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The Internet Networking Software

Long-Awaited BitTorrent 4.0 Released 521

Posted by timothy
from the quite-a-thing dept.
wintermute1974 writes "After sitting at a stable release of 3.4.2 since last spring, Bram Cohen's official BitTorrent client has been upgraded to version 4. In addition to its existing, rock-steady functionality, BitTorrent now sports a new queue-based UI. The revision details are on the BitTorrent site. Packets are now marked as bulk data too, which is significant considering that about a third of all Internet traffic is currently torrent data."
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Long-Awaited BitTorrent 4.0 Released

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  • by ratsnapple tea (686697) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:04AM (#11885397)
    The OS X client is still at 3.4.2. Is anyone working on an update? (I'd offer to help, but I don't program :p)
    • The OS X client is still at 3.4.2. Is anyone working on an update?

      Better yet, now that BT 4.0.0 uses GTK instead of wxWidgets (as per the release notes), will this hamper the OS X frontend?

      The only other OS X native BT frontend I know is Tomato Torrent [sarwat.net] ... but that's just a tweaked 3.4.2 build. CLI / X Windows here I come...

    • by Coryoth (254751) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:19AM (#11885507) Homepage Journal
      The OS X client is still at 3.4.2. Is anyone working on an update? (I'd offer to help, but I don't program :p)

      It's in python so you should be able to just grab the source and use btdownloadcurses.py in Terminal.app (or whatever it is). Do you need a pretty GUI, or do you just want the new functionality etc.?

      Jedidiah.
      • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:37AM (#11885619)
        Do you need a pretty GUI, or do you just want the new functionality etc.?

        In all seriousness, it's a Mac. The userbase is not going to accept an application that doesn't have a "pretty GUI" because the GUI is much of what the platform is about. Just see OpenOffice for an example of software that's underutilized for its lack of an effective Mac GUI.

        • I'm sure a Mac GUI is coming, my point was that if you want the new functionality now it is still entirely usable. The curses interface is actually quite nice, and was all I used for quite some time.

          Jedidiah.
        • by BrookHarty (9119) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:52AM (#11885689) Homepage Journal
          I use the command line under screen on my mac, in fact, I ssh into my mac more than sit at the desktop. My wife will be playing World of warcraft on it, and I'll just ssh for irssi/bt underscreen.

          There are alot of new users that see what OSX is, a kick ass unix box with a great multi user desktop.
          • by mrchaotica (681592) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:13AM (#11885792)
            There are alot of new users that see what OSX is, a kick ass unix box with a great multi user desktop.
            Yeah, and I'm one of them -- but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good GUI too!
          • Unix Gurus (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @06:21AM (#11886769)
            A lot of the old Unix research gurus in university positions switched to OSX. I can't count the number of professors I've had who would set their Mac laptop down on the front desk, ssh straight into their home or office computer, and run their slides and code demos remotely.

            The idea of OSX as just a pretty GUI is a gross disservice. I wouldn't touch OSX (or any other proprietary OS) with a ten foot pole myself, but credit where credit is due.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:04AM (#11885399)
    stop all the downloadin.
  • But... (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:04AM (#11885400)
    Does it have an FM tuner?
  • The 'bulk data' tag (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raindance (680694) * <johnsonmx.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:05AM (#11885402) Homepage Journal
    Since it's a decentralized standard, we'll need other clients to mark packets as 'bulk data' as well to get full benefits in routing from this. Since companies are starting to use BT commonly to distribute files in-game (or will, shortly), their code will need to be updated too. So, no magic bullet but a step in the direction of creating a heirarchy of data packets.

    I'm interested to see where this'll go-- will ISPs absolutely choke 'bulk data' packets and drive folks into using older or fringe BT clients to get faster downloads? Will this help solve VoIP realtime bandwidth issues? Will the 'good net citizen' vibe surrounding writing the 'bulk data' flag into ones code overshadow potentially making ones users into second-class net citizens?

    Or will this not be a big deal at all?

    Probably some of everything, I suppose.
    • by ip_fired (730445) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:06AM (#11885754) Homepage
      I'm interested to see where this'll go-- will ISPs absolutely choke 'bulk data' packets and drive folks into using older or fringe BT clients to get faster downloads?

      I don't think they'll choke "bulk data", because many other protocols mark their data bulk as well (ftp being one of them, if you have a modern client).

