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Composability With Other Tools

Full Title:: Composability With Other Tools

Highlights first synced by Readwise August 28th, 2021

The protocol acts as a hub in the network, cutting the number of connections necessary for full interoperability from n * (n - 1), to just n. The number of integrations scales 1:1 with the number of apps.

Better yet, none of these apps have to know anything about each other. All they need to know is the protocol. This makes the set of possible workflows between apps an open set.

Interoperability is very likely to emerge under these conditions.

Files make interoperability the default On the web, the most common way to save data is in a database hidden behind a server. This makes interoperability an explicit feature that must be implemented through APIs. The default is for web apps not to interoperate.

Unlike the web, the classic desktop computing paradigm makes a distinction between apps and documents. Desktop apps typically save their data to external files.

Files act as a hub around which interoperability can emerge. Take a .png. How many apps can work with a .png? Too many to count. Any app can opt in to working with .pngs. Workflows that span multiple apps can emerge organically and permissionlessly.

Files allow interoperability to emerge retroactively. New apps can come along and implement the file formats of other popular apps, uplifting their file format into a de facto protocol. This has happened many times, from .doc, to .rtf, to .psd. Competing products are able to get off the ground by interoperating with incumbents. New workflows can be created permissionlessly