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Gnutella Creator Releases New Free Software 71

Compenguin writes: "Justin of Nullsoft released three new pieces of free (as in speech and in beer) software, an installer, a pinger/grapher, and a throttlable file copier. They all use the zlib license. The source is available now, marking the first time nullsoft has actually released source to their "Open Source" products *Cough*Gnutella*Cough*."
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Gnutella Creator Releases New Free Software

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  • Is the prog sending out more info than pings?

    Well, the source is included...

    And the answer is no, it's not sending anything more than pings. The source shows the unique_id being written to and read from the registry (though it wasn't written on my machine). My guess is that it helps the system keep track of multiple copies if they're all running at startup, by telling each instance which host it should ping. Though I'm a bit stumped, as I don't see a "run at startup" option within the program anywhere, and it didn't put itself into HKLM\...\CurrentVersion\Run.

    I ran NSMon for 20 minutes and it didn't generate any traffic other than a UDP->DNS and lots of ICMP pings. I do agree it's missing a Quit button.


  • I was under the impression that the source wasn't released under Gnutella because Nullsoft was required to remove all material regarding the software immediately upon AOL's request. If I recall correctly, the software was only up for a day or two (and the version they released was definitely a low-end point release).

    Given another day or three and they might have released the code.

  • Gnutella is definitely not just a tool for stealing. There have been many times when a very popular new game demo has come out, and it's too slow to download anywhere. So what can I do? Get it from someone on Gnutella. Stealing? No. FTP can be used for transferring copyrighted material. Is it just a tool for stealing? HTTP can be used the same way. Should they be shut down?
  • What's the point of application-level copy throttling? That's why TCP was invented, for throttling throughput over shared net links.

    OT: one of my professors said that the reason TCP divides its transmit windows by 2 when there is packet loss is because the original authors assumed that packet loss meant you were now sharing that net link with 1 other user. My, how things have changed.. ;-)
  • Tangental thought: Nullsoft had a few other swell programs, listed as what folks inside their organization used, such as the RotoZoom Screensaver -- which appear not to be available from as they had been. Have asked Justin about the renewed availability of such programs (free source or not). Good to see the three apps up for grabs... they are not a one-trick llama. :)
  • Why do people keep talking about the Gnutella source code? Is it really that important? The protocol is freely available now and there are a lot of Gnutella clients for different platforms. What's the big deal to have the source code to the original Gnutella?
  • More bandwidth for files, but napster servers get crowded quickly. I can't count the number of times I've been unable to logon due to full servers.
  • Ah, like that. Yup, but that's not a problem of the system, just the implementation. if they got off their lazy asses and upgraded the servers/connection they'd work with as many users as possible. (or use opennap, though that's something different of course).
  • Can you think of a better way to make a graph of net usage?

    Sure. Just look at the stats for your network device.


  • Functional but doesnt' really meet the <i>graph</i> part of the requirement...
  • Its interesting. In the end you die. Would you rather spend your life being making some money and working a job, or having fun and changing the world?

    You like dead dude. It doesn't matter if you spent your life rescuing babies or eating them. You're dead. If you can have fun making money and working a job, then go for it. Having assloads of cash isn't exclusionary to having fun.
  • Click on it and then press Alt-F4.

    Easy peasy japanesey
  • SuperPimp is the next generation PiMP. PiMP stands for Plug-in Mini Packager because the origional version of pimp was for winamp plugins.

  • Gnutella is in fact (very slightly) less anonymous than napster. And I don't get the 'potentially unlimited bandwith' statement, unless you mean that it doesn't work right without it. :-). With the server isn't a problem with napster for transfer speeds, transfers never hit the server. aamof gnutella has a lot more bandwidth problems than napster, especially on large networks. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed for GnutellaNG.
  • Last thing I saw about it was that it had been taken down to be reevaluated... has UCITA really been accepted as law in VA now, or is it still in some kind of non-determined state?
  • Yes it would be better left at the network layer, but currently the network layer isn't set up to support any end to end QoS.

