[bittorrent] New P2P protocols

Bill Cox bill at viasic.com
Fri Mar 25 04:45:46 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 managed
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 protocols.

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, trackerless
-- 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 different

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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