FreenetProject.org: The Free Network Project – Vapourware?

“I have noticed that increasingly in the press Freenet is being
criticized for not being as easy to install and use as systems like
Napster and Gnutella. While this is somewhat understandable given
the normal length of time between hearing about an Open Source
project and having something easy to use, Freenet is not a normal
project by any means. In fact, when you consider the complexity of
the Freenet project, and how ambitious our goals actually are, it
is quite impressive how far we have come in such a short time.”

“Consider that work started on Linux about 10 years ago, and it
has only really been in the last 2-3 years that it has reached a
point where it has become journalist-compliant (i.e., the average
tech journalist can install it before their patience expires). Then
consider that, while an impressive undertaking, Linux was
essentially a re-implementation of a rather well-understood type of
software, namely a Unix-style operating system. Contrast that with
Freenet – we are creating a piece of software that attempts things
that have never been attempted before (distribution of information
in a decentralized system while providing relative anonymity to
both producers and consumers of information AND while addressing
many of the inefficiencies of systems like Usenet and the WWW).
Active development has only been happening for about 18 months now
(much of it in the last 12 months after people like Oskar Sandberg
and Scott Miller joined the development effort), and yet we have a
working system, with a relatively straight-forward installation
procedure which is getting easier by the day.”

“It is somewhat frustrating when people criticize Freenet’s ease
of use while failing to take advantage of Freenet’s primary means
of tech-support, namely the volunteers subscribed to the support
mailing list who will frequently reply within minutes with the
solution to most problems. Ironically, of all of the journalists
who have criticized Freenet’s ease of use, none that I am aware of
have actually asked for any help. Recall that these are people who
only a year ago were raving about the advantages of an Open Source
development model. Criticizing an Open Source project for their
level of progress is akin to criticizing someone else for not
giving enough to charity, while giving none yourself. If someone
thinks that Freenet is lacking in some areas, they should either
join the development effort and fix it, or at least outline the
problem and post it to the development lists so that the developers
can address it.”


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