CERN-Solid code investigation

Project name

CERN-Solid code investigation - Specifications and comparable implementations

Project description

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web at CERN in 1989, as a free, open, networked Internet application.  The Web produced an uprecedented change to human civilisation. Yet, commercial and political interests led to technology that removes the "access to knowledge, free for all and respecting each one" original purpose of the Web.

This is why Sir Tim launched the Solid project, that aims at giving back to the content owner the control of his/her data, by loose coupling of identity, data, application and storage.

There are several Open Source applications at CERN with excellent operational quality and tens on thousands of users. Others are now under development, still they are based on existing software solutions and very requiring users. Examples are Indico, Zenodo, InvenioRDM, the new CERN Authentication/Authorisation service, the CS3 MESH project.

A collaboration effort started in 2020 to investigate common grounds amongst the Solid specifications and the CERN implementations. The status and links are present on this page.

This project is about:

  1. studying and reviewing  the Solid specifications,
  2. evaluating the first Solid implementations,
  3. exploring Indico, as an example CERN operational application, to test the Solid principles. Suggestions by the Indico project leader Pedro Ferreira:
    1. enrich Indico meeting pages with some kind of Solid-based content, such as comments. Such data should better not be kept in Indico and not very critical for continuous availability. The advantage of this development is that it could be tested non-intrusively.
    2. develop a PoC (Proof of Concept) of the Indico registration form module, in which registration data belongs to the user and not to Indico. This will be a plugin to pre-fill the conference registration form with data from a pod/WebID profile document. This includes data such as name, email, and other sensible data.Especially useful, given that, in certain events, people may be asked, for instance, to send a scan of their ID, a kind of information one wishes to keep control of and be able to erase.
  4. comparing the Solid approach with the design principles adopted by the relevant CERN applications (Indico, Invenio, Zenodo, CS3 MESH, push notifications' project).
  5. documenting the challenges, advantages or  gaps of the upcoming Solid solutions versus the existing CERN ones.
  6. presenting and defending/justifying a way to proceed in the CERN-Solid collaboration.

The first three points are planned for the October-December 2020 period. The rest will follow and complete before July 2021.



Results from project points 1 and 2 (above) are uploaded on
The PoC code:

Final report presented  at the 2021/05/31 White Area
MSc thesis on this project is now in CDS
It is a duplicate of

Required skills

Experience with GitHub, GitLab, Openshift, python programming, prototyping, mockups' designing and drawing.
Excellent communication skills.
Ability to solve problems alone.
Good presentation and organisation skills.

Learning experience

Exposure to the code of very popular, complex, well-designed and documented applications of today and tomorrow.
Work with interesting technical challenges and expert software developers.
Gain in organisational expertise.

Project duration

6-9 months

Project area

Data Management Learning

Contact for further details

Maria Dimou


  1. CERN-Solid entry point
  2. CERN-Solid chat
  3. Detailed project plan with timeline by Jan Schill - MSc student.
  4. Jan's university supervisor - Philippe Bonnet, ITU Copenhagen.

CERN group



Accomplished Submitted by Maria Dimou on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 14:27.
Student info
Student name

Jan Schill


IT University of Copenhagen

CERN supervisor

Maria Dimou

Thesis type
Project started 28 Sep 2020
Project finished 01 Jun 2021
Defence date
Defence status