Tom MacWright, last Thursday:
I’ve been in the open source space long enough to see many, many what-ifs about distributed systems. What if OpenStreetMap was hosted on Bittorrent, or a community of peer-to-peer CDNs? What if we created a distributed version of GitHub? Of npm? Of Facebook?
None of these what-ifs materialized. Sure, there are many attempts, but none of them own more than 1% marketshare, none of them became accessible to anyone but the tech elite. Distributed, decentralized systems don’t just fail because of the tech-oligopoly conspiracy: they fail because decentralization is incredibly, incredibly hard. And, while you’re struggling to conquer PhD-worthy Computer Science problems, you’ve got to grapple with unfamiliarity, the single hardest problem in usability.
A good read. The introductory video to the Beaker Browser is interesting, but until a new technology actually has more to offer than the status quo, it just isn’t going to take off. Still, it’s fun to play around.