Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Internet

Is Freenet Vapourware? Ian Clarke Responds 119

Sinister writes "Ian Clarke, creator of Freenet, has written an interesting article which gives an overview of where Freenet is, and where it is going. He answers some of the criticism made in some publications against the project's lengthly incubation period and ease-of-use. He talks about the differences between Freenet and other Open Source development projects, and also about the difficulties in managing expectations for one of the most publicised pre-beta free software projects ever. Read the article on the Freenet Project Site."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is Freenet Vapourware? Ian Clarke Responds

Comments Filter:
  • the censorship issue: one of the points of freenet is to allow web pages to link to files on freenet. as illustrated by the decss case, this is not necessarily any protection against laws. the courts can just make it illegal to link to certain articles/media on free net. on top of that, there was this article [wired.com] explaining new software for isp that allows specialized filtering, even to the point of deneying asll access to freenet, which is discused in the article. so tho ian clarke may not be able to stop freenet once it gets started, major isp and may plaay it safe and block all freenet trafic.
  • The fact is, strong encryption and the WWW filfills 99.9% of Freenet's goals.

    I disagree. Freenet allows distribution of data in such a way that it cannot (reasonably) be determined where the data came from. You can't trace the source. This is invaluable. "Strong encryption and WWW" doesn't give you that. The lack of centralized control and censorship that defines Freenet is the very quality you are passing over lightly.
    ----

  • considering one of the primary goals of freenet is anonimity (sp?) id ont think that the www and encryption cover that.

    What I meant is that the usual reason for anonymity is political persecution. Strong encryption pretty much solves that problem, a lot easier than Freenet. All you need is a "freedom web site" where you accept submissions from anyone and post them. Boom! You're done. The only thing Freenet gives you over this solution is that if the US (for example) suddenly became a fascist state and seized the Freedom Web Site, then it's gone. Freenet, being distributed, wouldn't suffer this problem.

    But again, you have to be sufficiently paranoid to believe the US is going to go that direction, and there just isn't going to be enough people that believe that to make Freenet viable.


    --

  • No it's a cynical throwaway comment, well spotted.

    For "insightful" I ought to have expanded. The real point that I origanally wanted to make, and completely failed to (got stuck in an apocalytic rut) is this:

    As the distributed nature of freenet is effectively security through amongst other things obscurity. However, while the system grows the load isn't increased. However, as the system fades in popularity and generally wanes, the "data density", and hence load is increased. Load isn't free. The marginally philanthropic start to notice the increased load, and decide that they aren't so philanthropic any more. Instant positive feedback, just add Zeeman, and woosh. (shit, now I'm stuck in another apocalyptic rut...)

    References: Most dotcom's share prices...

    The system has got to grow slowly and carefully in order to have a future, in my eyes.

    FatPhil

    -- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards
  • Therein lies you arrogance... 'So why would you think I bashed SourceForge when I merely made a comment for developers to get off their asses and follow through on their projects instead of dishing out dreams and hopes ' You seem to assume that a bit of criticism from you and every developer with a project on SourceForge will jump. Someone developing OSS is not in any way obligated to finish it, be that at all/in a timeframe you or anyone else finds acceptable.
  • Have any idea how many commercial and closed-source academic projects fizzle after a small amount of development?

    In my experience, the numbers are quite similar -- only difference is that it's hard to find out about the others. In short, this problem isn't unique to open source.
  • I think everyone can see from the Slashdot blurb what the criticism is: Freenet has taken a long time and still isn't ready for the masses. Ian writes a very insightful analysis of the situation, talking about how innovation takes time, and how the project is still in development, and is still in that pre-release wacky stage when stuff breaks at times.

    So I check the comments, and what is everyone raving about?

    "Waah - it's hard to install!"

    "It's never going to take off! The version I downloaded three months ago doesn't have animated icons!"

    Idiots.

    People, we sit here in angst about how Open Source isn't very innovative, that all we do all day is copy the work other people have done. Well, here's something no one else has managed to pull off: a decentralized P2P network with privacy and anonymity built in. So now we're trying to kill it off with criticism because it's taking longer to write than the IRC client your roommate wrote in a night of caffeine-induced frenzy.

    Here's a news flash for you: Creating something new takes time. It's not as easy to do as copy other people's good ideas. So the fact that, say, GNOME, or Linux, or whatever was done in less time is irrelevant: for a fair comparison, you should factor in the 15+ years of tweaking to the GUI done by Apple and Microsoft into the GNOME timetable, or the 30+ years of development on Unix into Linux's. For a more pertinent example of how good Freenet is doing, go compare Freenet to Unix circa 1971, or the Apple Lisa, or Windows 1.1.

    So, if you're the type to download something, play with it, then slam it because it doesn't work, let me give you some advice:

    Stay away from Freenet. Far away. Go play with Napster or Gnutella. Come back and play when the Freenet 1.0 announcement comes across Freshmeat.

    And, for the love of Mike, shut up.
  • As you point out, there are reasons why sourceforge hosts lots of uncompleted projects.
    However, I share xp0rnstar's irritation with sourceforge. When I stumble across a project on sf that's vapor, I'd like to see H1 Nothing to see here - move along /H1.
    When people make their own web pages, the flavor of the web pages tells you a bit about the project and how 'alive' it is. Sf gives every half-baked daydream a really complicated professional-looking page, and you have to look harder to figure out if the thing's for real.
    Sf's pages remind me of commercial web sites - they're overly busy and full of links that don't necessarily do anything - something like 'click to view mailing list archives' and then you find out there are no mailing list archives.
    Actually, my wish goes beyond SF - I wish every open source project had a short summary of the status at the top of the page, like 'compiles on Red Hat 6.0 but does nothing useful yet.'
  • I think you have underestimated freenet. It has alot of niches that it fills. One: obviously it can't be shut down so people can depend on it for the long hall - unlike scour or napster(although I am sure that Napster will be around for a long time and is not as vololtile as many people think - (journalists) ). Right now, I can get mp3's from audio galaxy but I can't get movies from anywhere efficiently. IRC is pretty difficult sometimes with the overloaded f-serves and whatnot. Gnutella cannot scale well. Encryption and being anonymouse are not why freenet is a big deal, it just helps with the concept of file sharing that is very distributed and resilient. The average joecool@aol.com doesn't care about encryption but I'll bet he does care about getting a DVD ripper that uses DeCSS or a movie that's still in the theatre, or a very popular new song without any waiting, and all from the same place.

