ClimateDataPool at HackFS
This summer we participated in a hackathon: HackFS (the FS stands for ‘file system’). Efficiently organized by ETHGlobal, the event lasted a month, Jul 6 – Aug 6, 2020.
Participating in HackFS was an exhilarating experience. The hum of activity was intense; 470 hackers from 50 countries across 19 time zones participated. 134 teams submitted projects. Sponsors included the major players in the burgeoning Web3 space. Using Slack for coordination the ETHGlobal team organized a series of online video meetings using Zoom. There were dozens, including informational, how-to, and tutorial sessions, office hours for the sponsors, plus social interest-based meetings to find teammates or exchange ideas.
In order to give our project its own identity we coined a product name: ClimateDataPool. We also created a logo derived from the Chaîne logo:
Naming the product stems from the realization that, if our solution moves into real world production, it’ll need governance. That’s not simple and we’ll deal with it when we get closer. But we also realized that Chaîne ‘the org’ could have multiple products. So the time was ripe to give the climate data storage system its own identity, separate from Chaîne. As we like the idea that countries are pooling their data, which other parties can utilize, we coined ClimateDataPool.
For a full description, check out our project page at HackFS. Here’s our demo video:
All the content of the demo site featured in the video is stored on IPFS!
The biggest takeaway from the hackathon is that the IPFS scene has flourished into a thriving ecosystem. Back when we implemented our ‘Hello world’ app in 2017 for the UN’s IT Challenge, we were using IPFS on the command line. There were a lot of motivated developers but there was no GUI. Today there are multiple services with web interfaces that alleviate the friction points and make interacting with decentralized storage a near seamless process.
We found Fleek particularly useful. So much so that we ‘imagined’ that Fleek offers a white label service which can be branded. We thus forked their UI and revamped it into a document management app. That’s the UI on the demo site.
When writing the user stories we intended to implement a lot of functionality. In the course of the hackathon we had to triage our ambitions, but we still delivered a PoC that proves the viability of the concept.
There was so much going on during HackFS that when we finished, we had the feeling that there was a lot more we could’ve learned. Call that fodder for the next step.
We’d like to thank ETHGlobal and the sponsors for running a superbly organized and inspiring hackathon!!