Last day of my internship!

It was hard to leave the University of Washington Networks Lab, where I've been working this summer. (That being said, I might come back winter break.) Thank you to Bonnie, Ray, Will, Tom, Danyang, Donny, and Yuchen for an unforgettable ten weeks!

Ray, Will, and their team have been developing Radiatus and freedom.js, a new programming model for designing web apps. Radiatus relies on message passing and isolated user containers, unlike frameworks such as Express or Django, which have centralized servers.

Using Radiatus and freedom.js means more flexibility and privacy, but as of now there are also some pain points:

  • Long message chains. An extra "social provider" layer in addition to the traditional frontend, backend, and database. When we send data from one user to another, we have to pass the message through the first user's frontend, backend, and social provider, and then through the second user's social provider, backend, and frontend. 
  • Error propagation. If our bug involved message passing, we had to track it down step by step. Also, there was a domino effect, so the next steps were also affected after the point where a message was dropped or corrupted.  
  • Lack of documentation. As of now :-) 

Bonnie and I developed blizi, a web app on top of Radiatus and freedom.js. An excerpt from our paper:

blizi (blizi.radiatus.io) is a social web app created with Radiatus and freedomjs to facilitate sharing and reviewing research papers. Software like HotCRP, Authorea, and ResearchGate already exist, but we believe blizi has additional uses these others may lack. HotCRP is intended for conferences, Authorea is designed for collaboration between co-authors, and access to ResearchGate is limited to researchers at institutions. blizi is versatile and open to all, from colleagues exchanging papers, to students in seminars collecting reviews, to professors requesting feedback. 
Check out our public repositories: blizi and freedom.js. If you try out the app and notice any bugs, please file them!

I've also attached the rest of our paper...