    And Napster has a great interface, simple and elegant, not bloated and easy to use.
  • Corporations love this notion that the OpenSource industry can't get their act together...
    The problem is that following the 'Bazaar' model, many open sorcerors post their dumb ideas in public, make their mistakes in public, learn in public. Linus taught us that, remember?
    Corporations also make mistakes, have dumb ideas, learn. But they do it in secret. Publicly they act very focused and confident - the behavior of a used car salesman, not a scientist.
    As for follow-up effort, it's usually not as fun as creation. Therein lies a major weakness.
  • Um, if it exists in *any* usable form then it's not vaporware. It's an ambitious, interesting project - why would you want to beat up on the guy? For that matter, why would you want to change your own oil when it's all of $12 at the local gas station?
  • The developers might not be receptive to xp0rnstar's critique, but that's no reason for him to refrain from criticism.
    Generally, we have to identify problems before solving them. Although there's no immediate solution in sight, the growth of empty daydreams on sourceforge is an incipient problem. The problem is not that daydreams are presented for public review - I think that's great. The problem is that they are presented in a way that implies they're real, actively developed projects.
    I still criticize Windows when I'm forced to use it, although I don't expect Gates to jump.
  • Yes it does help. I've just installed the newest version. Still not great, but much better than the one I had previously tried. Thanks for the heads-up.

    That auto -1 sucks, eh?

    Max, in America, it's customary to drive on the right.

  • by rtscts ( 156396 )
    Perhaps the broadband situation in the USA is different, but in Oz, AUPs prohibit servers. Unless of course you want to go for a "business plan" and pay 19c per meg, which is not fsckin' likely.
  • The very fact that I, and others, criticise demonstrates that I, and we, are not apathetic to FreeNet.

    critisism is easy. to truely demonstrate that you care file a bug report with a solution, volunteer to work on documentation... help the situation

    If we were apathetic the whole issue would never have arisen. The fact that Mr. Clarke saw fit to post an article about the criticisms that his project has recieved demonstrates that he doesn't consider these opinions to be meaningless.

    no he considers them to be incorrect-simular in a way to slandering the efforts of the developers.

    You say that you feel FreeNet is developing fast enough for its current audience.

    i think that rushing a project like this would do more harm than good. i believe it's current audience consists of the developers and the beta testers. i wouldnt expect much more at this level.

    Such concerns often seem to be viewed as hostility against the project, but that is, I'm sure, not the case. i believe there is a difference between constructive criticism/concerns and the berating that has been put upon freenet. i think you can see the difference between the two in the posts here.

    my message is for those who would criticise and do nothing more. i have no problem with expressing your concern (not that it really matters what i have a problem with). if you are really concerned take an active role. it is a community, and a community is at it's best when the members work together.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Vaporware? I've been running a node for almost a year now, on and off. I've been patiently waiting for client applications to emerge, especially music file sharing. There is a reason why I've been patient: I can use Napster or Gnutella NOW. Soon I don't think that will be the case. The legal system will eventually bear down on everyone doing so. All will be forced way underground. Freenet gives one a way to be 'underground' yet still linked to others. Kind of like the .mp3 underground railroad. PGP and anonymous remailers have their place, but interest has waned. The killer app- music, had no use for them. Freenet is waiting.
  • It's weird -- all these articles, mentioning p2p systems very few people actually use (gnutella, freenet, scour, etc...)... when the biggest and most successful one, Hotline, almost never receives any ink. The protocol has even been successfully reverse-engineered, and there are linux clients/servers available. ... is there some kind of conspiracy of silence afoot? Don't get me wrong -- I don't want The Man to find out about it, but if we're going to have all these discussions....
  • Check it out here [sourceforge.net]. If anyone wishes to help, please contact Adam Langley [mailto].

    --

  • I suspect that the implementation of such a feature would be enourmously difficult, and not for technical reasons, but sociological.

    It stands to scrutiny that much of the wired world is quite braindead. The arcanity of entering trailing / (let alone an actual filename) of an HTTP URL has been deemed too intense for the masses. The "http://" prefix is also too complicated.

    Nevermind the fact that URLs were supposed to make things easier for the populace to understand. There simply aren't enough protocols in common use for to bother distinguishing which one is wanted. People, even geeks, don't even browse FTP servers much these days, which places the URL one step further toward complete disuse.

    People, nowadays, just enter "cnn.com" into the top of the window, if they even know how; I suspect a great many hits to http://cnn.com/ are the results of people entering it into the search box of their respective default page (either MSN or Netcenter).

    In any case, that HTTP is wanted is assumed by the browser software, while the trailing slash is filled in by the web server. And the entered text, "cnn.com", is mostly understandable to most drones, though the majority would probably prefer that the .com suffix be dropped as well.

    In this state of affairs, expecting the general populace to be able to handle a new protocol (and the dread :// they remember being spoken in radio ads in 1995), let alone something as nonsensical and impronouncible as a Freenet key, is certainly futile, not to mention of limited use for even clued masses.

    "Ok. That program I was talking about is at eff-nee-ee-tee-colon-slash-slash-eff-cee-pee-capit al-gee-small-zee-wye-oh-arr-..."

    Yeah, right.
  • What's wrong with elitism? By his nature an elitist belongs to an elite--that is a group which are, by one criterion, superior to others. Programmers are thus an elite. So are jocks, beautiful women, fine Scotches and nice rosebushes. Were I to demand a position on the next Superbowl team (why I would is beyond me--temporary insanity, perh.), or were I to insist that my untouched-up image be on the front cover of a fashion magazine, I would be laughed at. Similarly, when non-programmers whine non-constructively, programmers laugh. And so should everyone else.

    I cannot build a bridge--I haven't the education for it. This does not mean that I whine that engineers have yet to build a footbridge or a car-bridge over the nearest chasm--I either pay for it myself, form a syndicate to pay for it, or do without. Sic Freenet--if one cannot contribute, don't complain.

    I'm sure that the fellows who work on it would love donations. Who knows, with enough they might even be able to fund full-time development.

  • Hello Ian -

    I read your reply here and your other grumpy post further down. From your own FAQ:

    2.2 [sourceforge.net]. Is Freenet searchable?
    No search mechanism has yet been implemented


    As I used it, you have to finsert a file with a key name, from the users point of view effectively a ''filepath'' into the ''freenet filesystem''. Then separately you have to connect to an index server and enter the same filepath so that others can retrieve the file. I have never heard of KSK@Aardvark before your post, and it is not mentioned in your FAQ [sourceforge.net]. A search on Google [google.com] turns nothing up either. As Joe User, how am I meant to find out that KSK@Aardvark even exists, let alone what it is? If I was a journalist, would that be enough to make me too stupid to use Freenetin your opinion?

    Anyhow, consequently I have no idea what is KSK@Aardvark or really what you are going on about with offering hyperlinking in place of automated indexing. A digest of manually entered indexes wouldn't seem to solve the problem that my post was looking at, discovery of content like Google allows for the web. Imagine if Google was just this huge flat file containing a billion web page filenames that you had to download each time and then search it locally; that's what you will end up with on these key indexes.

