Resources

Contact us

We'd love to receive any thoughts and feedback about the exhibition. You can do this by emailing mateus.domingos@phoenix.org.uk

What is p2p?

p2p describes a decentralised network. Instead of everyone relying on a single node for information, it is passed around and spread out. Being part of the network is usually a reciprocal act. The user accesses information as well as making it available to others.

The Distributed Web of Care project distinguishes between distributed and decentralised networks.

This can be explored across different spaces.

It is the structure of Hyper, which produces websites, but also things like Scuttlebutt, Manyverse or Mastodon which feel more like a social network.

With each of these, joining a specific community is usually required.

What is Beaker?

Websites are usually hosted on servers. Setting up a server is a technical task. It is usually easier to use an established big-tech service to host your website and keep it online. This obviously ties your website to specific practices and corporations.

Beaker offers an alternative which is to enable users to host their own content, or that of their friends/peers directly from their computer.

Using Beaker you can browse regular websites, with addresses that start https:// as well as p2p websites (aka hyperdrives) which will start with hyper://.

You can create and edit a website directly within Beaker, or import it from a local folder. When you create your website it is automatically given a public-key URL which will start with hyper://. This address can then be shared with whoever you wish to visit the website. Like a regular website, any changes you make to that website, will continue to be seen live at that address.

Read more about this on the Beaker website.

So what kind of things could you build?

Other protocols

Usually we use the HTTP protocol to access the web. You can see this at the beginning of the URL. The protocol is a set of rules that define how your computer interacts with another computer to retrieve or send the information needed.

When using Beaker to explore p2p web, we use the Hyper protocol.

There are however, many other protocols being developed by various communities which explore alternative ways of being online. Gemini is an example of this. There are also communities that maintain protocols as old as HTTP that were never as used, or that have different kinds of uses and possibilities. They point towards different ways of being online.

Low carbon

This website adopts a design and construction that attempts to minimise the amount of resources it uses.

You can test this website, or any other by using a website like websitecarbon.com.

This website is built as a static site.

Static sites hold a website as a finished set of files. Much of the web doesn’t really work like this any more, as sites are built around interaction and the delivery of lots of different types of data.

Imagine you go to a library and take out a book. That book is the static site. If you were to go to a library and then assemble a book from pages scattered all over the library as well as writing a few pages, that’s more like a non-static site.

We've also done things like, only using the fonts you already have on your device and a night mode. Everything needed to view the page is contained within really small files.

In most web browsers you can use built in tools to have a look at some extra metadata for the website you are visiting. This is usually labelled, Web Developer Tools and can be found in the Tools drop down, or by right-clicking in the page and selecting Inspect. You can compare the amounts of resources that are loaded for a site like this and something that you use frequently.