[BitTorrent] suggestion for bitorrent: auto updates of DLs

barrick75 barrick75 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 14 16:16:10 EST 2004



Hey guys.. I am rather new to the list, and I signed up mainly because
I wanted to voice an idea that has been driving me mad.  I think it's
a great idea, and you guys are the best to implement it IMHO.  Forgive
me if it's an old topic or if I am following improper etiquette.

Basically, the idea is for a BT client to keep track of files it has
previously downloaded, and to be able to automatically check back with
the source to see if updates of that file have been released.  If
there is a newer version, it can download automatically/manually (user
preference) etc.

The reasoning for this is kind of simple at first, I use Linux and
can't count how often I end up downloading new packages.  It would be
awesome to use bittorrent exclusively to not only download the updates
but also to be the one that tells you in the first place that they are
there.

But we have programs for that, right?  The idea really blossomed when
I considered also having Website packages available via bittorrent. 
Maybe just a simple .zip of a website structure, or a .txt of a blog,
but if it gets updated and you want to know about it, BitTorrent tells
you!  And instead of chugging behind a net connection to view the
site, you've already got it all local.  This could apply to other
things too.  Version updates of virus defs or your favorite software,
technical manuals in revision, etc.  

Taking it a BIT further, it might even be possible to incorporate some
kind of Wiki model into this.. but I haven't really gotten that far in
my thinking.  

Or taking it in another step.. I tread lightly here because of the
fear of abuse... but it could also use such information to recommend
"like" files.  i.e. if I downloaded a video game or movie trailer last
year and now there is a new one... chances are I'll be interested in
it!  Let me know!

It would of course be necessary to incorporate some sort of digital
signature.  You wouldn't want just anybody being able to make a new
www.microsoft.com and claim it's official, or virus defs coming from
virus makers.  And I think they key to dissuading abuse is
*subscriptions*.  I can download a single copy of the blog and right
then and there it can ask something like "do you want to subscribe to
updates?" and I can say no and never worry about it, or say yes.  If I
say yes, BT can periodically check to see if there are updates available.

I expect it would require some sort of mod to the BT protocol.  In the
end though, BT could be capable of becoming a generic all-purpose
updater that would essentially replace all the others.  

I would be extremely interested in knowing other people's opinions. 
To the best of my knowledge, this idea has not been introduced
previously, but if it has, my apologies to whoever beat me to it (and
let's talk, I'd love to hear your ideas too.)

Thanks for your time!
-Kyle






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