DXOS at Local-First Software Unconference 2023

The day after Strange Loop, Saturday, September 23, DXOS sponsored an unconference for local-first software.

Rich and Jess each gave DXOS demos focused on different aspects of the platform. We had some great questions and interactions.

Rich demoing DXOS to a roomful of curious developers.

The beautiful thing about an unconference is there were dozens of sessions, catering to a huge range of topics, guided by the interests of the participants. We'll highlight a few of the interesting sessions below.

"Local-first for Malleable Software" focused on enhancing control and ownership over code and data in local-first applications, emphasizing the ability to fork code and data easily for transparency in cloud apps with locally stored code. Attendees also explored webhooks for local-first apps and the need to support plugins for tools like TLDraw.

Another session discussed "CRDT Implementation," where attendees shared experiences and challenges in understanding Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs). Topics included concurrent updates tracking and unique peer IDs for safe code editing and data collaboration, along with state-based and delta-based CRDTs and performance considerations.

The "Local-first and Capitalism" session examined the commercial viability of local-first software, focusing on business models, user adoption, and alignment with user desires. Challenges like sustainability, investment, and the potential for small software companies were discussed.

Participants also highlighted the importance of Incremental View Maintenance (IVM) and client-side optimizations for smooth interactions in collaborative apps, including techniques like batching and handling concurrent edits.

The "Identity/Auth Session" emphasized secure authentication and identity management in local-first software. Attendees discussed usability versus security, formal verification, and human-readable identifiers versus decentralization.

It was incredible to be in a room with over a hundred local-first practitioners. The energy was palpable. Big things coming, for sure! Folks were encouraged to upload their notes, so feel free to explore more about the sessions and the mini attendee profiles in this GitHub repo.