    Note I already said the developers deserve praise for what they have done so far, it is a big job and it basically works, and it is a great foundation to be taken a lot further.

    Even people that you have unfortunately written off as idiots have different experiences and points of view as users to you as the developer that you should understand if a wide range of people can end up using the end product. Although you may be exhausted, and cannot resolve it by yourself, you should still admit privately that there is more to be understood and gained from this torrent of feedback telling you the same things over and over than ''they are all idiots''.

    Writing people off as idiots because they are telling you how to improve your product is one warning bell, and this ''add it on later'' handwaving about the searching is the other. Generally Great things have all their legs architected in at the get-go. However, I wish you...

    Happy new year and best of luck

    -Andy
  • Why shouldn't I have said that when its true, there are plenty of programs I could sift through and point out that are only taking up space and will never be followed up on. Maybe you misread the intent so I'll leverage it:

    While SourceForge provides a hell of a lot of nice idea and schematics for some great tools, its sad to see some efforts aren't followed through on a lot of those great idea.

    Redhat Spoof [antioffline.com]
  • Hmm linux kernel has like 2 million lines of code, and freenet? Apples and Oranges

  • 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.

    did you post your question to the freenet mailing list? if not you probably should. they are the people who will be the most help.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • I think the criticism is due largely to the hype that surronds OSS atm. Don't get me wrong, there are some really interesting things happening, but to some extent, the reality can never live up to what certain over vocal advocates have promised.

  • Alot of the programs on sourceforge are worked on during spare time, and will take a while to get working if the only developer is the project admin. If there are nice ideas that you wish to see take off, contact the project leader and ask him where you can help. It's easy to complain about the problem, but it is much more satisfying to do something about it.

    Most people post their projects on sourceforge because they are open to the idea of working with others and getting their input.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • by TOTKChief ( 210168 ) on Sunday December 31, 2000 @06:09AM (#1425888) Homepage

    I've been wont to whack Freenet in my own mind, but I had a revelation while reading Ian's piece: to have a good open-source project--that is, one that is downloaded and worked on by many good coders--you have to do a lot of promotion for it. Attracting the critical mass of coders as well as users is a process that doesn't happen overnight.

    If you're trying to do something really unique or complex--as Freenet is attempting to do--you have to get a lot of very good people interested in it. Then they have to see where you're going and add their ideas or help change the direction a wee bit.

    I liken it to a ship with an unbelievably large steering wheel: you need more than one person to turn it. In fact, you need several strong people to turn it. And all you do when you're waiting for enough people to help you turn it is risk the naysayers saying, "They'll never turn it."

    I don't see the "market" for Freenet, but I don't know that I would have seen the market for recorded music 140 years ago, either. I don't have the code-fu to help them out, so I'm not even going to get involved--until they're ready for me to be.


    --
  • I just tried out Freenet for the first time the other day and I was actually very pleased with it. Yes, it's slow -- but getting search results from Gnutella or Napster isn't exactly warp-speed either. And yes, there's not much in there, yet -- but that's because this thing is barely in its infancy. Give it time, people.

    Nothing is perfect the first time. There's a lot promise here that hasn't yet been fulfilled, but that's only because it takes WORK to put something of this scope and magnitude together. The biggest promise here is that of a repository of information which can survive just about anything you throw at it. Surely there are things worth putting into such a system, and I've already seen a number of documents inserted into Freenet that are quite in the spirit -- political tracts, the PDF version of the recent, shameful Supreme Court judgment, and so on. And, yeah, there's the usual porn and crap as well, but the best way to deal with such things is not to bother downloading them if you don't care about them.

    As a gesture of goodwill, I uploaded one of my own songs to Freenet. I figured it was the least I could do to support the cause. Check the keyindices for "Gline" and you'll see what I mean.
  • i think you are correct here. i guess this is the case where you should kill the messenger. it's kinda sad-the journalists are the ones who hype up OSS projects, but later on they criticize the projects for not living up to the expectations that they themselves set.

    there was a time (before my birth) when being a reporter/journalist was an art of sorts. now it's just a job. when there is nothing to report they create news-the smart ones create news they can report on later :)

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • -cp tells Java to append the contents of freenet.jar to your classpath.
    Freenet.scripts.Setup
    is the application you are running.
    .freenetrc
    is the configuration file.
  • Sure the Linux kernel has 2+ million lines of code, but it was also based on fairly well understood principles. Freenet is creating a brand new P2P solution that hasn't been seen before. The orig creators had an idea of what they wanted for Freenet but it is always changing. We have an idea of what and OS is supposed to do (filesystem, memory management, etc). I'm not saying that Linux isn't constantly changing, but it's also been around alot longer and the initial steps had a specific path.
  • Should I not criticise a footballer (soccer player) who misses an open goal because I do not play football?

    if you criticise him constructively then that is cool-this would mean that your criticizm came with a solution. the neat thing about OSS is that you can actually:

    get on the field and play

    submit patches to the webmaster to make his html valid

    the tools are there for you to become a programmer. the only excuse for not doing something is lazyness. if most people spent half if the time they spend bitching about OSS on learning to program they could spend the other half of the time fixing the bug they would normally complain about.

    Pointing out/complaining about slow progress is raising an important issue that you are trying to hide from. Obviously many other people feel the same way I do, otherwise Mr. Clarke's article, also this Slashdot story, wouldn't exist.

    analogy time extended
    there was a time when a majority of the people in the southern us states thought black people should be slaves. does the fact that the majority thought this make it right? just because a mob of people believe something doesnt mean they are correct.

    there are alot of people who think freenet is moving along nicely, and since they actually have working code it isnt vaporware. just beacuse a segment of the population doesn't find it useable, that doesn't mean it is vaporware.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

  • IRC is pretty popular, and it doesnt appeal much to the average person.

    That's absolutely not true -- the average person is very interested in the idea of chatting on the internet. Before ICQ provided a simpler method to talk to your friends, IRC was very popular among net newbies..

  • I think freenet is developing at a rate fast enought for it's current audience. the developers have encouraged others to take part in the project. most people (includeing yourself) are more content to complain and criticize about the projects developement pace than do something to help the situation.

    the fact that alot people as apathetic as yourself share your opinion is meaningless to the developers. it is the developers who will choose the pace of development. if you want to speed things up join the development team. if you want to reiterate an opinion shared by others feel free. i dont think the latter will help as much as the former, but that is, of course, my opinion.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Sunday December 31, 2000 @09:01AM (#1425897)
    I think people are missing something fairly fundamental when discussing the failure of FreeNet to gain buzz and hence mindshare. Java the concept is great. Java the language is great. Java the fully working and transparent VM behind the scenes of every real Winblows/Linux/BSD/BeOS/Solaris is a figment of Java developers' imaginations.

