Freshmeat: The World Free Web
Jul 30, 2000, 17:39 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Ries)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
"For those that don't already know, FreeNet is a fully
distributed information storage system somewhat akin to Gnutella,
except that it is anonymous and far more resilient to attack. The
basic concept is that each node in the network replicates content
that passes through it on the way to another node. This has many
advantages, including the fact that popular information tends to
propagate across the network and become more abundant over time. I
won't go into all of the features of the FreeNet project here
because you can read all about it on their Web page."
"Compare FreeNet to the current WWW architecture. As information
on a Web server becomes more popular, it becomes more difficult for
users to access. Witness the impressive "Slashdot effect" which
occurs when thousands of users suddenly overwhelm a Web server. The
Slashdot effect is caused by the centralization of information.
When information is centrally located, this location becomes a
single point of failure for the distribution of that information.
The irony of the Slashdot effect is that it is caused by users
making thousands of copies of the relevant information. It's not as
if the information has become scarce -- quite the opposite. Users
ought to be able to share that information with each other,
decentralizing it. [Editor's note: In fact, this already happens.
What do you see almost immediately in the comments to a story that
links to a movie trailer or the photos of Hemos's wedding? "Here's
a mirror" and "Here's another". Making this more efficient by
turning it into part of the system would actually just be the next
step in an already-established practice.]"
"I propose that FreeNet be integrated into the Mozilla cache
structure, allowing users to form a sort of "browsers' cooperative"
in which pages are freely shared in a giant collective caching
structure. (Of course, this should not be limited just to the
Mozilla browser, but I think it's a good starting point.)"