[BitTorrent] XML Torrents?

Konstantin 'Kosta' Welke kosta at fillibach.de
Sat Mar 12 09:18:54 EST 2005

On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 16:16:30 -0800, Kenneth Porter <shiva at sewingwitch.com> wrote:
> --On Friday, March 11, 2005 8:29 PM +0000 Konstantin 'Kosta' Welke
> <kosta at fillibach.de> wrote:

> Looking at the spec <http://www.bittorrent.com/protocol.html>, I see a
> filename (or list of filename/length pairs), tracker URL, and a set of
> fragment checksums. Most of the size would be the checksums. How do you
> propose shrinking this to fit in a URL? I suppose you could designate
> trusted peers (eg. initial seeds) to host the checksums.

Olaf made a promising approach in that direction. You can take a look
This is also about what we expect from bt2. Theres lots of discussion
going on here, centered about how to implement this idea the best way.

>> bencoding is not some "binary dump" format. You can think of it as "XML
>> without the bloat", i.e. Easy to parse, space-efficient, easy to extend,
>> but harder to read for the human eye.
> My point was just that bencoding is a Python-centric structure dump.
> Data::Dumper is the Perl equivalent, and PHP also has a structure dump.

Your point is wrong.
bencoding was either created especially for bittorrent or has been
adapted by it. It is not Pythons structure dump. Ask your favorite
search engine about "python serialization" and you will find lots
of pages about Pickler, but none about bencoding. Extending your
search to bencoding, you will find a nice page that implements
bencoding in 5 languages (4 scripting and 1 functional).

Also note that bencoding is not sufficient to store a generic
python object.

Where did you get the idea that benconding was in any way
python-specific or -centrifc?


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