      It is very helpful to ISPs to have the bulk classification, so that their more time-sensitive data (ie, VOIP) doesn't get clobbered when someone starts using bittorrent.

      It's not like it's difficult to choke bittorrent traffic anyway, just look for communication on ports 6881 to 6888.

      If they do, it'll just make everyone remove the bulk flag, and then there will be no easy quality of service queing.
  • Link and Changelog (Score:5, Informative)

    by perlionex (703104) * <joseph@NOSPaM.ganfamily.com> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:05AM (#11885404) Homepage

    The actual link is to the download is here [bittorrent.com].

    The changelog:

    # 2005-03-07: 4.0.0 is now available.

    Changes since the last stable release:

    All new queue-based user interface
    Many options are now modifiable from the interface, including upload rate
    Lots of other interface improvements
    Extra stats are visible, for those who like it
    Remembers what it was doing across restarts
    New .torrent maker "btmaketorrentgui" replaces "btcompletedir"
    Better performance, as always
    License has changed to the BitTorrent Open Source License
    Torrent fields are correctly created and interpreted as utf8
    Too many little things to list

    A few technical notes, for those interested:

    Single port: launchmany can seed and client can download many files from a single port and thread
    Interface now uses GTK instead of wxWidgets
    BitTorrent packets are marked as bulk data to make traffic shaping easier
      • License has changed to the BitTorrent Open Source License

      I hate people who invent their own licenses. And this one [bittorrent.com] is completely unintelligible, even the preamble is written in lawyerspeak.

      This pretty much guarantees I won't ever touch the code: I don't have a clue what I'm allowed, not allowed, and required to do. The GPL and BSD-like licenses are at least understandable for a non-lawyer.

      • by NuclearDog (775495) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:09AM (#11885768) Homepage
        I'll translate the preamble to English...

        • The BitTorrent client and updates/etc are all covered under this license.
        • The license is considered a valid open source license.
        • You can give it (the software) away just by itself or on a cd/in a zip with multiple other programs. You don't have to pay royalties.
        • You have access to the source & binaries.
        • You can modify the source & fork the program.
        • Any modifications made to the program have to be licensed under this same license.
        • Use it however you want, but there is no warranty provided.
        • If you sublicense the code, you can charge for warranty/support or for offering indemnity for your customers, but the source must remain free.
        • If you file a patent claim against the BitTorrent software, you lose all rights under the license (right to re-distribute, etc.)
        • You can re-license any works you create based on the code, but you have to license it under an OSI-approved license that is compatible with this license.


        (Note: This may not be 100% accurate, IANAL, I am not responsible, etc, etc.)
        • by swv3752 (187722)
          It is basically the same as the GPL, so I don't see why Bram didn't just use the the GPL. Invariably the BT licence is incompatible with the GPL.* So now if you want to incorporate BT into something like say Konqueror, you can't.

          *I may be wrong about the compatibility, but it still does not seem to justify creating yet another licence that does nothing new.
          • by HiThere (15173) *
            That bit about "if you file a patent claim against this software, you lose all license rights under it" is, indeed, incompatible with the GPL. But that doesn't mean it's a bad idea.

            Perhaps it should be considered for addition to the next version of the GPL? (Which might have the side effect of making the bittorrent license compatible.)

      • by Storlek (860226)
        The GPL and BSD-like licenses are at least understandable for a non-lawyer.
        I can see how people can't understand the GPL; it's fairly long and "lawyery" looking. But the BSD license? It's about six sentences long! It pretty much comes down to "do anything you want with it, modify it or don't, distribute as source or binary, we don't care, as long as you give credit where it's due, don't use our names to endorse your product, and don't blame us if something goes wrong."
      • by petard (117521) * on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:38AM (#11885900) Homepage
        fwiw, it's basically the jabber license [opensource.org] with a couple of the restrictions lifted.

        HTH,

        petard
  • Azureus rocks... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by patniemeyer (444913) * <pat@pat.net> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:06AM (#11885409) Homepage
    It's Java based and seems to have every useful feature you can imagine:

    http://azureus.sourceforge.net/

    I haven't checked out the new official client yet, but Azureus has always been way ahead of the pack and I assume it still is. (Things like fast restart, nice visualizations of clients and file pieces, etc.)

