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Terminal V2 – Build, deploy, and host websites and apps on IPFS (terminal.co)
132 points by bpierre 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 68 comments

No signup, no way to try (other than fill a form to request access); may even be just an idea.

If you aren't one of the founders, you're blowing their chances to be on HN when they are actually ready to launch.

Seems like they are allowing users to create accounts and add sites https://blog.terminal.co/posts/getting-started

"launching" is overrated anyway. Start small and test early instead.

I recommend spelling out/defining acronyms, at least the first time you use them.

Example :

"Terminal - the easiest way to build, deploy, and host websites & apps on IPFS."

Change to -

"Terminal - the easiest way to build, deploy, and host websites & apps on IPFS(InterPlanetary File System.)"

I'd usually agree with a comment like this, but expanding the IPFS acronym doesn't do much for defining it.

What the heck is "interplanetary file system"?

It's a file sharing protocol closely related to protocols like BitTorrent (https://ipfs.io/) a peer-to-peer filestore where you can host/seed files for others to use

I know what it is. I meant in the literal sense of the word - what I was trying to say is that saying the full name doesn't really explain the technology or its value at all.

It gives you an explicit thing to search for, though, or at least the ability to infer.

We deal in an absolute maelstrom of acronyms. Being explicit when using them for the first time in a document is part of the social contract.

Okay, but at least I'd refrain from even mentioning the tech in the marketing tagline.

The customer does not care about the tech that much, they care about the value. The value is censorship-resistant and decentralized websites.

While we are recommending language choices, I'd also suggest going through the effort of finding a unique name for your product or service. Or at least re-using an existing name from an entirely different domain.

I think you can do this with Netlify already by publishing to IPFS in your post-build script or use something like the gatsby IPFS plugin. The DNS portion would require some setup though which is probably where this product shines.

"publishing to IPFS" doesn't make sense in the context of Netlify. Where is the content hosted once the build has been finished? You still need to send the content somewhere once the build is finished, otherwise it won't be available for others to fetch.

> Where is the content hosted once the build has been finished?

There's services like INFURA [0] and Pinata [1] that will pin content for free. It's as simple as using ipfs-deploy [2] to publish the build directory to one of those IPFS pinning services.

[0] https://infura.io/docs/ipfs/get/pin_add

[1] https://pinata.cloud/

[2] https://github.com/ipfs-shipyard/ipfs-deploy

Funny the _website hosted on IPFS_ pulls its font from fonts.googleapis.com..

Regardless of it being on IPFS, APIs can still be used. Plus who doesn't love google fonts. <3

How are you handling file persistence on IPFS? I didn't see anything about pinning files or being able to support deployed projects with your own server. Does Terminal (might want to consider more distinct branding) provide support for deployed projects with its own servers?

Meh, not actually released yet, just a beta mailing list you can sign up for. No thanks.

I have been amazed how mature & efficient IPFS has become, we should really welcome initiatives like Terminal that aim at making it more accessible.

I hate the way the cryptocurrency world has sucked all the air out of the decentralized room. Why does a decentralized app have to interact with a smart contract? We already have tons that do not. Why does it need a coin?

Turns out the best way to manage spam in a global decentralized network with no gatekeepers is assigning a monetary cost to actions.

The notion that the concept of money itself is dirty is an antiquated one. If you're not trading money you're trading time or limiting your scope. No approach is inherently worst than the others, but since the money way is new to decentralized networks that's where the innovation will naturally tend to happen.

But if you really don't like money in your decentralized networks I hear the GUN[1] ecosystem is pretty active. In-between solutions like Mastodon[2] are also blooming. And if you follow Ethereum's "leader" Vitalik Buterin on Twitter, you'll see he himself is very supportive of alternative approaches that don't involve cryptocurrency[3].

[1]: https://github.com/amark/gun

[2]: https://mastodon.social

[3]: https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/121797359890150604..., https://twitter.com/vitalikbuterin/status/120734452423568998...

