April 16, 2004

Sharing Files is still a "Hard App"

How hard can finance be? Real hard. Below is a snippet from techwatchers NTK (below) that reports on the state of simple file sharing amongst a bunch of mates.

Our own little efforts to add this feature to Ricardo were illuminating. It took me 3 days to write the protocol additions to SOX, add the storage into the existing backends, and confirm via self-tests. Ricardo is now fully capable of sharing files, encrypted, authenticated, and all that, across a bunch of, well, mates!

That just leaves the client. Whoops... it took me a week just to compile, due to a serialization bug (an oxymoron, if ever I heard it). Anyway, that part's done, and if I can just wade my way through a month of SWING, then we might be able to show file sharing done the Ricardo way.

Sum total: infrastructure wise, almost any app is easy in Ricardo. Client wise? That's where all the work is. Now read NTK, as if your weekend depends on it:


sufficiently advanced technology : the gathering

The big new (yet old) killer app this year is going to be a
some dinky little program that lets you easily and
selectively share individual files with groups and
sub-groups of your friends. It seems such a simple idea, but
given the number of Known Clever People struggling to
implement it, it has to be harder than it looks. The
Nullsoft guys tried it with WASTE, but that was too
crypto-tastic to succeed; Ximianites have adopted Novell's
iFolder as their effort, but that's still pre-alpha. Now
ex-Audiogalaxy staffers are working on FolderShare.
FolderShare has some of the right idea - it just sits in
the background, talking P2P with your mates, and silently
rsyncing their shared directories with yours. Weirdly it
requires a central logon, but still won't cope when you and
your friend are both behind NATs or firewalls; you'd think
having a central server, they'd be up for negotiating some
connections. The ACL stuff is still, in the way of ACLs,
confusingly powerful instead of usefully simple. It's also,
tragically, Windows only. It might yet grab the Napster
crown of reaching critical-mass usability, but there's still
a way to go.
http://www.foldershare.com/ - can't help feeling the hard part is a compelling UI
http://usefulinc.com/edd/blog/contents/2004/03/08-ifolder/read - uh-oh virtual file systems!
http://forge.novell.com/modules/xfmod/project/?ifolder - uh-oh C#!

Oh, and "Copying is fine, but include URL: http://www.ntk.net/ "

Posted by iang at April 16, 2004 12:25 PM | TrackBack

I2P (an anonymizing IP transport layer for clients and servers) is nearing a beta readiness. You might consider it for the transport layer to add an IP privacy function.

Posted by: Steve Schear at April 16, 2004 06:35 PM