OCapN - Object Capability Network standard

OCapN is an effort to standardise programming across networks through Object Capabilities (I think). I haven’t dug down but it sounds relevant to Safe Network at least conceptually.

From the website (OCapN.org):


We are a group focused on converging and working on pre-standardization of OCapN. OCapN stands for “Object Capability Network” and provides:

  • CapTP (Capability Transport Protocol) which is the heart of OCapN. This protocol allows for networked programming which, with the appropriate tooling, has the convenience of programming against “networked objects” which are little different from any other asynchronous programming in the host language.
  • A generalized “netlayer” interface and specifications of compatible implementations. OCapN’s CapTP can be run over different “netlayer” implementations ranging from Tor Onion Services to IBC to I2P to libp2p to perhaps carrier pigeons with backpacks full of encrypted microsd cards.
  • A URI structure for addressing machines and specific objects on machines.

Resources (feel free to edit)

1 Like

A long read but very clear summary of the problems that threaten decentralised community supporting software such as Mastodon and all solutions which gravitate towards block lists, allow lists and identity based authorisation etc.

Well worth a read, better it goes from there to solving those problems with an Object Capability based foundation (OCapN).

See: README.org · master · spritely / OcapPub · GitLab


Mixing up identity verification with authorization is how we get ACLs,
and ACLs have serious problems.

For instance, consider that Solitaire (Solitaire!) can steal all your
passwords, cryptolocker your hard drive, or send email to your friends
and co-workers as if it were you.
Why on earth can Solitaire do this?
All the authority it needs is to be able to get inputs from your
keyboard and mouse when it has focus, draw to its window, and maybe
read/write to a single score file.
But Solitaire, and every other one of the thousands of programs on
your computer, has the full authority to betray you, because it has
the full authority to do everything you can… it runs as you.

And that’s not even to mention that ACLs are subject to the same
confused deputy problems as discussed in the previous section.
In this paper we’ll lay out how ocaps can accomplish some amazing
things that ACLs could never safely do… because ACLs Don’t.

[Relevant to any social Safe Network app as well as the fediverse, including Project Decorum cc @Seneca]



1 Like