RFC for a group to discuss decentralization

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From: Lucas Gonze (lucas@gonze.com)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 12:16:46 PDT

I wonder if there is a consensus to form a group or mailing list
specifically for discussing decentralization (a.k.a P2P). I see
this as a followup to the issues raised at Twist 2000.

For example:
* Is decentralization ever a good idea? If so, when? Is there
non-anecdotal evidence of costs and benefits?
* What protocol issues are there? Can we begin assembling a good
protocol for decentralized messaging? To what degree do the
protocols for Freenet, Gnutella or WorldOS meet the need (and how
do they fail)? Do we need an application protocol or something
lower level? Can HTTP do the job? Can we implement peer routing
as an add-on to existing protocols? Is there a call to develop
an IETF working group?
* Given that authoring and versioning are critical but hard in a
decentralized environment, how can we approach the job? Is it
possible to integrate WebDAV with peer networking?
* What are the business issues? Who are the players? Who else
stands to win or lose, and why?

At present many people and groups are working on the issues in
isolation, some for competitive reasons and others for lack of an
alternative. My belief is that a communal approach will be more

In hope that there will be interest, I have created a list
accessible at http://www.egroups.com/group/decentralization.

- Lucas Gonze

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