    Pat
  • by ProdigySim (817093) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:06AM (#11885416)
    It looks to me like this new client is adding alot of the features other clients added in themselves. The main part being the configurations from a GUI. Perhaps he's trying to get everyone using HIS client, so there's more control over the populus of BT users?
    • Most people started switching away with the intrusive pop-ups.

      Sites like IsoHunt have some features that are supported in some clients and not in others like multiple trackers with backups so if the main tracker goes down it will switch over.

      He's not trying to implement any sort of eXeem crapfest at least.

      I'm a bit confused about the bulk packets thing.

      Yea there are people who will want to use over their neighbors wifi and will need some stronger restrictions (when it spikes to 300 down neighbors in
    • yes, interesting when you consider it along with the license change he made.. surpised it didn't get mentioned in the article blurb.
    • Control? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:30AM (#11885574) Homepage Journal
      Look at the licence, it seems to me that's the "control" is something he certainly isn't overly interested in.

      He probably just wants to offer a product he can be proud of, maybe so people will appreciate his work and choose to support him.
      • If that were all he's interested in, he'd use some simple and brief non-copylefted free software license like the new BSD license or the MIT X11 license.

        There is considerably more in the new BitTorrent license than in either of those licenses. Among other things, the new BitTorrent license specifies which licenses can be used as sublicenses and how much one can charge for distributing the source code of sublicensed derivatives.

        Pride in one's work doesn't come from a license and people aren't going to giv
  • Irony. (Score:5, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet (120004) * <mark@@@seventhcycle...net> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:07AM (#11885417) Homepage
    http://www.bittorrent.com/index.html [bittorrent.com]

    Is it just me... but does anyone else find it ironic that there isn't a torrent available for downloading Bittorrent?

    • I think they figure: if you need to download BitTorrent, you probably don't already have it.

      Plus, the download is so small (the RPM's 256k), and the number of people downloading using BitTorrent's probably relatively few, so the gains from using BT might not be that great.
    • What's with the "News" navigation link being replaced with a garbage "search" link that just spews ads everywhere?
    • http://bash.org/?332053 [bash.org]

      Not irony, but avoiding user confusion...
    • Re:Irony. (Score:5, Funny)

      by cdsr (791348) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:14AM (#11885478)
      would you like to download winzip.zip too?
    • "Is it just me... but does anyone else find it ironic that there isn't a torrent available for downloading Bittorrent?"

      Not really. Either A) You don't have a copy, in which case the link is useless, or B) You're upgrading, in which case it's probably a wise idea to get a fresh copy, just in case there's a slight "bug" in the last version (it's a contrived example, but I'm using it).
    • That's like having an ISP say "go to our website for more info on this wonderful deal". Always made me giggle.

      If you don't have bittorrent, how will you download it?
  • by Murdock037 (469526) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {nrohtnartsirt}> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:07AM (#11885418)
    Because I hate going to the theater to see... uh, Linux binaries.
  • bulk data (Score:5, Funny)

    by vespazzari (141683) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:07AM (#11885421)
    is bulk data what fat chick pr0n is being referred to nowdays?
  • ABC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:08AM (#11885422)
    has had [sourceforge.net] a far better interface and featureset for years.
  • ...which is significant considering that about a third of all Internet traffic is currently torrent data.

    Too bad it's all broken copies of LG3D.
  • Different License (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raindance (680694) * <johnsonmx.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:08AM (#11885429) Homepage Journal
    Also of note is that BT 4.0 is using a modified version of the Jabber Open Source License.

    It's complient with the Open Source Definition. Not huge shaking news it seems like.
  • Bulk data? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IntellectualCritic (858955) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:09AM (#11885431)
    Packets are now marked as bulk data too

    Can somebody explain what that means?

    I'm assuming that's not like bulk mail over the internet. I'd hate to accidently download viagra when I just when a torrent file.

    • Re:Bulk data? (Score:2, Informative)

      by PxM (855264)
      It's a flag at the IP level which routers use to handle different traffic classes (realtime, low-bandwith/low-lag, etc. In particular, bulk data is high-bandwith and lag tolerant so that someone using a high lag system like a sat. connection can route the packets in a manner that improves overall performance. This normally involves allowing for bigger chunks of data at a time with less feedback (the ACKs) for each chunk.

