Why so many servers?

Forest Johnson forest.n.johnson at gmail.com
Tue May 5 15:51:59 UTC 2020

On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 5:58 PM Joe Nelson <joe at begriffs.com> wrote:

> > > In an ideal world I wouldn't need any server, but could use a native
> > > chat application and "call" another person directly with their IP
> > > address.
> >
> > I don't think that's possible unless one person has a public IP (no
> > NAT). There has to be some sort of session establishment mechanism,
> > otherwise the router being connected to wont know which LAN address to
> > forward the connect packet to.
> My understanding is that you designate a certain port, and tell the
> router to forward packets hitting that port to a particular computer in
> the LAN. So the public IP that an outsider connects to would be the
> address of the router.

Right, that basically counts as "having a public IP address".
The problem is that only about 2% of users would be willing
to even attempt this: the 10% most patient out of the
20% most tech-literate. I think 98% of people will simply
move on and try a different program that doesn't require
them to configure their network before they can use it.
I was intentionally dis-regarding this possibility because I think
it is not feasible for users.

> > > Anybody have suggestions for more cool p2p software?
> >
> > I don't think you can talk about p2p in 2020 without talking about IPFS.
> > I really like the ideas behind IPFS and I want to build software using it.
> Decentralized content-addressable storage certainly goes back earlier
> than $CURRENT_YEAR. I remember Freenet from twenty years ago doing a
> similar thing. IPFS is probably more efficient though.
> https://freenetproject.org/

I'm not saying that the idea is brand new for 2020, just that its
relevant to the
discussion for 2020.  And, I do think its kind of new, whats new is, people with
money starting to get involved. There is already the cloudflare public IPFS
HTTP gateway and I heard a rumor that a "browser maker" (mozilla)
is working on IPFS native support for their browser. I don't think I ever heard
of things like this happening with i2p, cjdns, bitmessage, freenet, urbit, etc.

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