On March 4, 2023, we are excited to have Sir Tim Berners-Lee to host a short introduction workshop about Solid for a small group of undergraduate and postgraduate students in Oxford CS, who will be doing solid-related student projects in Trinity or the academic year of 2023/24.

This is the first year we put up Solid-related projects at our department for UG and Msc students, and they have been extremely well-received. We have received quite a lot of interests from our students, who have shown a strong passion for exploring and building an alternative to the current platform-centric data ecosystem. However, during our initial tutorials, we realised that running an introductory workshop on Solid and its vision and history would be beneficial to all students and lay down a good foundation for their projects. This first Solid hands-on workshop was created for this purpose.

We have been very fortunate to have Tim to open the workshop and provide the introduction about Solid. It has been amazing to see how Tim walked through the beginning of Web 1.0, to the journey from Web 2.0 (the social web) to the so-called Web3.0 (the decentralised web), and how the stack of standard protocols underpinning these technologies have made it possible for us to have an open and interoperable World Wide Web.


Even for many of the EWADA researchers in the room, it has been exciting to see how Solid is perceived to sit along existing standard protocols, and be the nucleus of a solid ecosystem, with all the possibilities of enabling data autonomy and creating a wave of new, ethical, and open data applications for the governments, companies and individuals.


Following this informative introduction, we continued the workshop with some demonstrations of solid-based web applications by both Prof Ruben Verborgh from Ghent University and the EWADA team.

In the second half of the workshop, we undertook a productive one-hour hands-on exercises with Solid. Everyone managed to create a WebID, log into the SolidFlix application built by EWADA, create and share movie data with everyone in the room. Most excitingly, Tim suggested that why don’t we also take this opportunity and create a Solid chat room, so that it will ease the communication amongst this exciting team and relieve us from proprietary platforms.


We will continue and run another public Solid workshop at Oxford CS in the Trinity Term. All resources used by this workshop can be found below: