Re: Ideas on how to change Napster.

From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 09:49:39 PST

Adam Rifkin wrote:

> Then again, there's no reason Napster couldn't be a Web app as long
> as everyone who plays is willing to run their own Web server. (I think
> this is a Dave Winer idea. Would it be so hard for the average citizen
> to run their own Web server? Probably, in a world of NATs and firewalls
> and paranoia about exposing one's own desktop.)

The problem with just a Web server is that you would want
writable data, download management, dynamic naming, and a better
view into user's folders. This is the same web publishing
problem from long ago. Why do users have to download mp3's
using a browser and have to update their mp3's using FTP or
the local file system? How do they sync their music repositories
or smaller playlists between their home, work, laptop, iPAQ,
Uproar, and car radio?

Also, there's this whole DAV versus SOAP thing going on in the

For a DAV copy request...(courtesy of Art Hitomi)

COPY /container/ HTTP/1.1
Depth: infinity Content-Type: text/xml; charset="utf-8“
Content-Length: xxxx

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<d:propertybehavior xmlns:d="DAV:">

DAV copy response...

HTTP/1.1 207 Multi-Status
Content-Type: text/xml; charset="utf-8"
Content-Length: xxxx
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<d:multistatus xmlns:d="DAV:">
<d:status>HTTP/1.1 412 Precondition Failed</d:status>

SOAP request....(yes, character hardlines and formatting
courtesy of MSFT and preserved for posterity).

POST /Container/ HTTP/1.1 Host: Content-Type: text/xml;
charset="utf-8" Content-Length: nnnn SOAPAction:
"Some-URI" <SOAP-ENV:Envelope   xmlns:SOAP-ENV=""   SOAP-ENV:encodingStyle="">    <SOAP-ENV:Body>        <m:Copy
xmlns:m="Some-URI">            <destination>
          </destination>        </m:Copy>    </SOAP-ENV:Body> </SOAP-ENV:Envelope>

SOAP response....

HTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Type: text/xml; charset="utf-8" Content-Length:
nnnn <SOAP-ENV:Envelope   xmlns:SOAP-ENV=""   SOAP-ENV:encodingStyle=""/>    <SOAP-ENV:Body>        <m:Status
xmlns:m="Some-URI">            <Response-Code>200</Response-Code>        </m:Status>    </SOAP-ENV:Body> </SOAP-ENV:Envelope>

Now, even with a little cleanup and formatting, what is the attraction
of SOAP? What is it that you can do with SOAP that you can't do with a more
well-formed separation of concerns that DAV offers? Lets see, in SOAP, it
requires common logic, APIs, and technology including a sometimes language
specific binding on both sides of the wire, and:

  o It's difficult to query remote methods and services
  o You have to parse envelopes
  o It moves the logic from the protocol to the implementation

One of the reasons I've heard why SOAP is so popular is because
of XML-RPC and HTTP-based remote procedure calls. How hard is
it to take an XDR buffer and POST, PUT, GET, COPY, MOVE, HEAD, or
anything else to it?

You've essentially moved who has to deal with what from an extremely
flexible consensus of HTTP extensions agreed upon by a couple
of dozen companies right back to interoperability is only achievable
a priori.

So, are we going back to a day where my glue is better
than your glue? If this is Winer's world, thank gawd I don't
have to live in it. Is this all we have to look forward to? [1]

> In a world where everyone runs their own Web server, searching basically
> amounts to Googling.

Evne better, a Google that every time any of the information changes,
it automatically gets indexed and pushed off to Google in their
own internal cache format.



> ----
> Adam@KnowNow.Com
> P2P is simply another step in the evolution of the internet, not the
> terrific buzz-worthy quantum leap that it's been hyped. This doesn't
> mean it's not interesting -- the opportunities made feasible when every
> computer is a server are potentially thrilling -- it just doesn't feel
> like the New New Thing.
> -- March 18, 2001

Gregory Alan Bolcer        |    | work: 949.833.2800
Chief Technology Officer   | | cell: 714.928.5476
Endeavors Technology, Inc. | efax: 603.994.0516     | wap:  949.278.2805

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