Week 5 Task
Week 5 task in #EL30 consisted in creating a resource using any distributed web application (IPFS, Beaker Browser, Fritter, for example). Then, we had to provide a link to the resource using any method you wish.
To help prepare for this task, I watched the recommended videos ‘From Repositories to the Distributed Web’ (which is a brilliant video), and other videos on IPFS and Beaker: installing IPFS, making a website with IPFS, installing Beaker.
Installing IPFS in my computer
- Download IPFS file from https://dist.ipfs.io/
- Extract the file. Once extracted, the main ipfs.exe file is in the go-ipfs folder.
- Run powershell (windows)
- In the powersherll, go to the directory where the ipfs.exe file is using the cd command:
- Then, initialized the file using init:
- This will generate your public and private keys. Keep them safe!
- Then, read the read me file using the cat command:
go-ipfs\ipfs.exe cat /ipfs/YOUR HASH PUBLIC KEY/readme
And you should have this:
- Then you can start the deamon. A deamon is a computer programthat runs as a background process, rather than being under the direct control of an interactive user (Wikipedia).
- I then installed the IPFS Companion Add-on for Firefox.
Making a website with IPFS
Notes: before you try to publish your IPFS site, make sure the deamon is running in another windows (in my case another powershell window).
I followed Stephens Downes video making a website with IPFS, and complemented with Gio d’Amelio instructions.
- I created a simple html website in a text editor.
- I then open a powershell windows and run the daemon.
- I opened another powershell window and use the publish command:
\ipfs.exe add -r ipfssite
And then, I could see my website here:
Installing and creating a simple page with Beaker Browser
I installed the beaker browser and created my first page.
The link is here: dat://03e4afe5a35ea7293398836f977976dc1a34904af727c17fb6d655804a3a6634/
I found the whole process quite challenging, however, I decided to have a go, and I am quite pleased with the results. Both my websites are very simple, but the important thing for me is that I was able to see first-hand how things work.
Now, what was on my mind the whole time? Is this secure? Am I making my computer vulnerable? I decided to go ahead with this task, but I definitely will not use these apps and resources until I understand better any risks and vulnerabilities.
A part from that, I sort of see where these technologies are going and how they can become a real alternative for education (and I think this is the right path), but I don´t think these tools are ready yet (ease of use, vulnerability, usability, etc.) .
I also have been reflecting on Jenny Mackness words about the implications of introducing the distributed web to the population at large, as it is now. “Presumably there will be a period of time when access will not be equal, and open will actually mean closed for a proportion of the population.” That is the way I feel right know. And I have been asking myself, are these technical skills what matters the most, or should we focus on digital literacies and critical thinking skills?