Almonit extension V0.10, now with Skynet support!
This article announces series 0.1.x of Almonit extension (to installation page). This series includes a few big updates.
This is a Firefox release only! We intended it for Chromium browsers as well but had difficulties with the Chrome Web Store.
Below we describe the main new features.
Skynet Dwebsites support
We are proud the be the first extension enabling Skynet based Dewbsites! Now you can create and surf ENS+Skynet websites using Almonit extension.
This is our first step in extending the Dwebsite world beyond ENS+IPFS Dwebsites. We are aware that out there there are already also Unstoppable Domains+IPFS or ENS+Swarm Dwebsites. We intend to include them in a future version.
What is skynet?
Skynet is a decentralized CDN based on Sia blockchain.
In some ways, it’s like BitTorrent (you can share files in a p2p network with Skynet), or like IPFS (you get a short link for the files or folders you shared), but in other ways, it is completely unique.
The unique points of Skynet are the ability to share and pin content without the user being always online, and the ability to run your own strong Skynet node at a relatively cheap price.
How is it possible? The “secret” is that Skynet is built on top of Sia blockchain, a blockchain dedicated to decentralized storage.
If you’ve been in the blockchain sphere long enough, you heard of Sia. It’s one of the leading projects for decentralized storage based on blockchain. Skynet is the first application based on that.
Which Skynet websites exist already?
So you installed Almonit Browser Extension, now want to check out how Skynet Dwebsite works? Here are a few Skynet Dwebsites for you to check out.
Almonit search engine itself is already on Skynet! Checkout the Skynet version: almonit.dwbst.eth/index.html#/ (dwbst is short for dwebsite).
What else? We linked a few other existing Skynet websites to an ENS name to establish quickly new Skynet Dwebsites.
Easy-peasy! It has three steps.
- Get an ENS name. You can rent an ENS domain for 5$ from ENS themselves, or you can write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to buy a .dwbst subdomain for 10$ for life(!).
Link ENS to Skynet. Do the following in the ENS app.
- add a
key = skynetand
value = <your Skylink>.
Here’s an example of how we set that for Almonit:
- add a
Connecting Almonit Extension to Almonit Search Engine
Did you already install the extension? great. You should see now a button in the browser bar with Almonit icon. If you press on it you’ll see this:
Yes! This means that now Almonit Extension is connected to the Almonit Search Engine! A search there will take you directly to the result in our search engine.
We also added information for “power” users. The popup window shows you now the current Ethereum, IPFS, and Skynet settings.
Want to change the settings? Press the little icon on the upper right corner of the popup window. It will take you to our settings page, which we obviously completely rewritten for this release.
New settings page
The more feature we add, the more extensive the settings page becomes. The new design allows us to add more and more features to the extension, while still allowing users to customize (almost) everything.
You don’t want a random gateway? Fine, choose a gateway and force it. You want to use your own node? No worries, just put it in
Others. You can even disable our settings update if you don’t trust us (we’re not insulted, really!).
All of this is true for IPFS, Skynet and Ethereum, and any other protocol we may support in the future.
Many changes in the background
There are many changes you can’t see with your eyes, but you’ll feel while using the extension. The new code is more modular, efficient, and asks for fewer permissions than the previous version.
It is more flexible, allowing us to quickly add new protocols in the future.
You can see the source code or follow the development in the Almonit browser extension Github repository.
What’s next for the Almonit Browser extension?
The next immediate thing is adding support for more protocols. For example, .crypto domains (of unstoppable domains), Swarm, DAT, and so on.
Furthermore, we consider some more “Experimental” stuff. Like creating an ID for your ENS name, then enable functions like chatting (between people with ENS names), commenting on articles or in general, using the extension to enable more dynamic content, while keeping the decentralization and privacy principles of Dwebsites.
Finally, a small apology
If you’re already an existing user of our browser extension, you’ll find out that this update resets your settings. The cause is that we completely rewrote the settings module, and it became an unreasonably complicated challenge to keep existing settings. We worked on it for quite a while, never reaching a perfect result, so eventually, we decided to just reset the default.
We intend that it won’t happen in the next versions, and deeply apologize it is the case now.