[Freedombox-discuss] [Builders] FreedomNode - existing systems

Nick M. Daly nick.m.daly at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 03:23:16 UTC 2012

Apologies for the delay in the reply, it's been a bit of a long day.
I'm also pulling in the FBX mailing list on this so they can weigh in
and correct my many mistakes.  I don't think I'll say this well, because
I'm too close to Santiago to present an unbiased opinion.

On Wed, 07 Mar 2012 01:11:36 -0600, Charles N Wyble wrote:
> So there are some existing systems that seem pretty close to what the
> FreedomNode/Box is supposed to do.
> ...http://www.thepiratebox.net/
> ...http://wiki.hacdc.org/index.php/Byzantium

I'll speak only to what I know, and I don't know the box or Byzantium.
The Pirate Box could be a self-built DreamPlug alternative, but that's
less attractive for the mass-marketable goal of the FBX.  Both appear to
be projects worth learning from, though.  I'll leave it up to others to
defend building the FBX on Debian, but they have an good track record
for defending and promoting the fundamental freedoms of software.

> http://retroshare.sourceforge.net/

We actually discussed RS during the hackfest a bit.  It does many things
interestingly, but doesn't seem to offer the performance or connectivity
the FBX is looking for.  I also don't know how strenuously the code's
been audited.

It seems that RS was written with different constraints in mind.  It
tends to do too much in a few different ways:

RS verifies the signature on every single piece of data.  This could
well swamp a DreamPlug.  Also, RS makes so many connections at any one
time that household routers get overwhelmed.  I'd test its performance
on my DreamPlug, but it has no web interface (yet; it's in progress).

> Doesn't retroshare already do what santaigo plans to do? Not sure if we
> should be writing new software.

RS offers more than a connectivity layer, while Santiago is designed to
be a discovery layer with interchangeable protocol and routing layers.
My dream would be to see Santiago transmit over Briar.  We gain an
incredible amount of flexibility by splitting discovery and routing
while RS integrates, locking us into their implementation of each

Long story short, it's operating at a different layer.  Santiago offers
discovery for any service while RS offers a complete package for their
set of services.

> I'm a systems/integration engineer. I try to avoid writing new
> software when possible. Plenty of existing solutions that can be
> integrated to bring something to end users quickly.

I think Santiago might have different discovery concerns than almost
anything out there, aside from Phantom.  Unfortunately, Phantom has a
generally unusable license (as discussed on the FBX mailing list a year
ago) and might handle more than just discovery.  I do mean to review the
Phantom's research paper, though, it's quite well thought out from what
I remember.

You might enjoy Santiago's readme, though.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 835 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/freedombox-discuss/attachments/20120307/b2cb8d53/attachment.pgp>

More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list