    If only it were not so, but it is. In many cases the reason for failure of the concept is trivial --- merely bad CLASSPATH or fonts or Netscape crapness --- but that's enough to make it a failure for the masses. Despite the protestations of Java fans that it's a success right now, the key point is being missed: it's only a success for you, and not transparent for non-fans. Reality sucks, sorry. [You can remedy such failures so easily with VM defaults but you don't. Why? --- A question to the Java community.]

    Does this mean that FreeNet has no future? No, in my view, because the issues that it addresses are likely to become ever more important over time, give the lag between realtime and the onset of coercion from the corrupt corporate, legal, and political spheres. It has a future, because in due course the confluence of several factors will give it the boost it needs: it will gain the apps and GUIs it needs to appeal to the masses, and it will be reimplemented in native code so that it actually runs everywhere for the ordinary non-tech man/woman with a computer, not just for you.

    FreeNet developers don't despair. You're laying the groundwork, not the final edifice. Once you have something approaching a spec that won't change too much, we'll reimplement in slotted C (OK, probably via a C++ phase) and FreeNet will become universal. Meanwhile, keep doing your good work and ignore the detractors.
  • If it's less illegal to have a copy of freenet than it is to have a bunch of MP3s, people will use freenet (since it's better to be litigated for using FreeNET than having a bunch of MP3s).

    s/MP3s/anti-establishment literature/g
    s/MP3s/copies of reverse-engineering tools/g
    s/MP3s/whatever/g
  • But who would be held accountable? the user? an advantage would be that people could prevent "bad" things from being saved on their hard drives that they wouldn't want to distribute (child porn and such). But yes, it would would put a damper on some of the advantages that freenet offers, although for most things it wouldn't even matter.
  • I think freenet will succeed for 2 reasons:

    1. No single point of failure

    2. Encryption

    International banks will love this. When it gets beyond version 1.0, they will start using it.
  • Howdy!

    And just how will they find out you are running a Freenet node?

    There have been many ideas tossed around on the Freenet mailing lists since this article appeared.

    First, Freenet randomly selects an unused port during setup. Will they PortScan from 1.1.1.1-254.254.254.254? and ports 1-65535?
    a) that will take forever, b) many admins will get pissed at them.

    Second, And more important,
    The article states on Page 2
    """People claim if you don't know the original provider on Freenet, you can't do anything," Hill
    said. "When all these people are running Freenet, we connect to each one of them, throw in a query and if a particular node responds to that key, we consider that IP address to be infringing. ""

    Well, Since the mere action of querying a node for a key can cause information not previously stored on that node to get a copy for it's use, this is Entrapment!! Illegal in all manners!

    Third, False nodes running on lower port numbers that may or may not be running on actual freenet node computers will cause an exessive amount of false-positives.

    Thnx,
    Fuller

    ps. Please subscribe to the Freenet mailing lists if you wish to know more about it!
    http://freenet.sourceforge.net
    or
    http://www.freenetproject.org
  • Howdy! There is currently at least 1 C(++) port of Freenet in active development. Also, there used to be a node in Python (IIRC) but it is still stuck in the 0.2 world of Freenet. It will be updated in the future most likely. Thnx, Fuller
  • true, but irc isn't on everybodys lips and it wasnt. my point is that you dont have to produce something that everyone in the world uses to achieve enough critical mass to get something accomplished. ICQ type popularity isn't necessary, and if they could get half of the people who currently use IRC they would have a sizeable userbase for their purposes.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Howdy!

    There is currently works in progress for some plugins for both IE and Netscape.

    oh, and the URI for anything is Freenet:KSK@index.html (or CHK or SSK or SVK) etc.

    Currently, FProxy is a decent interface for your browser!

    Thnx,
    Fuller
  • by Anonymous Coward
    just run freenet _ON_ the firewall. i had to do that with the matlab license server so people outside of our network could use it.

    That's got to be one of the most stupid comments I've seen anywhere in recent history! I take it that network security isn't your primary job.

    Also, how would I run Freenet on a Cisco PIX?

  • "it is a shame you do not want to do anything about the problem you so skillfully pointed out."

    Yes, it's a shame that not everybody is a programmer. I'm not a programmer, does that mean I can't voice my opinion on Freenet? Everyone has money (to varying amounts) they can donate to charity, but not everybody knows enough C or Java or perl to contribute to an OSS project.

    Call me crazy, but Ian Clarke's statement smacks of elitism.

    --
  • No Sale.
    He needs to fix one of these complaints, which would help the other problems, but doesn't. How long has freenet been going? Quite a while. The 10 year linux comparison is BS. Thats a f*cking OS not peer to peer file sharing program.
    It is impossible to use. It's like dialysis. The only reason you would use it is if you desperatly needed it.
    His response was, "Of course its easy to use. Just start posting all your problems on the newsgroup and within several hours of each post, you'll get a response. So all combined it will take you 2 days of fucking with it, just so you can do a search on a system that has no content."
    I am 100% behind the idea of freenet. Hell, I am a java programmer and offered serveral times to help them. (Never got a response.) But there are some serious problems with their development scheme or managment there of, for this thing to be so unfinished after so long.
  • Java does suck. The only reason I don't run Freenet on my firewall is because my firewall is an outdated machine with only 64MB of RAM. This is fine for BIND and SQUID, but the IBM JRE sucks up the RAM like a whore.

    I recently added 100MB of swap just so I could run the freenet-server, I had to do requests from another machine though.

  • Therein lies your arrogance I didn't know that an open minded constructed critique would render me as arrogant. How American of me.

    I didn't assume anything I pointed out what I see as a slight pitfall in SourceForge's architecture, the inconsistencies of capitalizing on great ideas often to be sneered by those who do not fully understand how good of an alternative OpenSource is as compared to pre-packaged, overhyped products. Many of these open source ideas which end up on the chopping block never to be removed from sites like SourceForge provide fuel to the fire of commercial entities who claim that openSource cannot rival a product of theirs which is why people should dish out money for x package.

    Sure they're not obligated to do anything and no one should expect them to, however where does the line get drawn in an effort to make sure expencies aren't raised to "The Next Best Thing..." only to be hindered by once again, a half assed developed venture?

  • Yeah, but are we really running a business-oriented server here? And what about servents like Napster and the Gnutella clones?

