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Re: [decentralization] The decline of P2P and Decentralisation

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  • Clay Shirky
    ... Sure, they are powerful and democratizing, but Drupal and phpBB don t use decentralized topologies. In fact, they re pretty good illustrations of what
    Message 1 of 43 , May 2, 2007
      > As always there are shades of grey here. Drupal and phpBB have done
      > wonders for democratising the ability to run a website based
      > discussion
      > forum for niche communities. It may not be P2P but it looks
      > decentralised to me compared with LJ, YT and MS. "Anyone can run a
      > server" is a powerful meme even if the server is running on cheap
      > shared
      > hosting rather than a machine in your front room.

      Sure, they are powerful and democratizing, but Drupal and phpBB don't
      use decentralized topologies. In fact, they're pretty good
      illustrations of what happened to the predicted ubiquity of the P2P
      pattern, which is that servers got so much cheaper and better that
      software that leveraged that occupied a lot of the ecological niches
      we predicted for P2P.


      > There is a solution to the "P2P is hard" problem. And that's to
      > publish
      > the protocols and build a reference platform leaving the community to
      > deal with the deployment problem. BitTorrent is the classic case.
      >

      But the problem with P2P isn't that it's hard in general, its that
      the use cases it covers aren't ubiquitous, and the single hardest
      problem -- search -- has stayed hard.

      BT Classic solved one of those use case -- bandwidth management --
      brilliantly, and the community hacked it to apply to a second use
      case -- hiding from the law -- but BT-style successes outside the
      domain of the well-know problems are vanishingly rare.

      -c

      > There's one area that I still think is ripe for a fresh approach and I
      > hinted at it in my first post that kicked off this discussion. And
      > that's group chat. There's room for something that is somewhere in the
      > mid space between IRC and Twitter. It feels to me like it needs a
      > partly
      > P2P, push, architecture. It needs that Jabber-Email-NNTP-Apache thing
      > that "Anyone can run a server" for the bits that should be
      > centralised.
      > And after chat, there's voice, video and 3D worlds. Remember VRML?
      > Will
      > an OSS 2nd Life server allow doorways into distributed new worlds?
      >
      > --
      > 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 ***
      >
      >
      > Announce or discover P2P conferences on the P2P Conference Wiki at
      > http://www.neurogrid.net/twiki/bin/view/Main/PeerToPeerConferences
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • 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
        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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