Part of what always excited me about the #fediverse was the chance to see all kinds of interoperable social apps. It fit well with my own idea for “a suite of independent, but connected apps” that I started building with Write.as and Snap.as.
Today I came across this talk, A World Without Apps, and it got me thinking beyond my own collection of composable tools on the web, to all levels of the computing stack. Providing that kind of environment everywhere of course will be pretty involved, but I can already feel it changing my thinking toward the tools I’m making.
Even certain basic concepts of my software that I’ve reused across apps, like “collections” and “posts,” could be used as elemental pieces that users could then combine and piece together however they want. I’m thinking about how I could build a tool that uses these elemental pieces to make brand new tools, and build my suite of apps and experiment with new ideas even faster. Then other people could do the same, and instead of only ever getting a single “official” version of WriteFreely, for example, you could build your own WriteFreely entirely the way you like it. In this way, WriteFreely as a piece of software becomes less of a wind-up toy, and more of a real tool you can use exactly how you want.