[bittorrent] Questions related to mainline DHT specs...

NewMedia42 newmedia42 at excite.com
Mon Aug 14 12:39:42 EDT 2006

I've been reading over the specs for mainline's implementation of DHT, and have a couple of questions that hopefully someone can clarify.

First, under what circumstances do you make a call to find_node as opposed to get_peer? The reason I ask is that find_node obviously returns a list of nodes either close to the infohash, or that have announced the infohash. Now find_node returns either the node info for the node (if known), or up to 8 of the closest peers. Why would I want to perform a find_node? Doesn't pretty much everything get handled by get_peer?

Next, it says "Node IDs are chosen at random from the same 160-bit space as BitTorrent infohashes." What exactly does this mean? Is he just trying to say that it's a 160-bit random value, or is it derived somehow from the infohash?

Finally (for now), it says that the transaction ID is "a single character string value", is this an alpha-numeric value (a-z, hex, whatever), or is it really just a one-digit integers (ie; 0-9)?

Thanks in advance for anyone who can shed some light on these things... I looked through the code, but it was unclear to me exactly what he was doing vs. the spec.

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