/ /

Dat Conference: The Summary

On the 30th & 31st of July, we had the chance to converge the Dat Community online on a unique two-day event. All actors - from enthusiasts and the curious to core developers and multiple projects’ creators - came together to refresh the whole Dat ecosystem.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Day 1 #

It started around 5 PM CEST, with Mathias Buus from Hyperdivision, and core hypercore-protocol developer, who was in charge of kicking off the event with his talk "State of Hyper". Mathias shared a good overview of all hyper-* related projects and what is coming, a highlight being hyperspace. - (Youtube)

After that, we can say the whole mood for Day 1 was around the Dat organization, the scope, the changes and the challenges ahead, like a possible move to Open Collective and the future of Dat Consortium. - (Youtube)

We also had a public discussion on the ecosystem continued hosted by Frando and Nina on interoperability in the Dat ecosystem. An important topic if we want to have tools working hand-in-hand in the future. - (Youtube)

What many have been eagerly looking forward to is the progress of porting hyper to rust. For this, Frando, gave us a wonderful talk with many details that come from his hands-on experience porting the hypercore-protocol to rust together with many collaborators. - (Youtube)

Aside from coordination we also had project introductions. Alex and Nick showed us the very exciting development of Cabal's new moderation features. They may very well be pioneering a new way to moderate online content! - (Youtube)

Nina, this time with Alex, introduced the efforts of Playproject. A globe-spanning, yet intimate online team with its goal to host all our hyper archives using DatDot. - (Youtube)

Finally, Day 1 closed with an update about beaker, the hyper browser. Paul and Andrew gave us a fast-paced tour around all the changes introduced in beaker version 1. The new beaker stack is a clear reflection of all the improvements that have landed in the hyper neighborhood. - (Youtube)

After the first day, we organizers went for a few small beers to gather.town and then to bed, to be ready for the next day, which was planned to be almost twice as long!

Day 2 #

The second day of Dat Conference started pretty early on the European morning. Chris, from Liberate Science, opened the second day with a way to use hyper to reset the way research is done. Introducing us to their efforts on hypergraph. - (Youtube)

This kicked-off one talk after the other highlighting different projects in the Dat Ecosystem. It was a very good feeling to see how all these projects with their amazing missions were there trying to change how the technology and us, "the peers" interact more profoundly and honestly with the ecosystem.

  • There was Calm with their presentation of hyper on mobile with the Gateway Browser and an extensive discussion on the systemic challenges we face. - (Youtube)
  • The new Agregore browser got an introduction by its creator and long-time Dat contributor Mauve. - (Youtube)
  • James and Denis from DaMaHub presented their "networklibrary" which is a network of actual data-libraries - as opposed to a code library for networking. - (Youtube)
  • For hardware enthusiasts, Ross shared his work on Idili a portable/mobile personal data store, with software written in Rust, that should be able to share data on hyper in the future. - (Youtube)
  • Crossing the streams, Jim shared his prototype work to integrate hyper with IPLD - (Youtube)

We also had the opportunity to hear first-hand by Don, how the hyper stack was used to build agroecological software, and how farmers in the US may be ideal partners for decentralized technologies. - (Youtube)

And while we on the topic of partners: because we know that the community is looking for funding, we invited David, who kindly gave us an introduction on the open calls of the EU and how Fundingbox supports projects. - (Youtube)

But there weren't only talks! We had some really interesting facilitated discussions. Vinodh asked us hard questions in their discussion on "inclusive indexing" in regards to internationalization and bringing equal access to technology and research to non-colonialist parts of the world. - (Youtube)

In "'Digital Sovereignty' huh?" by Dan and Jaya, they shared touchingly their history and motivation which lead them to work on the cobox project. - (Youtube)

And later in the evening, the Distributed Press team - Mai and Udit - hosted an innovative and thought-provoking session to shape our collective aspirations for the future web. (which was not recorded for attendees to speak freely)

As we approached the home stretch for Dat Conference, we had some workshops prepared by the community. First, we had Sam and Martin running a workshop on adding structured documentation to the Dat Project. With some good exchanges with the audience on BBB. - (Youtube, note that the video will be re-uploaded with the missing parts added in future)

Finally, the closing session was held by Mauve with an energetic workshop about building stuff with Dat-SDK. The SDK represents a modern and easy way to start working with the whole hyper stack. Mauve's workshop was a hands-on experience that led us to build a decentralized chat app. Super cool. - (Youtube)

We said our good-bye's at the end of the event and were happy to have made it.

Upwards and Onwards #

The Dat Conference was a vibrant experience. It was a 2-day event full of talks, facilitated discussions and workshops. The whole community had the chance to be part of it by actively participating via BBB - the meeting platform - or just by following the stream and chat on discord / irc.

This was a breath of fresh air for all us, we had the chance to put and connect many faces with their projects and with the community. This makes us want to continue betting on this decentralized idea and the people behind it.

The events team, are putting together a more technical article with all the learnings from bootstrapping and running an online event based on 💯 Open Source software. We hope that this can be helpful for other organizers. You can read it on our website.

There are some ideas around having some smaller events every two or three months, if you would like the idea and want to collaborate, please let us know, best by commenting on datproject/comm-comm#168.

Until then: we will be looking forward to the ournetworks event on September 8–13!

Last but not least, we want to say thanks to everyone who participated in this, from the wonderful speakers, organizers team, the consortium, and all the audience who was there making this event a special one.

Thank you ♥️