[bittorrent] New P2P protocols

Bill Cox bill at viasic.com
Fri Mar 25 05:01:01 EST 2005


The most exciting aspect of this new group to me is
the possibility that
we may be able to come up with some new protocols. 
Since these will not
be BitTorrent (though BT-like), we were not allowed to
discuss them
before in detail.  So, for example, we should now be
free to come up
with a way of actually agreeing on and implementing a
new protocol.

I find that there needs to be a clearly understood
goal in order to make
progress on new projects like these.  I suspect that
there are different
potential goals for different potential projects.

So, for example, the reason for BitTorrent to exist
seems to be:

-- Low cost (almost free), hight performance, reliable
distribution of large files.

This is how big systems such as Fedora Core 3 can be
distributed by a
single machine to thousands of people.  It's a worthy
goal.  It allows
small companies to distribute data as effectively as
huge guys like

The goal of gnutella seems to be:

-- Low cost (almost free), sharing/pirating of
copyrighted data, with
minimal chance of getting caught.  Most commonly,
sharing of copyrighted

Instead of bickering about which features a future
protocol should
support, perhaps we could define some simple goals
first, perhaps
different groups of goals for different future

So, for example, just taking the original BT goal
further, we could:

-- Further reduce the cost of distributing/managing
large files (ie
Merkle hash trees, UDP)
-- Improved reliability (multiple redundant trackers,
-- Improved performance (helping friends download
faster, UDP, support
for caching by ISPs)
-- Support for incremental updates of huge file sets,
such as updating
only files that changed.

I think that the gnutella style goals would lead to

I think that a good place to start would be building a
new (or extending
and existing) wiki.  What do you think?


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