Lol, that's ironic considering how prolific spam is in the blockchain world.

I've had an Ethereum address for 3 years and I just counted around 30 spam tokens attached to it. That's remarkably low considering how global and easy it is to send. I don't even want to imagine how many spam emails an unfiltered address would've gotten in that time span.

Also, your checking your shitcoins, not your email. Blickchainers love sending out newsletters, aka, spam.

It's remarkably high, considering how few companies are using it.

I think you're arguing about two different types of decentralization. What the OP seems to want is full-stack decentralization.

You post a bounty in the Etherium world that you want some storage, some compute, a name, an address, etc. and provide some gas so that the network can verify the contracts have actually been fulfilled, and then poof, your site is running somewhere.

Or the simpler case which this is trying to tackle, you want to host a site on IPFS but you don't want to buy an always-on node. Choosing a single provider would be "centralizing" in their eyes so you post a contract for people to seed your site on IPFS and get paid for doing so.

Seems like a cool idea.

You're saying that "[you] hate the way the cryptocurrency world has sucked all the air out of the decentralized room" but also that "we already have tons [of decentralized apps] that do not [use cryptocurrency]." That seems contradictory.

It's not contradictory. When they say they hate that cryptocurrency has sucked all the air out of the room, they're saying that they hate that nobody is talking about the non-cryptocurrency alternatives, not that they don't exist.

It says 'no link named "introducing-terminal-v2" under QmUAknGoQ2nHodokWTPxeYtQuMiWFQiAts2aGe8PjM7DPR'
zelly 15 days ago [flagged]

Wow, what a scam

what is this?

GPT-2 is getting better and better, this is very impressive.

That's a really confusing name, I was expecting some sort of new VT100 alternative, or maybe a new terminal emulator.

Likewise. Even the logo (which is also the favicon) is of a command prompt.

I'm not normally one to criticise names but this one is hugely counter-intuitive.

It doesn't come across at those small sizes, but it's a robot head/face: https://blog.terminal.co/static/text-black-face-black-horizo...

oh wow, you're right. I could have sworn I saw a back screen with a ">_" prompt

Names in tech are getting more ridiculous every day lately.. but this takes it to a new level.

really? does it actually now? are we sitting here complaing that apple is a fruit but a tech company decided to call themselves that!?!?!?

edit: sure it's from a different domain, but come on

The use of 'Web 3' is also plain stupid. Who declared the current web 'version 2' anyway? Did I miss an upgrade from 1.0 ?

"The term was invented by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 and later popularized by Tim O'Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004." [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

From the same article: "Whether Web 2.0 is substantially different from prior Web technologies has been challenged by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, who describes the term as jargon. His original vision of the Web was "a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write." On the other hand, the term Semantic Web (sometimes referred to as Web 3.0) was coined by Berners-Lee to refer to a web of content where the meaning can be processed by machines."

only the wiki entry you quote has this to say about Web 3.0:

On the other hand, the term Semantic Web (sometimes referred to as Web 3.0) was coined by Berners-Lee to refer to a web of content where the meaning can be processed by machines.

Dapps advocates decided to squat the “Web 3.0” name at some point without asking any web people AFAIK. Indeed the technology usually isn’t even HTTP/WWW-based, so calling it Web x.y is kind of a head scratcher. An uncharitable take is to piggyback on an actually successful technology (despite not having much semblance) to lend themselves legitimacy.

A sibling comment claims that it’s Web3, not Web 3.0 (as if it’s meaningfully different), but “Web 3.0” has definitely been used a lot by dapp advocates; evidence abound. Maybe they have since decided that “Web 3.0” is a tad too ridiculous and is now rallying under the “Web3” banner instead. I wouldn’t know.

Web3 (not Web 3.0) is how browsers communicate with the data that is not hosted on a web server, but rather on a decentralized blockchain. This means that these things are resistant to censorship.