    Not to say the technology [] hasn't been around for quite a while. Everyone just got fixated on IP and Frame networks..

  • Sorry, but freshmeat doesn't announce Windows software :)
  • Gnutella source_code was never released..i thought. This is actually a Nullsoft redemption moment? It woulda been cool had they provided the free shit thru the peer-to-peer Gnutella network. Ya know, /Nullsoft/Shared Files/Free Shit and have everybody come and download. Oh well, would anybody add NSCopy, NSIS, and NetMon to their shared list :)






  • Hehe, neither does a ping ;-)

    - Steeltoe
  • The problem is simple. The whole gnutella project is held up by the program that started it.

    It doesn't matter how many people download the 3rd party versions, there are too many people using the original code which basically means that all the new wizzy things that are added won't be available for the majority.

    Example: glob matching. I'd love to be able to search for "first*last*.ending" - the original gnutella client doesn't handle this, but the newer ones do. However since the majority of people use the old gnutella client, they'll return either nothing, everything or stuff completely unrelated. Not what I want.

    This is where client-server works better. You could update the search method from straight match to glob and it didn't matter that people hadn't updated their clients.

    Mind you, there are plenty of downsides to the client-server approach too.


  • First of all, Cygnus (now owned by RedHat) developed a free library that allows to compile Unix-tools on a Windows system. They have also ported a whole set of free tools to Windows [].

    Secondly, Perl [] has been ported to Windows. Now, you can run all the nice perl scripts and programs on Windows. Check the Perl Power Tools [] for another set of free standard Unix utilities that you can run on Windows.

  • Yeah. My feelings (almost) exactly.

    Why doesnt my every insignificant software release get announced on slashdot?


  • In fairness, Gnutella was thrown up for comment, when AOL (the copyright owners) took it down.

    Had the source been available, than everyone distributing Gnutella might be in trouble. It was all reverse engineered, which is a good thing. Had the source code been available, AOL could demand all the copies of the program be taken down as violating their copyright...

    Just a thought,
  • Big deal! Nothing new...
  • Is it just me, or does this program handle something that's better left at the network layer? I'm not an expert on network hardware and protocol design, but isn't host starvation something that should be prevented at that level? That makes sense to me, since you can't always trust other people on the network to throttle themselves.

    Other than that, this program doesn't seem to do anything that simple buffering couldn't provide. And, as someone else pointed out, I didn't see a link to the source for these programs. I have absolutlely no problem with that, but they shouldn't advertise source if they don't have links to it.

    "If I removed everything here that I thought was pointless, there would be like two messages here."

  • by Zach Garner ( 74342 ) on Sunday August 06, 2000 @07:25AM (#875574)
    All three applications are Win32, "Not that there is anything wrong with that".

    But, i'm afraid i cant find the source. Is it included in the executable? (no windows systems to run on, so i cant find out myself) Or am I just missing it?

    Eh, oh well...
  • by crlf ( 131465 ) on Sunday August 06, 2000 @07:34AM (#875575)

    This is a slightly useful network monitor graphing thing for Win32. It just sits in its own window, pinging a host, and giving you a graph of how long it takes each time.

    How useful, now we can have more lamers transmitting unnessecary traffic so they can have a little graph show up. Just another reason to drop all incoming icmp.

  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Sunday August 06, 2000 @07:35AM (#875576) Homepage Journal
    Working at a company where I have suggested Open Sourcing tools we use and been met with blank stares by superiors I understand his situation.

    Unfortunately Justin works for Nullsoft which is owned by AOL which in turn is part of TimeWarner which is a member of the RIAA. It is simply impossible for AOL to let Nullsoft release the source for Gnutella. Considering that Justin probably signed standard industry paperwork when he signed at with AOL , it is very likely that AOL owns the code to Gnutella and decides what gets done to it.

    Unless Justin wants an intense legal battle with a corporation with more money and lawyers than you can shake a stick at, he unfortunately has to give in to their demands. Before anyone chides for this "How many of you would risk losing your job and getting involved in an expensive legal battle simply to release source code to a program that can be reverse engineered by any enterprising hacker?"

  • I like the idea of a "throttlable" file copier. 4am, you've been downloading for 8 straight hours.. 98% done, 5 minutes to go.. and BZZZZZZt! *Connection reset by peer* Now is the time to use the feature you've been wanting to.. and throttle the crap out of the program. Be sure to download the optional boxing gloves.. they help when you hit sharp edges...
  • For those bumping around in the dark looking for the source code to these guys, during the install you can check to add the sourcecode.
  • by tobyjaffey ( 132850 ) on Sunday August 06, 2000 @07:29AM (#875579)

    Surely this isn't really big news? Some guy has written some free software for windows, it's not even especially interesting software.

    This looks like a job for freshmeat?

  • This marks the return in a way of a company that really was pioneering back before it got sucked up by AOL, and it is great to see them releasing again. I can remember sending in my $10 registration fee for the early version of Winamp, probably one of the few peices of software I paid for. It was nag free and great, and still in use on every college campus though its been loaded down with enough secured (usually some publishers pipe dream) formats to sink a ship.

    A couple of notes. These are super usefull little utilites, the installer being really nice for open source developers on the windows platform. Definatly a right on to justin.

    With the same effort behind Gnutella that powered Winamp, I think it stood a good chance of becoming the defacto file-sharing software out there, the guys at Nullsoft can deliver nice, usefull, tools for the masses. Its a shame not to see it live up to its initial promise.

    Its interesting. In the end you die. Would you rather spend your life being making some money and working a job, or having fun and changing the world? The irony is in the end the people out having the fun for no pay will end up just fine financially. Its nice to see some the later spirit back into a company that introduced MP3's to the world.

    I can see it now, the bandwidth throttled/Gnutella/Freenet/Beowulf/SGI NUMA cluser. Yeah :)

  • Yeah, right.... Netmon is quite useless, and there is no way I can see to close the stupid thing either!!!

    This is software that really had to be open sourced so someone could make the thing do something that was actually useful as opposed to something that merely worked.

  • Basically, it says:
    Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose,

    including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it
    freely, subject to the following restrictions:

    1. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not
    claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this software
    in a product, an acknowledgment in the
    product documentation would be appreciated but is not required.
    2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be
    misrepresented as being the original software.
    3. This notice may not be removed or altered
    from any source distribution.

    I think it somewhat extracts the good things from GPL and BSD mhile leaving the bad ones out; it is really free, allowing all kinds of applications (commercial or freeware / closed source) to be built from it, but should require you to give credit so you don't risk anybody using your code in their closed-source product without you being told.
    Would this be the best of both worlds?

  • by Outlyer ( 1767 ) on Sunday August 06, 2000 @07:48AM (#875583) Homepage
    I've noticed some people saying that this isn't a big deal. After all we have tons of open source software for linux. The big difference is that Win32 has been a bastion of shareware, and closed-source freeware with very little open source software. The last program I compiled from source on Win32 was NotifyCD, released in 1998. It's not a common occurance, and it's rarely as high profile as this. After all, Winamp is arguably one of the most popular pieces of software ever, and for them to publically release Windows source is a big deal because it sets the stage for others to do the same.
    Also, lest we forget, the installed base of Windows is much bigger, yet there is little free open source software for it, so this will get to a great deal more people.
  • At least, releasing it was an afterthought.

    The story goes something like this (this is all secondhand knowledge, blah blah blah).

    The boys at (G)Nullsoft have a friendly rivalry with the Napster camp. Justin said he could write up a quick piece of software that did the same job Napster does, only better (truly anonymous file sharing, distributed, potentially unlimited bandwidth). He wrote it, AOL shut it down, the source was leaked, and Gnutella was born.
  • What if the code was released under the GPL by someone who had no right to do it?

    I'm not a lawyer, but from what I understand, this is called "agency by estoppel". If an employee improperly released code under the GPL, and I use it in a product believing in good faith that the employee was authorized to act on behalf of his employer, then the employer has no recourse against me, and the situation is "as if" the employee really were an agent of the company.

    Any lawyers out there want to check my work?

    Yet another reason that companies are loathe to embrace the concepts of The Cluetrain Manifesto.
  • Just another reason to drop all incoming icmp.

    Dropping ALL inbound ICMP can be a very bad thing.

    Blocking ICMP Destination unreachable messages is a pain in the ass - when I try to get to a host, I _LIKE_ getting an immediate reply that there is a network problem (or that the host isn't listening on the port I want to use), instead of having to wait for the connection to timeout.

    What about the 'Fragmentation Needed but DF set' message? Blocking that is a GREAT way to screw your connections performance.

    I agree that SOME ICMP messages should be dropped (most notably ICMP echo-request) but blocking the protocol entirely is a bad idea. It exists for a reason. Yes, someone might abuse it (like in this example), but then again, someone might abuse UDP as well (what if it did a traceroute continually, so you could see _where_ the connection went bad) - would you advocate blocking UDP completely?

    I didn't think so.
  • MTU Path Discovery, yet another ICMP feature that is cool

    *Not a Sermon, Just a Thought
  • Unfortunately Justin works for Nullsoft which is owned by AOL which in turn is part of TimeWarner which is a member of the RIAA.

    I love how you make it sound like this happened by accident, or in a way that is out of poor Justin's control.

    Nullsoft allowed themselves to be bought out! It's not as if they were chased into a corner and forced to sign the papers.

    You have all the freedom you don't give away.

  • By unlimited bandwidth, I mean that for every user there is, there's that much more bandwidth for the network in it's entirety.
  • From the Gnutella FAQ:

    I thought AOL pulled the plug at 0.48, so what's with these new versions? Who is producing them? Are they official? Are more coming? In the interest of protecting those involved, it can only be said that these versions are being produced by someone with access to the source code. No, of course they're not official in the GnullSoft sense, but they do come from a trusted source. I would certainly expect more versions, since we've already seen several materialize.
  • Can you think of a better way to make a graph of net usage?

    Anyway, I'm really happy Justin did this, I've been a big fan of his for some time. It's really assume to see his code. It's relatively compressed and logical, also it's good to see how win32 code is written by people outside of Microsoft, after all 99% of the win32 code you WILL see is from Microsoft source examples. Those examples range widely in quality, and are never for anything very cool.


    -- Your favorite OS sucks

  • Several people make frontends for it as well.
  • Ok, make a program that makes a graph of those numbers....


  • File copying really does occur at the application level. Sure, there may be API's for this, but they are little more than a simple loop reading and writing the data too and from the source.

    Take a look at file explorer. It has had a progress bar for a long time, but that can't be done with the standard API's (now with IE 4/5 it can be).

    As for the throttling, I suppose that has it's uses. But that too is not too difficult, just a bit of Sleep()ing. (or a timer)

    have fun.
  • Who runs The actual authors of the program? No, right?

    So why can't we just have them standardize on a 3rd-party client and have THAT be Gnutella v .60 or whatever, and start the tree over from there?

    Email me.
    Don't trust anyone over 90000.
  • Hmm, I still don't get it, sorry. Must be the radiation from my monitor.

    You mean to say, every time somebody extra connects to the network, his bandwidth can be used to upload files, plus the amount of bandwidth there already was? That's just as true for napster.
    (Ignoring for the moment that people don't have all available files, and people download too.)
  • what does this have to do with gnutella? justin posted a little utility he wrote along with the source. OH MY!. if any here hasn't done that before, then there's something wrong. open source is about freedom AND education. maybe someone just getting started in programming networks could look at the NetMon source and learn something. there is no reason anyone should be ripping on anyone else's free, open source stuff. rip on the commercial crap that we pay good money to have crash on us! -Justin
  • Come to think of it, gnutella handles high numbers of users a lot less graciously than napster...
  • actually, I thought that was where it shined. More users == more channels to run search queries through, which means you get what you're looking for faster.
  • they werent made by gnullsoft but by someone who has access to the source hmmm.... nullsoft has the source!
  • Have you ever actually used gnutella? ;-). As soon as there are more than a few 1000 users on a net you need to have at least t1 to keep things working. Because a lot of the traffic is broadcast to all nodes on the net, so traffic per node increases almost liniarly with the number of nodes.
  • Well you could, and it would catch the people who visit the site.

