I was looking at my stats the other day, and I noticed that people had been searching for the “Osiris Serverless Portal System,” which I mentioned on a few earlier posts.
What it is, in a nutshell, is software for creating web portals that are decentralized and don’t require a central server (hence the name). Part of the idea behind it (I think) is that opposed to standard forums you’d see on the clearnet, all users have the same rights. In other words, there aren’t mods, admins, and members; everyone has equal abilities.
The web portals are distributed, i.e. they are saved on many different computers throughout the Osiris network. Thus, if one machine fails, the data is still intact. If you’d like to download the software, visit Osiris – Downloads.
In some ways, it’s similar to Freenet, because of Freenet’s distributed data store. As Freenet says on their website, “Freenet is a distributed datastore, so once content is uploaded to Freenet, it will remain on Freenet forever, as long as it remains popular, without fear of censorship or denial of service attacks, and without needing to run your own web server and keep it online constantly.”
Likewise, content on Osiris remains there “forever,” so to speak, and you won’t need to run it on your own server. Osiris also emphasizes anonymity, which is another reason that I like it; you can create virtual “identities” to represent yourself on it. (This, too, is somewhat similar to Freenet.)
The portals you create can either be “monarchical” (controlled by you) or “anarchical” (controlled by everyone) – essentially, anyone can decide what to see or not see, and what to do.
It also has different apps you can install; for instance, there’s a YouTube clone.
Unfortunately, last I checked, the software hadn’t been updated since 2011, so while you can still download it, it isn’t being actively maintained! That’s disappointing, because it seemed like a great idea.
Freenet, as far as I know, is the closest existing software that’s actively being maintained, although there are some newer projects that I know of, called Blockstack and Substratum, which have similar concepts.
I have less experience with these, so it’s hard to compare them. They’ll probably be the subject of future posts.
Anyhow, I recommend checking out Osiris, if you’re just curious. If you have other questions, you know where to find me…