I rememeber web 2.0 was supposed to be when normal users startet providing content. So like ... after year 2000 somewhen?

ummm yeah actually you did. google "web 2.0 the social web" and maybe you can catch up :)

same. instead it's about "dapp" and scammy ethereum smart contract nonsense.

> with the overarching goal of helping make Web 3 and a ‘decentralized internet’ a reality. Our initial focus (Terminal V1) was on tools and products related to Ethereum smart contracts and dapps, as that’s what we had previous experience with. But after releasing a few tools and products for Ethereum dapps last year, we started to ask ourselves a deeper question - what even is a dapp?

Crypto space if indeed full of scams, due to a poisonous combination of money, hopeful returns, and a degree of anonimity.

But I find the concept of dapps fascinating. I could even make a prediction that early dapps might eventually become the longest continuously "running" programs in the world. The VM is simple enough to maintain and port, and there is an incentive to do so. These "smart contracts" might still be executable centuries later.

> I could even make a prediction that early dapps might eventually become the longest continuously "running" programs in the world.

what do they do? Can you point to some successful use-cases today (other than some kittens) where this might apply?

> These "smart contracts" might still be executable centuries later.

chances are that there is no such thing as the Internet a few centuries later in the same way the Telegraph is pretty much dead today!

> what do they do? Can you point to some successful use-cases today (other than some kittens) where this might apply?

Nitpicking but ain't collectible card games with proof-of-ownership a use case though? In the Magic The Gathering world (for real physical cards) ensuring that thought-after cards are the real thing is an issue. There are brick and mortars grading companies grading the cards. Then you have to trust the seller you're not getting a swapped-in chinese fake.

But another use case I've seen used: fully decentralized messaging, either "pseudonymous" (say tied to a BTC address: there's been a working demo showing on to do this on BTC's lightning network) or fully anonymous messages, using ZK cryptography.

In this case you don't know who send a message to whom. You don't even know if it's a message or an amount transferred.

And if the cryptographic primitives behind that are broken, we would pretty soon know (price would crash).

To me decentralized messaging, fully anonymous using zero-knowledge cryptography primitives, is quite a use case compared to the "we-need-your-phone-number-but-trust-us-our-protocol-and-app-ain't-backdoored-and-we're-not-collecting-any-data" messaging solutions that are out at the moment.

But I agree it's a world obviously full of scam. Still: a blockchain is basically a computer: a very slow and bloated one. But it's also an incredibly correct and very hard to hack computer.

I think there are valid use cases for a fully decentralized computer running advanced cryptographic primitives like zero-knowledge cryptography. To me fully anonymous decentralized messaging is one (and a badly needed one at that). There are probably others.

There are some solid use-cases for this technology beyond currency and collectables. Check out Livepeer [1].

They are creating a p2p network for live video broadcasting infrastructure, essentially a competitor to "AWS Elastic Transcoder" or the GCP equivalent. The thought is that through an automated decentralized auction for transcoding capacity, customers will always get a better price than centralized cloud computing providers. It would be interesting to see this concept applied to general compute capacity as well. I think I read about something like that elsewhere.

[1]: https://github.com/livepeer/

I can’t work out if this is satire or not.

Well most likely any relatively complex piece of software will get updated so we can exclude the current staples like MakerDAO[1] or Uniswap[2]. What would still be used as is would be some kind of basic function (as basic as `ls` or `curl` are to Linux), but given the very assembly language the contracts run on is still being worked on I think we're a little too early for that.

[1]: https://github.com/makerdao/dss

[2]: https://github.com/Uniswap/contracts-vyper

Are there any cryptocurrency dapps that anyone uses that are not novelties, gambling, or cryptocurrency investing (gambling)?

Compound is a lending protocol. Maybe because lending happens in cryptocurrencies you want to classify that as gambling — but then there are actual gambling smart contracts, and also you can do lending in stable cryptocurrencies that are much harder to call “gambling”


I read that paragraph as they have moved on from “scummy Etherium ... nonsense”.