      --
      Free iPod? Try a free Mac Mini [freeminimacs.com]
      Or a free Nintendo DS, GC, PS2, Xbox [freegamingsystems.com]
      Wired articl [wired.com]
    • Re:Bulk data? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:30AM (#11885571)
      Let's look at a few options vis-a-vis protocols that make use of TCP-IP. You have, for example Voice over IP (VoIP); Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP); File Transfer Protocol (FTP); Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP); Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP); Internet Relay Chat (IRC); and Secure Shell (SSH). (This list is not complete, but it's for illustrating the point, not to list every damn protocol on the whole Internet.)

      Now, taking these one at a time. VoIP has certain needs: it needs a certain amount of bandwidth, and its data must be transferred within a short period of time, or it becomes unusable. A VoIP connection is generally held for of the order of minutes, so quick setup of a connection is not a high priority. HTTP needs quick setup/teardown, because you have one connection for each file (typically kilobytes in size; yes, I know that later versions of HTTP can transfer multiple files within one connection), but latency is not a huge concern; bandwidth might be, depending on the data. FTP is an interesting beast: low latency and low bandwidth for commands, but high bandwidth and don't-care latency for data. Setup/teardown times not a major issue. NNTP needs high bandwidth, but latency is not a concern at all. SMTP usually needs low bandwidth, and latency isn't a major issue, as long as the message gets through. SSH needs low latency, but bandwidth needs are generally low.

      You have a relatively small pipe to the rest of the Internet. There are high demands on this pipe. How do you decide what gets pushed through, and what gets dropped, or delayed until later?

      BitTorrent marking its packets as bulk means that quality of service systems can say "These packets aren't of major importance; they can be deferred until later". So the short-term throughput of BT is reduced, for the benefit of others who need the pipe for applications like VoIP (for example). When those other applications reduce their demands, BT is able to transfer its data.

      The understanding is simple: the urgency in the transfer of data via bittorrent is low, so if bandwidth is at a premium, the routers can drop, or throttle, the bittorrent data to make room for high priority data. It's the same principle as FedEx uses: if you have stuff that needs to be moved FAST, you pay a price premium, and it gets moved on the next plane, bumping off some low-urgency, low-price cargo to the plane afterwards. If there's a lot of high priority and low priority traffic, such that the low priority traffic is building up faster than it can be moved, it's time for FedEx to buy more planes, or start not accepting low priority traffic -- or, in the ISP business, to buy a fatter pipe.

      Hope this helps.

      • Re:Bulk data? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Spy Hunter (317220) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:44AM (#11885925) Journal
        if bandwidth is at a premium, the routers can drop, or throttle, the bittorrent data to make room for high priority data.

        No. In order for users to voluntarily mark their packets as "bulk data", there has to be a benefit for them. That benefit is supposed to be higher overall transfer rate. The tradeoff is higher latency. So a router that receives a BitTorrent packet and a VOIP packet at the same time would send the VOIP packet first to reduce latency, and queue the BitTorrent packet for afterwards. But if the queue is full it would *not* preferentially drop the BitTorrent packet because that would reduce throughput. In fact, if the queue has many VOIP packets, the router should preferentially drop incoming VOIP packets, because it would not be able to send them with low latency anyway. This limits VOIP throughput, which is fine. In fact that's the result we want: VOIP = low latency low throughput, BitTorrent = high latency high throughput.

        At least, I hope this is how ISPs implement routing for packets marked as bulk data, because otherwise it will never be adopted.

        • Re:Bulk data? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Deven (13090) <deven@ties.org> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @11:09AM (#11888508) Homepage
          In order for users to voluntarily mark their packets as "bulk data", there has to be a benefit for them. That benefit is supposed to be higher overall transfer rate.

          No, the benefit is that their Internet connection remains usable for interactive traffic instead of slowing to a crawl due to the BitTorrent traffic. (The overall transfer rate is likely to be the same either way.) You don't stop using the Internet just because you're downloading something, do you?

          If you're not using your connection for anything else, BitTorrent can max out the bandwidth, with or without the bulk data flag. If you have other traffic, the TCP/IP stack will have to make room in the stream of data for those other packets sooner or later -- and when those packets go through really won't affect the final download time because latency is of little importance. However, it may be critical to the other traffic, so it's best to label the bulk data to keep it from being prioritized before more urgent packets.

