Commit 328811c6 authored by friendica's avatar friendica

first cut at a new readme

parent b8569cc2
Red is essentially a "personal CMS" linked to a decentralised permissions and communication platform. This creates a grid of small servers which link together to form a much larger system (much like the internet itself). This allows one to create services with social contexts and extensible permission controls which are all integrated together as if they were offered by a single large data provider - but without the inherent privacy problems and costs associated with centralisation. Privacy and access controls are instead maintained at the local level where they can be enforced by those who own the data being shared. Additionally, identities in Red are not tied to DNS endpoints and have some degree of mobility between providers.
For example, let's say "Iggy Normak" is a colleague of mine. I can create a web service called "Mike Macgirvin" which acts as a blog or social networking hub, and share files and data with Iggy. These are stored on my website, which is served by a small hosting provider (or perhaps running on an old PC in my garage). Iggy can access my private photos from anywhere on the web, while logged into any Red website (for instance, from Iggy's own business website) - without encountering any additional authentication dialogues. Nobody else is able to access these files and photos without my permission, even if they "guess the URL". This kind of decentralised access control is somewhat unique and opens up new possibilities for creating very large scale web services from smaller operators, providers, and website designers.
Red has somewhat limited functionality at the present time, and is being provided as a "developer preview". The communication layers, authentication and permission systems are all basically functional. Much development work remains. Red is free and open source distributed under the MIT license.
the Red Matrix
The modern web is "missing" a few important pieces which would make it much more useful. Many corporations have stepped in with products to supply these missing pieces, but with a loss of freedom and privacy and increased **centralisation**.
Centralisation is generally considered a bad thing in network design as the loss of one critical node or one centralised service could seriously impact the entire network - possibly taking years to recover. The original web was based on decentralised services.
These missing pieces are:
- Secure and Private Communications
- Identity and "Single-Signon"
- Privacy and Permissions which extend to the entire web
- Directory Services (like a phone book)
The Red Matrix (sometimes referred to as just "Red") is a collection of web services which provides these missing pieces. It operates as an independant network within the larger internet where all the nodes or servers (we call them "hubs") are able to fully interact with each other in ways that are simply not possible using legacy service providers. Additionally thay have the ability to set their own rules with regard to communications and privacy and data ownership, because they operate with full independance.
![images/red_antiprism.png](The Red Matrix model)
One of the flaws of many other decentralised network models is the binding of network identity with the physical server where it resides. Sometimes the burden or cost of maintaining these services becomes a burden (or hardware fails) and people are left stranded. They may have to "start over" building their social circle from scratch when this happens. Within the Red Matrix, identity is nomadic. You can take your identity, and all your friends and associates with you - to any other hub in the network. If your hub goes offline for any reason, you can relocate to any other hub and carry on as if nothing happened. Your friends and associates are still there.
the Red Matrix is free and open source distributed under the MIT license.
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