nodes, there is the communication between the nodes. So it stands to reason that we need the following components:
I. Authoring tools
Authoring software: This already exists in many forms (all encyclopedias already have this functionality), but the feature that is essential to the Encyclosphere is the ability to post articles (preferably, cryptographically "signed" articles) to the Encyclosphere, i.e., to make them available in one way or another. Some Encyclosphere-specific features just need to be added to existing authoring tools, CMSs like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, as well as wikis, especially MediaWiki.
User registration: More of an important subcomponent than a stand-alone component. This doesn't merely establish identities within a particular encyclopedia (or authoring or rating system), it ties ("signs") any uploading, authoring, editing, deleting, and rating activity to the identity. This way, a person who contributes an article via his own blog is credited across the Encyclosphere as being the same author as the same person who writes for Britannica. We have been talking about adapting DID:Web to use with Minifeed as well as the Encyclosphere.
Article/content feed and/or submission feature: Another subcomponent, mostly, but this is the main new component that needs to be added to existing CMSs (MediaWiki and WordPress are the top priorities).
II. Aggregation and storage tools
Feed aggregators and crawlers: Software that aggregates many feeds and makes the results available in various ways to reader apps. Rather than passively receiving pushed data from an aggregator, crawlers go out to hunt for and fetch it.
Storage tools: More of a subcomponent of either content submission tools or of aggregators, this would make a permanent backup of content submitted to the network on such decentralized storage tools as BitTorrent and IPFS.
III. Search and reading tools
Encyclopedia readers: These would be the encyclosphere analogue to blogosphere feed/news readers. Encyclosphere readers would combine search engines with delivery of open content articles, or links to proprietary articles. Some might actually feature payment systems for encyclopedias.
Encyclopedia search engines: Straightforward. Already possible in various ways, but aggregation of standardized data would make them an order of magnitude more useful. Would probably be a component of an encyclopedia reader.