[PP-main] Arguement for a non centralized system

Nick Lothian Lothian.Nicholas at lmsol.com.au
Mon Mar 13 08:13:14 CET 2000

Sorry if this appears to be something of a rant, but I want to summaries my
arguments for a non-centralized, pull based system peer-press system.

I think the central server should have no purpose other than to make it
easier for other sites to find content.

There are two reasons for this:

Firstly, philosophical - a system that has no dependence on the central
server makes it difficult for any entity to dominate or control the agenda
of. A push based system is much easier to control, because it is much more
difficult to get sites to sign up at a competing site if they have to do
something, rather than the competing site just adding them to the list of
hosts to poll. Competition is good!

I think Rusty said it well:
>"What I envision is something like a "distributed, centralized" system.
>Bear with me here :-) Imagine we run PeerPress, which is the first to
>actually implement this whole scheme. Someone else could come along and
>startup BigFish News, which uses their own server network, and finds
>their own feed clients. What would be ideal is if our central servers
>and their talked to each other, so content flowed up to us from our
>clients, and up to them from theirs, and then across from central point
>to central point. Now add n^2 other networks communicating this way, and
>you (I think) have all the advantages of both systems."

Secondly, technical. I want the central server to poll story-producing sites
for new content, and then publish links to the new content when it appears.
This is very simple to write, and it uses software that already exists and
is installed on most systems. It also means that the story sites have to
only produce the content file once, and then the peer-press server, or any
other networks poll it. If they have to push the file out to other servers,
what chance has some small site got of getting a direct feed from CNN, for
instance? If you don't believe this is a big issue, try getting your site
available as a "SlashBox" on Slashdot.

Okay, I've written enough for today!


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