We always need convenient monikers for concepts and while “dapp” isn’t the most elegant, it is no worse than “cloud”.

The fact that people are putting their creative energies into decentralised technology (which is very much swimming against the current and involves solving many very difficult problems) is to be applauded.

seriously, I do applaud the efforts of the p2p community. But the Blockchain/ETH/IOTA/whatever crowd isn't creating anything that works. The more serious people in academia who are working on it dismiss critics and they'll tell you "well the tech is still young, and its promises shouldn't be dismissed". That is great but then stop peddling it like it's the best thing since tabbed browsing.

As for this specific project ...

Before I'll applaud a project that references ETH and talks about "web3" (tHe fUtuRe oF tHE wEb) they should produce something that isn't a scam. There are literally thousands of them: https://cryptoscamdb.org/scams/ (filter for ETHEREUM).

ETH has shown during the infamous fork that you can't build anything worthwhile based on these systems and their past behavior clearly indicates they took money from people without knowing what they're doing. Fake it till you make it at its finest.

All these things are broken not because the tech is flawed but the assumptions that in case something goes wrong the system can self-correct without human intervention. In the smart-contract world "a bug" literally means either total failure of the project (and bankruptcy of the company backing it).

Another problem is that the community is so ignorant that they call anyone who criticizes them as shills the same way people in my camp do. They are the anti-vaxxers and flat-earthers of Tech! -> at least until they can proof (not on paper but with real life projects) that this isn't the case.

Wow. I'm constantly amazed at the tendency to instantly dismiss anything related to cryptocurrency as "scammy".

This is a tool to publish websites on IPFS. It will integrate optional web3 (Ethereum) support in the future. Ethereum is not a requirement to use this tool.

referencing a scammy project like ETH in a project that the author believes is not a scam doesn't exactly speak for whatever it is they're peddling. Every time I read jargon like Web3 and dapp I am a little sick in my mouth because I know there are people who don't pay so much attention and get easily sucked into the whole nonsense.

You think a distributed virtual machine that executes code is scammy? Maybe it can be used for scams by people who are scammers. So is email scammy too? Are telephones scammy? I believe they are all technology and can be used for whatever people want to do with them.

instead of your comment it would have been more convincing if you pointed me to the many success cases which I have missed where cryptocurrencies and blockchains have lead to anything other than a scam.

Because anything I come across in that domain, I can smell the stink from miles away!

Don't conflate dapps with scams. I enjoy building small experimental dapps that I just throw out on the blockchain and let people toy around with. No-one is making any money and no-one is in control. Call it art if you will but for me that's an appeal in itself, even if it serves no higher purpose.

Another aspect is that I really like the fact that I don't have any responsibilities once it's launched. No servers to take care of or feedback to consider. It's truly decentralized.

> Call it art if you will

that sounds awesome actually. But then they should label it as such and (like IOTA) go to places like Volkswagen and CISCO and peddle this stuff as "the future" and make fraudulent claims on twitter that these big companies have "already started" building their systems on that nonsense.

Exactly. Until there's a proven and functional use case for blockchains that will actually help businesses that's just straight-up snake oil. Right now it's an interesting concept but not much more - that's why I classify it as art. All my dapps could just as well have been centralized on a regular server with the same functionality but I put them on the blockchain for fun and experimentation.

Could you point to some examples?

They already hijacked the term "crypto". Perhaps "terminal" is next.

"Dapper" might have worked better :)

There's actually already a popular Ethereum browser extension wallet named 'Dapper' [0] made by Dapper Laps, the team that did CryptoKitties. Do agree that another name would have been better suited.

[0] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dapper/pghmmgdinmf...

True. Also I think the term dapp is overplayed. Like we should just be making regular applications that compete with regular applications that happen to be backed by cool new technology. As soon as you say dapp it's like oh yeah because it's on Ethereum right ok cool i'll take a sticker.

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