[darcs-users] Re: need to jump in with both feet

David Roundy droundy at abridgegame.org
Sat May 22 11:19:36 UTC 2004

On Sat, May 22, 2004 at 05:34:35PM +1000, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Fri, May 21, 2004 at 09:51:03AM -0700, Tanksley, William D. Jr. said
> > From: Samuel A. Falvo II
> > 
> > >Once darcs gets up to speed (literally) and has been thoroughly peer
> > >reviewed in that special, open source way, then it might be possible
> > >to open a competitor to SF.  I'd be willing to offer my time to see
> > >this happen.  However, it's also a requirement that the structure of
> > >the team would need to be markedly different from the monolithic
> > >"mainframe guru" mentality/philosophy of the SF team.  It'd need to be
> > >a more distributed system, and thus, more fault tolerant.  Perhaps
> > >some peer-to-peer networking going on in the background to make
> > >bandwidth utilization a little bit easier on us all.
> > 
> > An interesting thought. A system based on MojoNation (or an opensource
> > version of it), darcs, and perhaps a distributed compiler cache system
> > would
> Caching would be expensive, since the host group themselves would have
> to run it all themselves, to avoid the obvious critical security issue.

For a while I looked into adding support for a P2P protocol to darcs.
Interestingly, one of the biggest problems was that most P2P systems seem
to be designed only to work via a "browsing" interface.

For security in a real P2P system, you'd want a system like sfs
(http://www.fs.net/sfswww/) where the public key (or a hash thereof) of a
server (or content provider rather, in the case of a P2P system) is
included in the URL.  This (along with the appropriate infrastructure)
would keep people other than the author from adding content to that
namespace.  Gnunet has something like this, but it doesn't seem to be well

Bittorrent could actually work with darcs, but it seems awfully complicated
to set up.  In this case, signing isn't needed, as there is a central
server, which gives out hashes to the clients.  The catch is that because
there is a central server, bittorrent would most likely be terribly
inefficient--you're probably almost better off with a simple http server,
at least for a typical darcs repo in which most patches are reasonably
small.  Generally large repos just have more patches than smaller
repos, rather than larger patches.

Freenet looks like it would be useful, but alas is written in java and
requires Sun's proprietary jvm.
David Roundy
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