    (In the past... *checks ntop* 10 days I've spent... ooer, $408.50. That's about $200 US)
  • Windows is commercial software, as such you have *paid* for it and justifiably complain when X or Y does not work. However, none of the projects in SourceForge are commercially orientated, as such, they are developed by people in their spare time. These people don't get payment for the time they spend in these projects. Again, Im not saying people should refrain from criticising OSS projects if they feel the need. However,just because you think a project is a white elephant does not mean it is worthless. Critisism is only worthwhile when there is a clear objective. When people start berating certain projects on SourceForge, one can only assume their objective is to see these projects given up on.
  • That hurts. That hurts on the inside.
  • I read your reply here and your other grumpy post further down
    Slashdot makes me grumpy, comments are often full of misconceptions presented as fact.
    I have never heard of KSK@Aardvark before your post, and it is not mentioned in your FAQ.
    no, but it is linked prominently in the "Help" section of the Freenet gateway as a way to find keys in Freenet, this suggests that you haven't tried the 0.3.6 release, or if you have, you didn't read the few brief paragraphs intended to help you. Besides, even if there were no good key-indexes right now, the fact that they may exist in the future is a refutation of your original criticism which is that a piece of content cannot be located in Freenet without being told its key through insecure out-of-band means.
    consequently I have no idea what is KSK@Aardvark or really what you are going on about with offering hyperlinking in place of automated indexing.
    Er, hyperlinking is not a replacement for automated indexing, but it is an alternative way to find information - such was the intent of the original World Wide Web.

    Further, I don't recall accusing anyone of being an idiot for making a constructive suggestion about how Freenet's usability could be improved, in fact, I do my best to encourage this. Could you perhaps provide some evidence of this?

    As for our "add it on later handwaving" about searching, do you suppose that when version 1.0 of Linux was released, it contained every feature that might be implemented at some point in the future? Software is built in stages, it doesn't make sense to implement searching in Freenet before the lower-level stuff is working well. As for "great things having all their legs architected at the get-go", where was Gnome architected in Linux at the get-go? Sure there was room for it to be implemented, just as there is room in Freenet for searching, but we can't do everything at once, and would fail if we tried.

    --

  • ...is what makes it, for me at least, unusable. I've tried it, and I downloaded a few things, but it was just too cumbersome to present a real p2p solution for me.

    Note that when I tried this was a while back, and if an easier GUI has come along, feel free to point me towards it.

    --Psi

    Max, in America, it's customary to drive on the right.

  • I think you're right. It will only gain mass appeal when people can configure and use it easily.

    What about adding freenet as a protocol to web-browsers, so you could type

    fnet://
    some_freenet_key
    to access content? Would this be hard to implement?
  • This wasn't a node - it was a client library named freenetlib. How do I know this - I was one of its two authors. I've been slowly (I'm often quite busy) working with the other person who worked with me on freenetlib and another person on its successor, Freenet-Python. Freenet-Python was in the recent past ripped apart because the first version of Freenet-Python only supported KSKs and wasn't very easy to use or to extend to support all key types.

  • What will ultimately kill Freenet is not ease of use, lack of searching, or technical problems, although these problems are certainly significant and potential killers. What will ultimately doom it is lack of interest.

    For Freenet to be really successful, it must have a critical mass of servers to store and distribute the load. But this requires popularity, and Freenet is just not going to be that interesting to the average person.

    For a software system (whatever it is) to become very popular, it must fill an untapped need. Consider Napster -- Napster became popular not because it had a good interface (it doesn't), or that it's great software engineering (it isn't), but because it fulfilled a burning need: A source for MP3 files.

    What need does Freenet fulfill? Primary a perceived need on the part of the engineers for privacy and anonymity. Now, this is probably a significant need for places like China, but this is exactly the place where Freenet is not going to get a lot of servers. In places like the US, the vast majority of people do not perceive a need for Freenet.

    In other words, the intensity of the need is inversely proportional to the ability to provide server space and bandwidth.

    I understand Freenet's purpose, but I personally have zero interest in contributing. And I think Freenet is going to find that there are lot less paranoids out there than they think. The fact is, strong encryption and the WWW filfills 99.9% of Freenet's goals.


    --

  • Now, this is probably a significant need for places like China, but this is exactly the place where Freenet is not going to get a lot of servers.
    Exactly. I'd love to hear of even one example of a case where virtuous political dissidents in a really repressive country like China used p2p technology to accomplish something positive.

    What need does Freenet fulfill?
    I wonder if we're reaching a point where people are getting so fed up with the unbalanced state of intellectual property law that they'll just go ahead and destroy it. Never in history have copyright terms been so long. Never in history has it been so easy to grab a patent on an obvious technique. Never in history have people been so afraid of getting their butts sued by a big corporation over some alleged IP infringement. Maybe Napster was the first sign that the walls were crumbling, and that ordinary people were getting pissed off. Maybe the dissidents Freenet will serve are dissidents in the developed countries, not China.

  • Almost noone uses it.
    People start using it for illegal things.
    It becomes popular.
    Simultaniously -
    It becomes massively overloaded.
    It is harshly litigated against.
    It fizzles.
    Almost noone uses it.

    Cycnics`R`Us,
    FatPhil


    -- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards
  • Hi there. I don't understand what you mean at all! I am trying to learn Java, and I am doing so on Linux, and I haven't had any great difficulties with getting things to work on it.

    Java fits in well to the Unix tradition that goes back to 1969 - I bet people were saying the same thing as you in the mid 1970's regarding programs written in C.

    Anyhoo, the Freenet project seems like a very good idea. It is a sort of counterculture movement, and hopefully, if the internet becomes dominated by big business, there will always be Freenet for the likes of us.

    Don't be so defeatist! Have some optimism, it is the only way in a grim world :-)

  • All you need is a "freedom web site" where you accept submissions from anyone and post them. Boom! You're done.

    I don't know about this. Everytime you goto say /. apache writes down your ip address/the time you stopped by/and what you saw. If you are behind the great firewall o china it can do the same because it must translate the requests for you to get through. the same applies to carnivor (sp?). if it really exsists (a paranoia thing) then everytime you access slashdot they know. i dont know how freenet will attempt to get around this, but it is an important aspect of freenet.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Errr . . . oops. I was thinking this was a Linux discussion, for some reason. I need more sleep.
  • It's nice you have an opinion, and you should feel free to express it. However, the people that runs the projects at sourceforge are perfectly entitled to do so. You may think that many of them are wasting their time, fair enough, but I don't see what you acheive by giving sourceforge a wholesale berating.

  • Nobody is saying you should ignore anything. However, given that freenet is an OSS project, towards which you admit you contribute nothing, I don't think you -or anyone else not contributing- should be throwing too many stones.

  • oh i'm sorry could you point out where i said you couldn't have an opinion?

    all i said is that your time would be better spent fixing the problem than complaining about it. that is of course my opionion... which does not negate yours.
    FreeNet dev. is slow.
    im glad to see you have found a problem

    I'm not involved in FreeNet dev.
    it is a shame you do not want to do anything about the problem you so skillfully pointed out.

    Those two facts do not cancel each other out.
    i would only condsider the second point to be a fact. the first is what we call your opinion [dictionary.com]

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Linux didn't start out with two million lines of code either. It was more like, 200 000, perhaps even less.

