Keynote by Tyler Close (Google)

We are pleased to announce that the workshop will open with a keynote speech by Tyler Close (Google), author of the Waterken web server:

Using the Web for decentralized coordination of distributed processes. You can get there from here.

At first blush, the Web might not seem like a good starting place for decentralized coordination of distributed processes. A typical Web application is vulnerable to multiple central authorities and so is not decentralized. Most often, coping with the travails of distribution depends upon human intervention via the browser's 'refresh' button; which doesn't bode well for headless processes. Coordination between Web applications, where it's done at all, often results in complete vulnerability between participants. Looking at the Web as a platform for decentralized coordination of distributed processes, it seems reasonable to conclude: "You can't get there from here".

Sometimes, a different perspective is all that is needed to find a way forward out of the maze. In this talk, we'll reacquaint ourselves with the Web's core technologies: the URL, HTTP and TLS. With a fresh outlook on these technologies, we'll explore how to use them for the desired effect, while still working within the existing Web infrastructure. Using simple and compatible extensions to the Web, we'll study cases where we can now coordinate the formerly intractable. The Waterken Server and an extended Web browser enable demonstration of these implementation techniques. With a different perspective on where "here" is, we'll get "there".