Namebase's Roadmap for Handshake Adoption

A summary of November 12th, 2020's Director of Handshake meetup

Tieshun shared Namebase's internal roadmap in the Directors of Handshake meetup for feedback to align Namebase's efforts with the needs of the Handshake community. You can share your feedback and comments on our vision doc , and we'll be using your comments and this vision document at https://hns.to/vision.nb/, which will guide our efforts for the next 6-12 months.

We think Handshake is a great tool for end-user applications: You can use Handshake names for logins, for encrypted communication, and for many novelty use cases like dLinks (e.g. https://hns.to/aadil/ ). What we’re trying to do at Namebase is build example applications to help showcase and inspire developers for what’s possible with Handshake, and then equip developers by improving the tooling for Handshake so creators can easily build on top of it. We want to be super public and open about what we’re building so other developers can see what can be done with Handshake and create more use cases.

While there are a myriad of important activities that need to be done to help grow Handshake (influencer outreach, pushing for browser adoption, getting Certificate Authorities to support Handshake, etc.), the only metric we currently care about is the number of Handshake names in use (this could be a dLink page, an end-user application or even just a redirect), and the only number we're trying to increase is the amount of names that have been changed from their default settings.

When viewed from this metric, Namebase's efforts begin to make sense because they all contribute towards increasing Handshake name usage. dLinks is meant to be a very straightforward way for anyone to create a decentralized website without any technical eperience, Handshake logins is meant to demonstrate what can be done with Handshake, and Namer News makes it easy to share and discover Handshake creations.

There are 2 cohorts of individuals whose contributions to Handshake will be key to its success:

  1. Creators who are building applications on top of Handshake and potentially tying together other protocols with Handshake

  2. Namers who aren't technical and won't be building end-user appliations, but are enthusiastic about trying out Handshake applications

It takes a lot of effort to get people to adopt things, but one of the easiest ways our community can encourage Creators to build something on Handshake is by being able to say "there will be at least this many Namers who will be willing to take a look at it" — it's very rewarding to have people give your creations a try. As more Creators build on Handshake and more Namers are using Handshake applications, we'll have more leverage to get browsers to adopt Handshake. We've already had conversations with Opera and Brave about Handshake and our values are well-aligned so they are interested in adopting it, however it comes down to a matter of priorities. Even though people like the creator of FarmVille are Handshake enthusiasts, it's still a small audience for browsers, so getting them to support Handshake now would be an uphill battle. If there were many developers building on Handshake, then browsers would be much more inclined to natively support Handshake, and if we’re all very willing to try out those Handshake applications, then developers are more likely to build on Handshake.

Namer News will really help with highlighting new Handshake creations, but in the meanwhile we'll (Namebase) do a better job including new Handshake creations in the weekly updates, and we (the community) can start collecting them in https://hns.to/awesome.nb/ as well.

"Improving documentation" was a point that came up multiple times, which we'll begin doing in the Learning Center. In addition to turning the Learning Center into a router for community-created resources, we'll also begin documenting discussions on infrastructure issues (e.g. difficulties in setting up https) that happen in the Namer Communty to include in the Learning Center, so anyone can easily find out what's already been talked about and what's already been done.

Moving forward, there are 2 asks for everyone in the Namer Community: please make an effort to give every new Handshake creation a try, and help contribute to the Learning Center by collecting information that helped you better your understanding of Handshake.