The Object Network
Hopefully you've read this introductory script about getting started with Onex, the Object Network app. If not, you should go and read it now. To summarise: you and a friend can easily create "Home" pages that link to one another and render text and photos directly from and between your mobile devices.
This document will show more about how you may use the Object Network in your daily life, through the Onex OS.

Creating and publishing an event

Another scenario - here we compare the experience with apps versus using Onex, without apps.
With apps:
Your friend has written a post on Facebook about an event they're running, it has five paragraphs and two images in it, one being a flyer image showing the date and location details, which are also repeated in text in the post. The other image is one you sent to them from your gallery.
You want to refer to the event in Twitter, so you put a link in. Twitter picks the wrong image to automatically include on the post. The text has to be copy-pasted from a key paragraph, then squeezed in to Twitter's arbitrary character limit.
Now they want to change the date, they write a comment or a second post referring to the first one, telling everyone about the change. They re-create the flyer image accordingly. You update your own calendar app, but still get the date transcribed wrongly. You don't bother to create another Tweet, and some people get confused: your friend replies to point this out, but they're using their Twitter account which they haven't used for a while and doesn't look like them in Facebook, so you miss it.
They ask you to send the next image in the sequence to the one you sent them. There's no date associated with the photo any more because it's a copy. You hunt for a bit, but can't find where it you got it from.
It was a lot of manual work to create and update. Between you, you've worked in five separate apps, where you have a slightly different identity in each - Facebook, Twitter, galleries, flyer compositor, calendars. Nothing seems to work well together, forcing you to copy-paste or copy-and-send, which quickly got out of date and loses the connection to the original and any updates.
The event was to a protest march, and Facebook censor it. Now the Twitter link is broken.
With Onex:
Your friend writes the post, which is a list of paragraph objects and a link to a calendar event object. You send them a link to the photo object on your mobile, and they drop that link in, not a copy of the photo.
They write the flyer as a layout object with a link to one of the paragraphs in the post body, so now when that's changed, it changes in both places. The flyer also links to the event object. The flyer object's link is dropped in to the post.
You write your short-form post by simply dropping a short paragraph of your own and the link to the flyer. If your friend replies to that in a positive way, there's a link to their profile on their reply, which is the same as the one on the long-form post, so you can immediately see who they are without mental effort.
When the calendar event is changed, it changes everywhere: on the post, on the flyer, and in your calendar. Since the flyer is visible through your short-form post, it appears to update there as well. As people say they're attending, they get added to the event object's attendee list, which everyone can see growing in real time.
The photo object not only has the date it was taken visible everywhere it's used, but also has a link back to the gallery list you saved it in originally, so it's easy to find the next one along.
When someone views the post, it fetches all the elements from your friend's mobile, and your photo either from their device or yours, depending on the shortest route. It may go via an intermediary server on the broader internet.
If they want to print the flyer, they just print the flyer object referred to by its link, and that fetches all the elements needed and prints it in its current state.
Nothing can be censored by anyone other than an object's owner, because it's all hosted on your own devices or intermediary hosts that can't see what you're sharing.

Organising things in lists

You and Charlie have Home pages with text and photos on them, some your own, some grabbed from the other's Home, and links to one another's Homes. You placed text objects and photos and the cross-links to each other onto a blank "canvas", and they "clicked" into place in a vertical list. You found you can re-order items. You can see each other's Homes as nested pages, simplified and slightly reduced in size.
Then you find that, as well as adding text and photos, you can add empty lists. That makes a list nested inside the Home list. So you drag all the photos to this list to organise them better. It renders as a scrollable window.
You find that you can go "into" it and make it full screen in the same way you can visit each other's pages. Again, the back button gets you back. Of course, you can also full-screen text and images, making text easier to edit.
Now, with some digging, you find that instead of a vertical list, you can set any list horizontally, so you try that and both of you go ahead and arrange your photos in side-scrolling galleries. As soon as she does that, the view on your own device changes, so you also see her gallery side-scrolling.
Charlie creates a vertical list of text objects for a to-do list. You see a to-do item that you need to work on, so grab a link to it and add it to your Home.
Having done this, you realise that a vertical list of text objects is really just what you'd call a "document"! Text objects are really paragraph objects. You use that to write up a longer document, with embedded images. Again, this renders in reduced form in the Home page list and can be entered full-screen.
This gives Charlie another idea: she sets up a simple "chatroom", that you both can see, where you each can add small messages on to the end of a document's vertical list: single paragraph documents or maybe a two-element list with a photo and some text.
Charlie taps the icon on the edge of her Home page saying "Sam", that indicates you're present there, and the familiar chooser panel pops up; you're an object too - a person object! So she grabs a link to it and drops it in the Home page. When she taps on it to make it full screen, it says "Sam" at the top and there's an empty silhouette which can no doubt take your photo later. Also, it shows what you're currently looking at (her Home page, obviously), and that's a link, so she can tap into that to get back Home again.
Objects are all owned and hosted by you, on your own device. Even if Charlie let you add a to-do to her list, that individual to-do item is yours, not hers. She can delete it from the list - or rather, delete the link to it - but it will still be hosted and available to you on your device.




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Duncan Cragg, 2021. Contact me