    But the majority of people using gnutella probably haven't heard of the site and therefore wouldn't go there and wouldn't download the latest version.

    So the rest of the "community" are essentially still held up by them.


  • Your missing is. See the comment down lower
  • It would have depended on the copyright license... If it was released under the GPL, AOL could not demand a recall for previously released source code.

  • by crlf ( 131465 ) on Sunday August 06, 2000 @07:59AM (#875605)

    Automatically skips or overwrites existing files

    Alright! just what I've been looking for, no more "Do you wish to overwrite this file?" pop-ups! WOOHOO!

  • the source wasnt leaked people disassembled the program or used packet sniffers to find out how it works there never was a source leak
  • You can get the source by running the installation executable.
  • What if the code was released under the GPL by someone who had no right to do it?

    Lots of companies at this point seem to make you sign away all rights to _anything_ you produce while working for the company (note: I don't say 'on company time, or with company equipment'). If they have all rights to the work you produce, then you, releasing the code under the GPL, without consulting them, might be like someone who works as a programmer at Macromedia, taking the source code to Pagemaker and releasing it under the GPL.

    A nice thought if the owners of the copyright are willing to do it, but illegal if done by the wrong people.
  • yea, but after you run the fully trusted executable, you get to see ALL the source code, silly.

  • Its more who it is then what it is. Anything to do with Nullsoft is big Slashdot news, and it gives the writer a chance to bitch about the Gnutella source (or lack thereof).
  • Normally, I'd agree. However, with the brouha currently surrounding Napster, including the possibility of the site being shut down, Gnutella has been in the spotlight lately. You may not find it particularly interesting but it IS news.
  • I'm not a lawyer either, but I think this means only that they can not sue you for your past use of the program. Once you're aware that the program was fraudulently released, I believe the owning company can demand that you return/destroy your copy of the program.
  • >make you sign away all rights to _anything_ you
    >produce while working for the company (note: I
    >don't say 'on company time, or with company

    Yey another reason to work in a *civilized* state like California. Such contracts are illegal and unenforceable here. Even if you *DO* sign one, such as in a generic "boilerplate" contract with a company that has operations in many states, some of which might enforce such clauses... they are all null and void here.

    As a matter of fact, when I signed on to my current job (first job of mine in CA), there was an addendum to my contract explicitly stating all of the above, and declared any such clauses in the main contract to be null and void in accordiance with California law.

    Nice to see that SOME states actually give a crap about the people who live and work there. Virginia, OTOH, was, IIRC also one of the first states to enact UCITA. Too bad for Nullsoft that they neglected to think of things like this when they sold out to AOL.

    You won't see me setting foot in a festering backwoods hellhole like VA with neanderthal laws like they have there, much less living or working in the place.

    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • I wouldn't bother downloading any of them (they seem quite useless), but others have reported that the source comes in the executable installer.

  • I think NetMon is missing a quit function. And why is there a uniqueid field in the ini? Is the prog sending out more info than pings?
  • The installer uses SuperPimp[tm] technology. What is SuperPimp and why is it named so?

    Founder's Camp []

  • I think part of the reason that source is so rarely included with win32 apps is the lack of bundled development tools. Probably 90%+ of Windows users just don't have the ability to do anything with the source.

    Also, win32 is a closed platform, so there really aren't many different flavors. With *NIXes, you can write apps to run on a large number of different architectures. Releasing binaries for all of them would be a major pain, if not completely impossible. Less hassle for the freeware author to make it open source so people can compile for themselves rather than complaining that machine XYZ isn't supported.

There are no data that cannot be plotted on a straight line if the axis are chosen correctly.