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[Freedombox-discuss] Store-and-forward is a necessity

On Wed, 2 Mar 2011, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <luke.leighton at gmail.com> wrote:

> just some random comments along similar lines:
> * like UUCP, SMTP was also designed to be resilient in the face of
> significant disconnects and down-time.  many people forget this due to
> its abuse for spam... :)  (no, you do not have to use SMTP _just_ for
> transferring mail, as we well know.  i say this explicitly to avoid
> any assumptions that i have said "yes!  use SMTP!  And Only For
> Email!")
> * nmbd (part of samba) - actually RFC1001 and RFC1002 - has the
> problem of disappearing unreliable hosts solved for... decades.  it's
> just not very well understood or appreciated that that's nmbd does.
> doing peer-to-peer multi-LAN host detection and communicating host
> availability network-wide is f*****g hard to get right.  back in
> 1997-9 at the CIFS conferences, we found that EVERY single implementor
> of RFC1001/1002 takes about THREEEE years to get the implementation
> correct.  INCLUDING microsoft themselves! apt-cache show samba
> *avahi is a piece of shit by comparison to what nmbd can do: it's just
> that everyone, when they hear the words "microsoft" and "network
> neighbourhood", turns their back on nmbd, pulls their trousers down
> and strains mightily to heave out a steaming turd in its general
> direction, rather than recognise the value of what nmbd has provided.
> think about this: DESPITE completely ignorant computer users
> completely screwing up their network configurations, systems based
> around the "network neighbourhood" _still_ work... :)
> * n2n is a peer-to-peer Layer 2 VPN (similar to openvpn).  its only
> flaw is that it requires all parties to agree a "key", and no
> mechanism has been provided to "negotiate" such a key. apt-cache show
> n2n
> * babel is a mathematically-provably-correct routing algorithm that
> can be used to replace BGP.  every system participates in the routing,
> and there is no dependence on any one given system.  apt-cache show
> babeld
> also... hah!  it looks like there is something on top of babeld,
> called ahcpd - wooow.  i hadn't heard of that one, before, until
> today.
> so - just food for thought: the pieces of the puzzle, to provide
> resilient large-scale networking and communications infrastructure,
> even in the face of absolutely zero "central servers", are beginning
> to appear.
> and the nice thing is - these are all debian packages.
> the only thing i _haven't_ been able to find is a peer-to-peer DNS
> service, but i beliieeeeve that there is someone working on that.  ok.
> they were _supposed_ to be: http://groups.google.com/group/dns-p2p -
> ahh, actually someone's made an effort:
> https://github.com/Mononofu/P2P-DNS
> so.  there exists solid, real-world debian packages for the basics
> behind the networking. as debian packages.  that's really good.
> l.

I have glanced at the documentation of the remarkable work of
Zooko O'Whielacronx and the Tahoe team:




may help us to produce a system of encrypted
file-transfer/email/general-over-the-Net-communication which
meets my standard constraint:

   Two people who have Net connected computers behind
   NAT/fire/proxy walls can spend ten minutes on the phone and set
   up the link; only one of the two need have heard of the link
   software before the telephone call.


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