Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

What is P2P?

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:9/19/2000; 10:18:22 PM
Topic:What is P2P?
Msg #:21528
Prev/Next:21527 / 21529

Wow, my net connection just got better after that last post.

I guess it's time to ask this question. I'm going to think about this for a bit. My first attempt to define P2P is:

1. A network app that doesn't run in a web browser.

2. The user's machine is a client and a server.

3. It's easy to use.

4. It includes some kind of tool for creating your own content. Napster does this by publishing your list of music. This says something about you. This is part of the fascination with Napster. But this is very primitive. In Radio UserLand we give the user an outliner.

5. Networks with other users, creating a community.

6. Does something new with networks.

7. Supports cross-network protocols such as XML-RPC, SOAP.

8. Deeply integrated for ease of use, lots of connections between the components.

9. Programmability is a big plus, providing a platform for P2P.

This is meant to capture both the technology and hype of P2P. Lots of people are excited, but so far I've not heard too many reasons why they're excited. I conclude that they *want* to be excited. That's why item 6 is there.

If you go back and read the archives of SN you'll see that I jumped on board as a compromise. I had already named my vision "The Two-Way Web" and maybe I'll go back to that and have my own summit.

Now I'm really signing off.

"mister ed"

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