Transmutable News

Issue #4

Feb 15, 2022

Hello and welcome, friends of the Wider Web!

I’m still riding high after receiving a (frankly overwhelming) montage of kind words from the people who presented me with the WebXR Awards’ Community Award. It took a minute for the love to make it through my nourishment barrier but now I am deeply grateful and I appreciate this community even more.

As always, send your tips, corrections, and offers of support to or @TransmutableNew.

Relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and let your mind go blank because it’s time for another issue of the Transmutable News Weekly!

Job listings

The Frame team at Virbela opened their DMs for people interested in fully remote jobs involving some combination of “WebXR, WebGL, Vue, WebRTC, Rust, Babylon.js, media streaming, 3D art, and technical art.”

Interested in listing your job openings and supporting my work? Email for details.


Winners, Every One

Kent Bye covered the second annual Polys - WebXR Awards with a thorough thread noting each award category, its nominees, and the winner. If you’re looking for excellent Wider Web experiences and tools then this is a great place to start.

Three Blogs are Better

Anthony Burchell announced a new plugin that allows authors to drag and drop 3D assets (specifically, glTF files) into their WordPress editors with no coding required. They also mentioned that they’re working on XR support.

More Solidity in a New Stack

I’m always on the lookout for people who publish about agreement tech with a high signal-to-noise ratio and one of the gems is Nader Dabit from Edge and Node who publishes clear guides like Defining the web3 stack and The Complete Guide to Full Stack Solana Development as well as informative videos on their YouTube channel. While I am not convinced that the tools Dabit explains are precursors for the agreement bedrock, the creators are exploring relevant aspects of how technology and social cooperation fit together.

Is This Step Two?

Limbofeather from Zesty Market (tagline: “Rent banner spaces in the metaverse”) pointed out that their new marketplace has paid out almost $7,000 to Wider Web creators.

A Tree Farm is not a Forest

The Wider Web currently suffers from a browser engine duopoly with Google’s Chromium and Apple’s WebKit handling the great majority of views. This kind of client homogeneity creates an unstable social power dynamic and also, perhaps more worryingly, creates an opportunity for a single exploit to effectively disable the Web. So, I was glad to find that Joseph Cook wrote a useful summary of problems with client homogeneity and a short history of how Ethereum has suffered from the dominance of a single client, Geth. The entire article is interesting reading but most relevant to the Wider Web is the section titled “Real world examples”.

Better Late Than Never

The Khronos standards body announced that WebGL 2.0 is now available on all major browsers because Apple’s Safari team recently implemented a standard that Google and Mozilla implemented several years ago. While this event is a boon to Wider Web creators who can now target a single graphics API version, it is also a painful example of how slowly some new web technologies become ubiquitous. Let’s hope that WebXR does not become the next WebGL 2.0.

Replicators Repeatedly Replicating

This week I saw an uptick in excitement about the GUN protocol for syncing data across a network (AKA a “distributed database”). It’s lightweight, fast, and is available as an NPM package which makes it easy for JavaScript developers to give it a try.

The Opposite of Decentralized

The MIT Digital Currency Initiative and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released OpenCBDC, an experimental specification and implementation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, this system does not use blockchain technologies and is meant to be deployed by state-run banks like the US’s Federal Reserve as a form of “digital cash” instead of a speculation or securities system. It will be interesting to see whether integration of CBDCs with web browsers can disintermediate payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

Not That Kind of Miner

Polycam and Corridor Digital shared immersive captures of an abandoned mining settlement hosted on Mozilla Hubs. This wild West chapel could provide an interesting locale for your next meeting.

Stay open, friends!