SwellRT: free/open source, full-stack framework for developing collaborative, decentralized apps in real time

The P2Pvalue tech team has developed something exciting that we’d like to share – it’s called SwellRT, and it’s something unique and, we feel, special. Here’s the story:

SwellRT is the first free/open source, full-stack framework for developing collaborative, decentralized apps in real time.

SwellRT allows the creation of decentralized web applications and apps which include real-time collaborative edition of text and data.

For example, SwellRT enables the fast and easy creation of your own (ether)pad, with an extensible text format and web editor. It is basically an alternative equivalent to the Google Drive Real-Time API, but decentralized and open source. SwellRT offers a functionality equivalent to the Google Drive Real-Time API, except with an open and decentralized approach, providing client libraries (JavaScript/Java/Android) and a server which can federate with XMPP.

So that means you can build Google Doc-like collaborative documents which have decentralized, federated contents, but not just limited to text – you can have embedded videos, maps, etc., and all (if you like) collaborative. And if one person disconnects temporarily, they can continue working, and it will sync when connection is recovered (so it also accommodates unstable or poor connectivity).

The SwellRT code is a descendant of Google Wave – now Apache Wave – using its federation protocol. Currently, there are already other libraries for creating web user interfaces that are “data reactive”, that is, supporting 2-way data binding such as React and AngularJS. However, developing the backend for these, with “push” operations and close to real-time, is significantly more complex. New alternatives have appeared such as RethinkDB and others, but these options are proprietary and/or centralized. SwellRT offers an alternative that’s no less interesting for the development of apps and collaborative websites with real-time editing, and we invite you to have a look.

You can also hear an interview with the lead developer, Pablo Ojanguren, here in our recent podcast.

Please visit the SwellRT project page which includes an example demonstration, as well as the GitHub page (https://github.com/P2Pvalue/swellrt). And let us know what you think!

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