    Oh, the fond memories of FTP'ing a complete SLS distro on 25 floppy's.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With all this talk about FreeNet only being for the truly paranoid, what about it's affect on system security?

    "2.2. Requirements for Operating a Freenet Server

    The following requirements are applicable only if you want to run a productive Freenet server. None of them is needed to use one of the clients or to test/develop with local dummy servers (see section 5.1)

    A permanent Internet connection
    A static IP address
    No Firewall or Proxy between your machine and the Internet "
    http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=install at ion

    No firewall or proxy?! So you gain in anonymity but lose in security? What happens when there is a possible attack against someone after the key is found? You don't have their IP true, but that doesn't mean you cannot attack them.

    Freenet is interesting indeed, but I'm not sure I like it's tradeoffs.
  • The marginally philanthropic start to notice the increased load, and decide that they aren't so philanthropic any more.
    This is a good doomsday scenario, but I don't think it will happpen. My understanding is that each Freenet node decides how much storage to allocate, and when demand for storage exceeds supply (which should be always, once the system is really functioning) the least popular bits of data get dropped.
    So much for data density. As for load, I'm not sure what the effect of changing network size is on each node in the network. Remember that lower data density doesn't necessarily lower the load because requests are routed through many machines before reaching a machine that holds the requested data. And of course the response is similarly routed.
    If I were slightly more ambitious I'd look in Ian's paper and see if he's modelled this curve.
  • I like the 'talk' program, thankyouverymuch.

    When I want to chat online with friends, I give them an account on my W2K box, which has Interix installed on it. They telnet in and run 'talk' from the command prompt. Nope, if I don't know you, you're not gonna get a logon, obviously...

    Yes, with Interix installed on an NT box, any number (within reason) of users can log onto your NT box to a /bin/csh prompt and run programs like 'talk'.
  • What need does Freenet fulfill? Primary a perceived need on the part of the engineers for privacy and anonymity.
    As I see it, Freenet will permit the exchange of information without censorship. Currently every country censors information deemed undesirable by the ruling elites. I think that anonymity is mainly a means to this end. Freenet won't help the severely repressive countries like China, but it will make free countries more free.
    In places like the US, the vast majority of people do not perceive a need for Freenet.
    Did people perceive a need for Napster before it came along? Because Napster is going away, or rather becoming a subscription service whose content is censored by BMG. In the future, bandwidth will permit easy downloading of first-run movies. Do you see that happening on the web?
    When you look at the progress of the Internet since '94 for example, the amazing thing is that so much of the information people want is not on the internet. Because of laws and lawyers. Freenet may solve that.
  • I disagree. Freenet is as/more interesting as Gnutella, or Napster. It's the same thing with a couple of layers added, including ananimity(sp?). It would be incredibly popular the world over.
    If you fixed the ease of use, OR speed, OR searching, you would be able to achieve that critical mass of content, but for some inexplicable reason, he continues to wallow in the murky pre-alpha useless stage that keeps people away in droves, and only offers talk about how great it is. Yes, it is a great idea, GET THE G*D D*MNED THING WORKING! I have no doubt that there is a lot of very hard work going on on the project, but like many engineer managed projects, its a f*cking perpetual motion machine without a start button, a window to see it work, or a handle for the average joe to use it.
  • Hmm, 'open-minded, constructive critique' , I must have read a different comment

  • Yeah, you're right. Run experimental server software that's in early development on my firewall.

    What a nifty suggestion!
  • Hear, hear. And let me add another point from the article that most seemed to miss. I'm seeing a lot of criticism about there not being a "killer-app", or about there not being a good way to search, or about it not having X feature that's already supplied elsewhere.

    People, this is a platform. Freenet will supply a method of doing things. We haven't seen anything that will be done with this yet. The internet didn't spring to life fully formed with eBay, Yahoo, Google, Slashdot, etc. and we're still exploring what can be done with it. Freenet's no different. Right now it's a pre-beta project with some good ideas built into it. There's no way we can see yet what will be done with it.

    So chill out. If you can contribute code, do so. If you can think of ways the protocol can be exploited, talk about them. If the best you can come up with is "Napster already does this", please, shut the hell up, because you obviously don't understand what it's about.

  • This would have been nicely ironic, were it not for the fact that I do work on freenet code. As it is, you just look rather stupid!

  • Java the fully working and transparent VM behind the scenes of every real Winblows/Linux/BSD/BeOS/Solaris is a figment of Java developers' imaginations.

    What are you getting at? So it has bugs - so does every other platform! Never mind cross-platform, even Windows doesn't run consistently on all hardware configurations! So your point is what? Details please.

    [You can remedy such failures so easily with VM defaults but you don't. Why? --- A question to the Java community.]

    What the hell are you talking about? As for CLASSPATH issues, for example, I think you'll find Java Web Start is one way of solving that problem. It certainly isn't an inherent limitation of Java, so what's your point?

  • You are concentrating too much on the word "Free" in Freenet. There is another problem Freenet is trying to solve. The concept of decentralizing information alone is enough to use Freenet. If freenet has enough users then it would be really cool to get a lot of content fast from other users in your isp (who are freenet nodes) for example. I don't want to regurgitate freenet.sourceforge.net. You probably get my point.

    kirk
  • Yes, it's a shame that not everybody is a programmer. I'm not a programmer, does that mean I can't voice my opinion on Freenet? Everyone has money (to varying amounts) they can donate to charity, but not everybody knows enough C or Java or perl to contribute to an OSS project.

    depending on the country you live in you can voice your opinion about anything you want. voicing your opinion about a problem is really pointless unless you are willing to do something about it. you dont have to be a programmer to contribute to a oss project. you can contribute by:

    submitting detailed bug reports

    providing documentation

    design a support

    i believe the free software foundation takes donations.
    to name a few.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

  • The last few releases have come with something called "FProxy" which acts as a proxy between your web browser and Freenet. Freenet is now as easy to use as putting a few lines of text into an HTML field. I assume you know how to figure that out or you couldn't post to Slashdot :)

    FProxy also brings up an interesting solution to using Debian's Apt-get over Freenet (which is what I'm working on), since FProxy has to send stuff to the browser via HTTP and Apt-get already understands HTTP.


    ------

  • I can understand that the leader is feeling a bit moaned at and undervalued, the stuff does work at the heart of it and he and the other people working on it do deserve credit for it.

    As some who is working on stuff over Freenet (through the new Everything Over Freenet project; check it out at eof.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]) and has been on the mailing lists for about a year, I can tell you that most of the developers and mailing list regs hate Freenet's publicity. The project really hasn't accomplished that much and the media is screaming over it.

    The problem that they don't seem to have addressed in their efforts to dodge censorship is that they will ultimately make the posession and propogation of the key names themselves illegal, undoing all of the good work they have planned for. For example, it will be the posession or use of the key name ''secrets/food/soylent green'' that will be used to repress people who might like to look up the document belonging to the key.

