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Re: [decentralization] The decline of P2P and Decentralisation

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  • Johannes Ernst
    Decentralized systems are much harder to design. ( costs more in time and money to get to equivalent features ) Decentralized systems are much harder to debug.
    Message 1 of 43 , Apr 24, 2007
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      Decentralized systems are much harder to design. ("costs more in time and money to get to equivalent features")
      Decentralized systems are much harder to debug. (where would you even attach an event logger?)
      Decentralized systems are much harder to deploy. (download vs. enter-url-in-browser)
      Decentralized systems are much harder to maintain. (compare upgrading a web app to a network of P2P nodes)

      Of course, they have many advantages that centralized designs cannot (ever) hope to match. But for the time being, the tradeoff between P2P-style systems on PC-class devices and centralized web sites is clearly won by the latter for the vast majority of applications.

      I'd suggest we need to look for areas other than PC-class P2P where centralized approaches cannot work and decentralized approaches are the only thing that might ever work. Such as:
       - systems that have intermittent connectivity and where the user won't tolerate to wait until connectivity is back
       - systems where all information cannot be stored in the same place (e.g. for security reasons)
       - systems whose components are produced and deployed by independent parties that won't (for example, for business reasons) ever agree on a centralized architecture

      For example, the "digital living room", in my view, has no chance of ever coming into being unless the devices in it essentially form a decentralized network. The alternative would be that Big Dominant Vendor X "forced" every consumer electronics company into becoming a "client" to their "server", without which nothing would work. I believe that Big Dominant Vendor X does not currently exist, and probably won't exist. Ergo: it needs to be decentralized.

      There are other examples.

      Note that the devices coming together into one decentralized network are all different. (not all PCs, for example) I somehow think that this is a core feature of these types of decentralized networks.

      On a related note: OpenID, which is a truly decentralized system, is showing quite some growth these days, although it is server-to-server P2P rather than PC-class P2P.


      On Apr 23, 2007, at 11:37, 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.

      --
      Julian Bond E&MSN: julian_bond at voidstar.com M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173
      Webmaster: http://www.ecademy.com/ T: +44 (0)192 0412 433
      Personal WebLog: http://www.voidstar.com/ skype:julian.bond?chat
      *** Just Say No To DRM ***


      Johannes Ernst
      NetMesh Inc.


       http://netmesh.info/jernst

    • 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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