Alternative apps for same data

As it came up in a thread (somewhere) and also for my OI Timesheet app, I wanted to see how difficult it is to use a different UI for the same data.

For Android apps, e.g. this is easily done, as I can tell my phone to use a different app for a particular URL (the redirect url).

For the web this is more difficult because blockstack.js enforces the same host for the app domain, the redirect url and the manifest url. Is this really necessary? Let’s say we have an alternative app that wants to catch the redirect. What if the redirect to the alternative app could be specified in the auth request and the blockstack browser would show the user something like:

“Select an ID (showing the icon from the manifest that is derived from the redirect url)
Alternative app for <> (showing icon from manifest)
<> (alternative domain) wants to use your data from <>(app domain) and read your basic info … . Select an ID to use:”

Is this too confusing for the user?

Especially, with the introduction of UserSessions and storage strategies in blockstack.js this could make sense to have apps that can use data from other apps, like a project managment app can read the data of a timesheet app (but not the other way round).
The user can be asked to sign in for certain actions and then sign out again.

This is different to data collections in the sense that this data is not general use case data like photos, phone book. It is

  • to enable alternative apps and
  • to enable collaboration between related apps without putting everything into one app/domain
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I would definitely enjoy having the ability to create data buckets or just a way to use folders that the blockstack user could then manage in a way they see fit.

For your example, one way it could happen is to import your data file into another app, or export into the user folder and then import into the other app’s folder, etc etc.

Basically it’s creating a type of “OS” user/file management layer, but through Gaia.

Definitely would be useful to see in the future, as it also gives users more power. A file manager with a google-drive like UI, but through all the Gaia Hubs you are a part of… very exciting to think about.

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@larry explained me that collections are exactly there for my use case. They don’t need to be general data sets. It is enough if an app says that this is a collection.

Maybe similar to how Android apps define and use mime-types in the Android Manifest like for content providers.