[erlang-questions] Rough thought on a P2P package distribution model for Erlang

Jon Watte jwatte@REDACTED
Sat Sep 24 19:41:00 CEST 2011

> why aren't we making better use of these technologies for things like this?

Because, for most applications, it's not a solution that fits the problems
people actually have.
If you want high bandwidth, reliability, security and distribution, you sign
up with Akamai, or you put your stuff in an S3 bucket, or you stick a Riak
store in your datacenter, and 99% of the time, this solves the problem with
a lot less effort and complication than a p2p system.

Also, the difference between doing this only within a zone of trust
(distribution of software to servers you control), and doing it on an
insecure network (end-user peer-to-peer systems) is pretty significant!
rsync trees for pushing updates to a large cluster of hosts are pretty easy
to set up, if you have SSH keys for all the target hosts, and the hosts can
just assume that the data they get is not tainted. (we do this to deploy web
code to a cluster of many hundreds of servers, for example)

In general, it's not how "smart" something is that matters to adoption, but
how well it solves particular problems that many users have at some
particular point in time.



Americans might object: there is no way we would sacrifice our living
standards for the benefit of people in the rest of the world. Nevertheless,
whether we get there willingly or not, we shall soon have lower consumption
rates, because our present rates are unsustainable.

On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 4:43 PM, jm <jeffm@REDACTED> wrote:

> I'm not saying it is any different. I'm just outlining a distribution
> system for packages which is an alternative to the more tradition tiered ftp
> or http site mirrors. Even in the sense I'm outlining it's not that novel.
> One linux distribution, rubyx, used a similar model. Their package
> distribution program was called  "white water".  The project appears to be
> dead as the website seems to be unresponsive.
> As you point out these systems "have been around for a very long time" so
> why aren't we making better use of these technologies for things like this?
> Jeff.
> On 17/09/11 4:51 AM, Jon Watte wrote:
>> How is this different from the already-solved problem of peer-to-peer
>> authenticated file distribution?
>> Tracker-based systems like bittorrent, and fully peer-to-peer systems like
>> freenet have been around for a very long time, and solve all of those
>> problems, with different trade-offs for performance, security,
>> susceptibility, etc.
>> Sincerely,
>> jw
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