Calls: Send in your ideas. Deadline April 1, 2024

Awarded projects

The selected projects within the June 2013 Call are:

  • Sockethub

    Sockethub is a polyglot (speaking many different protocols and APIs) messaging service for social and other interactive messaging applications. It assists web app developers by providing server-independent, server-side functionality - which gives the application greater autonomy. It can be used as a tool for many different types of applications, large and small. Sockethub virtually allows everybody talk to everybody. Lead developer is Nick Jennings (Czech Republic).

    More about Sockethub

  • Hoodie

    Hoodie is - like the Unhosted project that has also received funding by NLnet - part of the noBackend movement. noBackend is about building data-driven apps without a smart backend. It enables frontend developers to do common backend tasks by themselves, like user authentication, sending emails, or payments.

    Hoodie is one of the major open source contenders in this area - an extensible web application development framework written in Javascript with the distinct goal of making full-stack application accessible and easy to front-end developers and designers. Like Ruby on Rails did for backend development, Hoodie tries to solve many if not all of the mundane things every application needs, so developers can focus on what's unique to their apps. Hoodie is a front-end, in-browser JavaScript API that is designed from application backwards to the backend that powers it.

    For every (even moderately sophisticated) application developers need to worry about building and running a backend service somewhere. That means system administration, server provisioning, cluster configuration - not even mentioning the security aspects of doing this without too much background. Hoodie is designed to take this very generic work out of the hands of developers, and do a better job in the background while unburdening the developers. The funding from NLnet is used amongst other to make Hoodie fully modular, and then make it extensible with plugins.

  • Global Directories

    The Global Directories project (part of wants to solve the problem of maintenance of ones social graph while keeping the nature of relationships private among the people involved - and while at it create an exciting new mechanism to discover new services and lower the threshold of communication security.

    People change jobs, start using other social networks and pick up new devices and services every day - and you are expected to keep up with these divergent online activities of dozens or even hundreds of people in your network. In order to lower the workload, people typically register themselves on one of a few centralised services, and then ask everyone they know to join them there as well. Sometimes this involves sharing their whole address book with some intransparent commercial entity that is prepared to suck up this information in return for the right to later sell it to whomever they like for whatever purpose they like. Often this involves sending out mass unsolicited mails to every contact in ones address book (X wants to add you to their network. Click here...). And this happens over and over again.

    On the internet, that is not how it has to be. Distribution of information is easy and cheap, and information can be subscribed to at the source. Global Directories will allow everybody that wants some or all information about themselves or their company to be automatically retrievable by others to run a fully distributed directory service. That sounds more difficult than it is, it just means the user publishes their business card themselves and retains full control over what the contacts interested in them can see on that at all times. If someone wants to find some information about, all they need to do is ask the directory service at for the card - which means that there is not need for

    The information in such a directory is highly structured and so it can contain, among other things, contact information as well as for instance cryptographic keys. People you allow automatically get all new information that you 'published', so they never need to enter it themselves. There are no limits to the size of your business card. On the user side, as a consumer of the business card, you are of course able to add additional information you find important yourself (the equivalent of making a note on the backside) and store that in your local copy of the information. Users can also bundle - for instance it is a great way to synchronise addresses amond small companies or for family members to share the addresses of every member of their entire genealogical tree.

    When your contact information changes, it can be picked up automatically by all those who track for updates. These are the predictable benefits from structuring directory information – it becomes subject to automation. Compare that to sending all your contacts an email or text message that you have moved or changed your mobile phone number. Global Directories is an exciting project that builds on very mature technology developed for corporate directories (LDAP) to do so, adding some missing pieces and making the technology more usable.

    More about Global Directories


  • Sander Bos

    A donation was made to developer Sander Bos to provide travel costs to do a presentation at OHM about the discovery and subsequent fix of a security bug in OpenBSD's networking code.