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Re: [decentralization] The decline of P2P and Decentralisation

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  • Miles Fidelman
    ... a few thoughts that have been kicking around in the back of my brain for a while: - from an end user perspective, the hosted software is very appealing:
    Message 1 of 43 , Apr 24 7:31 AM
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      Julian Bond wrote:
      > Whatever happened to P2P and Decentralisation as a design pattern?
      >
      > Wordpress and Movable type became Myspace and Facebook.
      >
      > RSS became Google Reader
      >
      > Distributed email servers and desktop clients have become Google Mail
      >
      > Posting a Quicktime file on your site has become YouTube
      >
      > Running your own shoutcast server has become Last.FM tag radio
      >
      > IRC has become Twitter
      >
      > This post was prompted by Twitter and Twitter's success. If you were
      > going to design this from scratch knowing what they know now, would you
      > really use a pull architecture, centralised web system and Ruby on
      > Rails?
      >
      > Did we all forget about Decentralisation or has the pendulum just swung
      > out to the opposite end and is due to swing back any time now?
      >
      > ps. I know those questions are strawmen and the truth is that (almost)
      > everything that has ever happened is still happening.
      >
      >
      a few thoughts that have been kicking around in the back of my brain for
      a while:

      - from an end user perspective, the hosted software is very appealing:
      it's easy, supported, etc., etc.

      - this is particularly true for network applications - email lists,
      blogs, etc. - it's simply easier to use Yahoo groups than to set up and
      maintain a list server or a copy of wordpress (and it's hard to argue
      with zero cost)

      - the downsides are less immediately apparent - quick, easy, free tends
      to trump loss of privacy and the risk that your service provider might
      go away or change their terms of service

      Which keeps leading me to the question of: is there a third alternative
      to doing it yourself vs. going with a commercial service?

      The basic answer I keep coming around to is some combination of:

      - open source software (obviously)

      - to a degree, a generation of truly decentralized, self-healing,
      applications that don't require servers (think DHT-based storage)

      - a cooperative computing grid of some sort - i.e., a decentralized
      application server environment for hosting things that work better in a
      server-based environment - and a class of applications that can operate
      on top of these (think the original listserver, where a list could be
      spread across multiple, cooperating servers) - of course security,
      ownership, and such become serious challenges

      - an organizational/financial model that supports it all (e.g., a
      cooperative of local ISPs, web developers, and others who are very close
      to the end users)

      personally, I provide list and web services to a number of local PTOs,
      churches, community groups, and so forth - a lot of it pro-bono (as the
      result of formerly running a development/hosting shop and still having a
      couple of servers sitting in a data center) -- I'd love to find a few
      collaborators to gain some economies of scale

      Miles Fidelman
    • Andrew de Andrade
      The two places where we can promote P2P as a design pattern right now is in the WHAT-WG of the W3C and the IETF. The WHAT-WG is the working group responsible
      Message 43 of 43 , Jan 25, 2010
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        The two places where we can promote P2P as a design pattern right now
        is in the WHAT-WG of the W3C and the IETF. The WHAT-WG is the working
        group responsible for defining the HTML5 standard.

        Just last week I posted the following idea to the group's list and I'm
        trying to recruit people that can help us explore this idea:

        http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2010-January/024772.html

        Keep in mind that for some reason my mail-agent and my friend's mail
        agent broke the thread and it is separated into more than one thread
        at the moment.

        Gleicon has a few ideas for implementing this and I've gotten some
        tips from others like Todd over at HighScalability.

        If anyone on this list wants to participate or can indicate others to
        participate, that would be awesome. Right now I'm trying to call the
        attention of those with the technical knowledge necessary to take this
        forward. I'm a product manager with the skills to help organize this
        idea, but I don't know enough to make this happen alone.

        regards,

        Andrew
        @andrewdeandrade
        andrew at deandrade dot com dot br
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