          Really, the only reason not to use the flag is because such traffic could be easily singled out for blocking. However, such action would be foolish, since people would just stop marking the data as "bulk" if that caused it to get dropped. This would cause all the bulk data to be transferred as if it were time-critical interactive traffic, defeating the value of the flag altogether. (Email can be marked as bulk email, but do spammers use that flag? Of course not! They know they'll be blocked.)

          It's best for everyone if all bulk data is labelled, the routers prioritize it intelligently, and nobody blocks bulk data transfers.
    • Re:Bulk data? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ikkonoishi (674762)
      The protocol section in the packet header is marked 30. As such it should follow the rfc969 [faqs.org] guidelines.
  • by IvyMike (178408) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:11AM (#11885448)
    Dear Lazyweb:

    This version of bittorrent is licensed under the BitTorrent Open Source License [bittorrent.com]. Could you please compare and contrast this with other open source licenses for me?

    Thank you, Lazyweb.
  • by jedimark (794802) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:13AM (#11885470) Homepage
    Now if only I could convince my stinking ISP that downloading linux ISO's is not illegal :-)
  • Looks Slick (Score:2, Informative)

    by yuriismaster (776296)
    NOTE: This is the windows version

    Tried it out throwing down some linux torrent simultaneously.

    Downloads save to the desktop by default (although editable) and look like Firefox's Download Manager with details, progress bars, etc. Really nice because opening up 5 torrents used to mean 5 seperate windows. Client worked fine on most of the trackers given by A Quick Google Search [google.com].

    Download it quick! I'm sure someone will torrent the executable...
    • 3.4.2 (the Mac version at least) would queue up multiple downloads in one window. Is that new for the Windows version?
  • by Red Pointy Tail (127601) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:20AM (#11885508)
    I hope packets are also marked with the evil bit too, which is significant considering that most of all Torrent traffic is currently evil data.
  • by PxM (855264)
    My main gripe with the default BT client is the lack of per file settings. BitTornado [bittornado.com] (site's down at the moment) allows the user to download specific files in the torrent. This is useful since people can post aggregated torrents and the user can just select the files that he wants.

    --
    Free iPod? Try a free Mac Mini [freeminimacs.com]
    Or a free Nintendo DS, GC, PS2, Xbox [freegamingsystems.com]
    Wired article as proof [wired.com]
  • by CedgeS (159076) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:23AM (#11885529) Homepage Journal
    Don't know if this is new or not, but a streaming peer-to-peer protocol like bittorrent would be pretty cool. It could be used to inexpensively broadcast audio or video almost live, potentially making news reporting available to a wider selection of journalists. Checksums on data would obviously be a problem here and malicious nodes in the network would have an easier time of disrupting communications. This mechanism needs to be independent of media type, and rely on being used in combination with file formats that can be picked up and played from any small chunk. The client could decide which portions of the stream it would rather get, sacrificing liveness to get as much as possible, trying to pick up the nearest blocks in the future first to stay as smooth as possible, or minimizing buffer size and going after the most recent blocks to stay as live as possible.
  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pHatidic (163975) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:27AM (#11885559)
    What ever happened to that new and decentralized torrent program?
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:39AM (#11885901) Journal
      eXeem is a sloppy piece of crap, and a thinly veiled vehicle to get spyware and malware on your system (whse).

      Slashdot staff should be ashamed to have promoted it like they did. They did 2 or 3 articles about it, as if it were some great tech sent from the heavens.

      Besides the fact that the very notion of it is what's wrong with the internet, and why the government will eventually regulate the hell out of it. The entire point is to trade warez. I did an eXeem search for linux, and didn't get one result - so don't give me some bullshit about slackware isos. Society are like kindergarteners, they had a little freedom, and blew it. Now we're all going to be grounded.

      Actually, is that why michael left? It wasn't long after he "wrote" a couple "eXeem is great! get your warez on eXeem!" articles that he left.
  • by Sark666 (756464) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:30AM (#11885578)
    I've tried to like azureus, and I actually still use it as there is pretty much no alternative gui wise in linux, but I really wish there was.

    Basically it brings my system to a crawl. Java vm (and yes i'm on 1.5) feels like a pig imo. We need a native gtk/qt gui that's in c/c++.

    And please don't be a smartass and point out there is the basic gui that the official comes with. It's way too lacking. AFAIK, the only way to throttle is by using the ncurses one. Never mind that you can't set ratio's (I set all of mine to 1:1.), or bind all torrents to one port instead of needing all open. Pretty much all of the other clients do that now, except the official so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

    So as you see, there are quite a few things lacking in the official client. I've checked freshmeat periodically but couldn't find anything for linux. I know there is bitorrando and some others but they require access to a mysql server wtf?