    This is actualy already solved to some extent. Let me give a crash course on the types of keys on Freenet (a more complete list is at http://www.freenetproject.org/index.php?page=keys [freenetproject.org]) :

    KHK--These were deprecated in 0.3 and replaced by KSKs (see bellow) due to similar problems that you described above. KSKs now do the same job (i.e., have a guessable, human-readable string for a key name), but much more securly.

    KSK--Provides a human-readable, guessable key. Despite being more secure then KHKs, they are not as secure as CHKs (see bellow). Its suggested use is as a redirect to a CHK. This is accomplished by setting the CLI option "-autoRedirect" for inserts to "yes". That is also the default behavior for FProxy.

    CHK--Is not human-readable. Instead, its a cryptographic hash of the data inside.

    There are a few others, such as SVK and SSK, but they're not as important for this disccusion (see the link above for more detials on them if you're interested).

    So, lets say KSK@how-to-build-a-nuke.txt (note: Freenet URIs are formed like this: keytype@key) is a redirect to CHK@fjdskalf879934q2823rl,ekf;qnieof (I don't think I have the correct number of charecters for the CHK's crypto hash, I just type it randomly, but it doesn't matter). If a given node operator has their house broken into by Them and their node searched for a specific key name, they may find the KSK name, but that doesn't mean the operator was actualy holding that key (its just like a link on the web . . . oh no [2600.com] :). Nor does it mean that he had requested the data, much less had been the one to put it there in the first place.

    There are a few things that Freenet needs to get rid of, but was known all along that they were just crutches to be gotten out of latter. The first is key indecies, which list names of keys. The second is inform.php, which is how a new node discovers other nodes already in the network. The latter will require being replaced by searching, and the former will be replaced by "discovery probes". The inform.php is the more serious of the two and will probably be fixed first (should be in 0.5 at the latest). Searching is a lower priority so it may not be touched until we get closer to 1.0 (some predict even longer, others a lot shorter. I think it will be there in 0.5).


    ------

  • The article addressed this issue. Even now, Freenet is a web of hyperlinked pages, you don't need to find out about each page individually - you can just go to an index (such as "KSK@Aardvark") and navigate to whatever page you like from there. Unless *every* key in Freenet is made illegal (somewhat unlikely) you will always be able to find your way into the web and navigate to what you are looking for, just as with the WWW.

    --

  • No, but they don't care. Although technically banned, they often overlook stuff that is mainly used as a client like ICQ, FTP, Napster, etc. since they usually aren't running 24/7 and are used to download more than serve. The 15k/s upload cap reinforces the policy too. FWIW, running Gnutella 24/7, even if no files are offered, the search requests alone are enough to put me over the maximum download limit for the month. Fuckers. Optus, you suck. Telescum, you suck too.
  • What's wrong with /. these days? *Some* of these posts are a little disturbing, it a work in progress and a damm fine idea, please try and be supportive.

    I read the info on freenet when it was first announced and thought "great idea, hope it works out". Now it seems there is code behind the idea, I'm going to do my tiny bit to help, I got a machine here with a load of freedisk space that's always online so I'm setting up a node. I've also got a box at work with a lot of free space and massive bandwidth (I work for a large ISP) so, that's getting a node installed too.

    No content, no users? Its just a catch 22 situation but as the software is free, download it and run a node. Regardless of the other pieces of the pie that freenet *currently* doesn't have, running a node will help. Once there is a large enough network, the content, the extra developers and the users will come. As well as the warez traders & kiddie fiddlers no doubt but hey, there on the net already.

    Do ya bit, run a node.
  • 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.

    There are alot of people jumping on the open source bandwagon who are wanting something of quality, that is free and they want it quickly. you can can always get two of the three, but which do you settle for. this applies to those who would criticize slow release times. the source is there if you want it quicker please spend your effort contributing and not complaining.

    i personally prefer free and high quality.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • dude, screw the lurkers.. we think you're doin' a great job and if any of these people had ever experienced the slightest amount of censorship they would think so too. Keep up the good work.
  • I think that a lot of people ARE paranoid, but are too lazy to do something like this to take care of it... Most people figure that normal routes taking to secure information is enough... I honestly don't care enough about anything to want to go through all that trouble. Then again, I am terribly lazy.
  • For Freenet to be really successful, it must have a critical mass of servers to store and distribute the load. But this requires popularity, and Freenet is just not going to be that interesting to the average person.

    IRC is pretty popular, and it doesnt appeal much to the average person. If freenet can acheive half the popularity of irc it will do fine.

    I understand Freenet's purpose, but I personally have zero interest in contributing. And I think Freenet is going to find that there are lot less paranoids out there than they think. The fact is, strong encryption and the WWW filfills 99.9% of Freenet's goals.

    considering one of the primary goals of freenet is anonimity (sp?) id ont think that the www and encryption cover that.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Democracy doesn't work.. tell us something new. But if you've got a better idea, we'd all like to see the plan.
  • you could spend some time and learn the "code-fu" if you truely wanted to help. A lot of people don't know how to give injections but a small minority learn that skill and save thousands of children's lives in third world countries. It's really up to you.
  • The info at that link suggests that the C++ implementation is not available except to developers:

    Don't think about installing Whiterose yet, unless you are interrested in developing it. If so mail <agl@linuxpower.org>.

    The bit about working against only particular versions of the Java-based node is worrying, as it suggests that non-Java implementations will always be trailing the Java one as some kind of "master reference". There needs to be an implementation-independent Freenet spec available so that development of non-Java versions can proceed without reference to the Java one, otherwise tail-chasing is going to make the job of alternative developers a never-ending and thankless one, subservient to the whims of the Java-based developers.
  • Peer to peer issues arise becuase, let's face it, the majority of internet users really don't know how to do that much with a computer these days. Especially in the home market.

    Take your family (i'll take mine for this example):

    Dad, early adopter of technology, but a bit slow to pick it up. Still has patience to pick up and read manual. Will eventually learn it if it's something that is useful and more functional than his current modus operandi

    Mom, uses it because she can email friends - still a novelty to her. Has some patience, but gets pissed when it just doesn't work right (e.g. Netscape 6 email client)

    Me - piss off parents by knowing key commands within 10 minutes of using any software. Regularly think it's in the best interests of the family to overhaul machines.

    Sister - "Where's the power switch?!?" mention the word "RAM" and she just says "I just want to type papers and surf the net damnit!!!"

    Little brother- knows the key commands in five minutes. Damn tech kid

    So the issue is that a piece of software needs to be easily usable to a wide variety of netizens. It needs to be invisible to the user. They should say "give me this" and there it should be. Napster does this fairly well, and with such a large user base, especially in the college level, it's easier for someone who is more like my sister to have a friend teach them what to do in a short amount of time.

