Among many novelties of Salut à Toi in the next release (0.7), one has specially big potential: Libervia (the web frontend) is now a web framework.
"Yeah but there already so many of them!" I 've heard you saying…
That is true, but this one is decentralized.
Building on standards, having tools for decentralization
Using existing accounts
So, Libervia is based on SàT and XMPP in order to help you to build or rebuild the web. But why? Well, first the authentication, which is used on most websites nowadays, use the account you alread have. No, I'm not talking about the account on the big blue stuff or the noisy bird, but about your XMPP account, the one you are using with SàT, Movim, Gajim, Conversations or Pidgin, the one, in which your data can be located in your living room, and the one in which you can use any name you choose; the one that does not tract your activity.
The developer doesn't have to worry about this, and the users don't have to create yet another account on each website, or to use an account from a big central website (and then tell to web data hoovers where, when and to what you did connect).
Other advantage: we take profit for existing software. If you want to integrate other authentication ways (for instance if you want to use your GNU/Linux accounts), you just have to activate the suitable thing on your server (check this prosody list for instance, you'll surely find similar lists for other servers).
Pubsub, the decentralized database
XMPP is not a single technology, but rather a basis for a variety of coherent technologies, and pubsub is one of them. As a reminder, with it you can store data (or "items") in "nodes" (which can been seen as tables or collections in other databases), on "services".
A service can be anywhere on the network : in the same location as your web server, on the other side of the Earth, on the intranet or on a .onion in Tor network. Of course it's possible to keep data locally if needed, in particular for caching.
Let’s talk about cache, pubsub has a really nice property: we can subscribe to a node to be notified when there are changes on it (new data, data update or deletion). Taking benefit from this gives Libervia an automatic cache system: a page can be automatically put in cache, and later can be invalidated as soon as a modification happen. That is an other thing to simplify developer's life, and to improve the speed for the user.
Libervia has been thought to make things easy :
The framework is entirely based on template engine (jinja2). It is really straightforward to create new themes (from doing simple CSS change to major changes in pages structure). You just have to create a new directory with theme name, and to modify what you want, and only what you want: pages from default theme will be used if needed.
Integration between server and client
A bunch of tools are there to facilitate integration between client (in the browser) and the HTTP server. For instance, you just have to set "dynamic = True" in your Libervia page on server side to automatically activate a bidirectionnal dynamic communication system with the browser (based on websockets). A method can be used to send data at any time to the page, and an other one is called when data are emited from the browser.
Handling common tasks
A translation system is natively integrated (using Babel), and also filters for dates, backend UI templates rendering, or forms creation.
Templates are built to be reusables, so it's easy to include, for instance, comments in page.
A symbiotic ecosystem
I'll stop here for features, though the list is not finished (it's for instance possible to generate static website à la Pelican or Hugo).
This new tool has already been used in severals features in the incoming release, notably with the tickets or merge requests handlers that I have announced recently.
Next release of Salut à Toi will be an achievement, the first version ready for production, and is now a whole ecosystem to communicate, create, or do collaborative work, compatible with the rest of XMPP family.
If you want to stay up to date, follow my blog (which is using Libervia), or join us on our room firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to support us, you can either join the association, or help us on Liberapay.
Other news to come soon…