    My windows friends used to use azureus and didn't fair much better performance wise but now they pretty much all use bitcomet.

    I don't mean to knock the azureus team, cause as it is they've made a pretty good functional gui, but java just brings the performance down too much.
  • by Rexz (724700) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:36AM (#11885614)
    Installer doesn't give any indication it's installing until you get a "Finished!" box. No choosing paths, no status indicator, nuffin.

    Two donation nag screens.

    Steals .torrent file associations.

    No scraping the server for total seeder/peer numbers.

    No moving completed downloads. No advanced seeding rules. No selecting of individual within a torrent. No download speed capping.

    25mb memory usage running just one torrent.

    Nothing excites me about this client. I look forward to its apparent efficiency increases being incorporated into Azureus et al, though.
    • by shadowmatter (734276) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:14AM (#11885794)
      There isn't much improvement to this client that will carry over to other clients. That is, this is not the second version of the BitTorrent protocol, as explained here [slyck.com]. Bram has been pretty mum on the second version of the protocol, although the official developer forum [yahoo.com] has had some heated debates over how some of these features should be incorporated and what their parameters should be (note that, although at times heated, purely constructive ;).

      So if already content with Azureus or BitComet or whatever, nothing to see here... Move along folks.

      - shadowmatter
  • by yrogerg (858571) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:40AM (#11885642)
    To be honest, I haven't been waiting at all.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @01:45AM (#11885657)
    The official client has been miles behind most of the unofficial ones, and as far as I know nobody with any sense uses it anymore. And as far as I can see, this new version only makes it slightly less inferior. So why does it matter that it's been released? For that matter, why was it even made?

    I don't see the point in reinventing the wheel as far as clients go when there are far better alternatives already out there. Let other people write the clients, and concentrate on improving the protocol.
    • by EventHorizon (41772) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:29AM (#11885860)
      1. There is actually no RFC or other detailed documentation for the BT protocol. The unofficial clients were all written based on the source code from the official client (and more recently, based on the source code of other unofficial clients). IMO Bram should create a formal RFC, but that is pretty unlikely (he's not interested and the IETF is probably too conservative to do p2p).

      2. Sadly the python clients are the only ones usable on 64MB virtual private servers. Most of the unofficial clients are platform-specific (Win32, GTK+), or require a bloated JVM that has no chance of working in less than 128MB.

      I find it tragic that noone has released a high quality POSIX C client. Maybe the OpenBSD guys will eventually get around to OpenBT?
      • > I find it tragic that noone has released a high
        > quality POSIX C client. Maybe the OpenBSD guys
        > will eventually get around to OpenBT?

        Well there is C BitTorrent client. A bit stagnated (meaning developement/releases) but it works usually and is under GPL so it is nice base to start off.

        http://ctorrent.sourceforge.net/

        Keep in mind that this client is writen in *nix way - meaning that it does not have fancy GUI at all, it does not do queue etc. - it just gets torrents.

        I've used to use ctorrent,
  • by mike_lynn (463952) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:48AM (#11885943)
    What, no one is going to talk about the new BitTorrent Open Source License [bittorrent.com] that has been slapped on this 4.0 version?

    Thoughts about this would be much appreciated. I'm reading through it right now.
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @08:51AM (#11887358) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if the new version has multithreaded the client so that receive and transmit are in separate threads?

    This is important if you are using traffic shaping on your upstream connection, as I am. I'm on ADSL, and so my upstream bandwidth is less than my downstream. To prevent BT from consuming all my upstream bandwidth I am using the tc module in the kernel to restrict the BT packets (the rate limiting in BT is next to useless, as each instance of the client will use the programmed bandwidth - there is no "global" sharing of the bandwidth, so if you have 4 clients running it will take 4 times the bandwidth of 1 client).

    The problem is that if the client is blocked sending an outbound torrent packet (because the traffic shaper queue is full), the client will not process any available incoming data packets, and this will hammer the download speed - I have expermimentally verified this.

    Now, if there were separate threads for downloading and for uploading, the uploading threads would block as the TC queue filled, but the download threads would not be blocked, and could handle the download at full speed.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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