    Freenet won't be sucessful until it can make that interaction layer invisible. As much as I'd love to see a console spitting off commands as I implement them in the GUI, most users have no desire or use for this. They don't want to know WHY their car works, they just want it to work. And they don't care why it broke down, just fix it already.

    Sad to say, but most users out there expect computers to be like cars, but know at the same time that a crash is only a keystroke away.

    On that note, File, save.


    // john athayde
    # x@boboroshi.com
    # http://www.boboroshi.com/
  • by warmcat ( 3545 ) on Sunday December 31, 2000 @05:38AM (#1425960)
    I had a good look at Freenet the other week; so far they have done a nice job on an interesting project. I can understand that the leader is feeling a bit moaned at and undervalued, the stuff does work at the heart of it and he and the other people working on it do deserve credit for it.

    The problem that they don't seem to have addressed in their efforts to dodge censorship is that they will ultimately make the posession and propogation of the key names themselves illegal, undoing all of the good work they have planned for. For example, it will be the posession or use of the key name ''secrets/food/soylent green'' that will be used to repress people who might like to look up the document belonging to the key.

    For this reason they will have to end up with a searchable filespace with an end-to-end encrypted Freenet Google equivalent. Then people can nudge-nuge wink-wink about soylent and cause people to perform research using Freenet rather than have to deliver discrete ''freenet URLs''.

    (PS Reality Master 101, you're such a Karma whore)
  • There is working code available. There are even Debian packages available.

    So, piss off.

    --
    "Where, where is the town? Now, it's nothing but flowers!"
  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Sunday December 31, 2000 @10:44AM (#1425967) Homepage Journal
    The fact is, strong encryption and the WWW filfills 99.9% of Freenet's goals.
    Really? Freenet's first goal is to provide anonymity for the publisher of information. The WWW doesn't provide that (regardless of encryption) since you always know where the information is coming from. Freenet's second goal is to provide anonymity for the reader of informaiton. The WWW doesn't provide that as graphically demonstrated by companies like Doubleclick (regardless of encryption). Freenet's third goal is to be more efficient than the WWW. The WWW clearly doesn't fulfill this goal. So as far as I can tell, the WWW fulfills 0% of Freenet's goals.

    --

  • ...because your comment is exactly the type of thing it is complaining about.

    --

  • I'm sick of all the people whining about how "freenet is hard to use, that's why it's unpopular" or "Java sucks! Wah Waaah Wah!" or, the MOST common, "Napster/Gnutella already does this, why should they bother?"

    Freenet is not just a program, its laying the groundwork for a *standard* to anonymously use and contribute to the Internet. Its a platform, folks, not just an application. Think about it, freenet can be used for more than just your standard war3z, pr0n, and mp3z that currently populate Napster and Gnutella. In the future, you could use it for anything from web browsing, to whatever your imagination can create. All that stands in the way is your willingness and ability to code new and different ways of using the Freenet protocol. And that's what the Freenet Project needs right now, anyway.

    So please, stop whining and start helping instead, if it interests you enough to complain.
  • What I meant is that the usual reason for anonymity is political persecution. Strong encryption pretty much solves that problem, a lot easier than Freenet.

    Bollocks[TM]

    Strong encryption does nothing to protect you against traffic analysis, and in a totalitarian state traffic analysis alone is going to be enough to convict you. You send email to someone who sends email to some known dissident? Case closed.

    Freenet does defend against traffic analysis at least to a degree (how effective this is I'm not really certain). So for people in totalitarian states, Freenet together with things like the steganographic file system [cam.ac.uk] offers plausibly deniable access to data and plausibly deniable storage of data. How successful this would be as an information-sharing system for dissidents is hard to say, but provided people are allowed real control over real computers (and the ability to load and configure their own software without supervision), and so long as those computers are connected to packet-switched networks over which it's possible to route encrypted (or steganographic) packets, it looks as if it would be unstoppable.

    Of course, as soon as people start being arrested merely for owning a computer with software the authorities haven't authorised, or merely for sending a packet the authorities don't understand over a network, this all falls to pieces.

  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Sunday December 31, 2000 @11:12AM (#1425973) Homepage Journal
    I must say I generally get quite depressed when I read slashdot comments on Freenet. Not only are many articles ill-informed, but they are the ones that get moderated up!

    Right now, the top-most article - "But seraching is the key" - is by someone who doesn't seem to grasp the concept of hyperlinking (something I specifically mention in the article). The second article is by someone who doesn't think that there is a market for freedom of speech ("Freenet's biggest flaw..."). Fortunately, below that there is some more positive stuff.

    It reminds me of a story I heard about the difference between the Irish, and the Americans:

    In America people look up at the wealthy guy who lives on top of the hill, and say "some day, I am going to be like him".

    In Ireland, people look up at the wealthy guy who lives on top of the hill, and say "some day, I am going to kill that rich bastard".

    I think that if you swapped the average slashdot reader for the Irish in that story, it would be equally true.

    --

  • Firstly take your bloody AC mask off. Are you embarassed by what you have said?

    I fully understand the meaning of 'security through obscurity' as it is commonly used.
    Notice how I deliberately _didn't_ use the phrase.

    Yes, read my post, I do NOT use that phrase.

    Then I suggest you look up 'obscure' in a dictionary -
    "to conceal, to hide" or similar.
    The data on freenet _is_ hidden. It is _concealed_. It is _obscured_. That's the point of it!

    Notice also that I was only talking about the _distributed_ nature. The static model, and the communications protocols (the crypto) weren't being addressed at all.

    I stand by what I said.

    FatPhil
    -- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards
  • by Lonesmurf ( 88531 ) on Sunday December 31, 2000 @05:46AM (#1425978) Homepage
    I'm not so sure that you are right.

    Something that really caught me eye when I read the article was that the author was not pushing Freenet as some sort of application, but more as a platform (or, as I understand it a protocol) that applications can be built on top of.

    You are right in the assumption that for Freenet to take off, it must garner a certain level of critical mass by having a 'killer app'. I think that you are wrong that Freenet does not have the chance to build this killer app. The fact of the matter is that the internet today is, as a general rule, moderately worthless as a repository for information. It is held back by lawyers, bad technology, stupid people, and time-suckers like slashdot (j/k about that last one.. ;-). I think that Freenet's biggest advantage is that it is a second chance to do a lot of things that the internet did badly the first time over again: like DNS and domain names, etc. I would love to see a system of DNS built on
  • While SourceForge provides a hell of a lot of nice ideas and schematics for some great tools, its sad to see efforts aren't followed through on a lot of those great ideas.

    it is funny you would type that on a message board system, that takes more hits a day than most hardcore hippies, and is also registered at sourceforge

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/slashcode/ [sourceforge.net]

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that

It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

Working...