I'm bullish on Solid, and I think GemDrive compliments it nicely. While GemDrive aims to provide the minimal necessary filesystem features, Solid takes a comprehensive top-down approach to providing a personal (and private) storage solution.

The main advantage GemDrive has over Solid is simplicity. Solid requires compliance with various different standards. The package.json file for the community server lists over 50 dependencies. GemDrive is just a minimal JSON layer on HTTP. You don't need client libraries to talk to a server. You don't even need libraries to write a server. The reference server ships as a single static executable. It also currently has 3 dependencies, one of which I wrote primarily for GemDrive.


remoteStorage is an excellent protocol that is very similar to GemDrive. The differences are mostly in the details.


WebDAV is so close to being what we need, but it's just too complicated.

Amazon S3

Google Drive

In practice, Google Drive is probably the most successful example of what GemDrive aims to accomplish, which is providing user-controlled filesystem storage for web apps. Many popular apps have added support for Google Drive.

Unfortunately, it has some issues:


Dropbox actually provides some really nice libraries for using as a backend for app storage. I'm surprised more developers haven't built their apps against it. There may be limitations I'm not aware of.

These are the ones I do know: