Re: The ecosystem is moving

Ted Lemon <> Fri, 13 May 2016 20:00 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2016 15:59:17 -0400
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Subject: Re: The ecosystem is moving
To: Dave Crocker <>
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Yes, we could certainly do better.   I think you are mistaken about the
worldwide web, though.  Not only is it an example of a distributed database
of massive scope, but the various additional hops to which you referred are
specified in detail in many cases, not just ad-hoc.

I wonder if the reason you are so bearish on the worldwide web is that it's
not a _clean_ distributed database.   It's quite messy.   But best is the
enemy of good enough, and the www is certainly that.

On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 3:52 PM, Dave Crocker <> wrote:

> On 5/13/2016 11:20 AM, Ted Lemon wrote:
>> On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Dave Crocker <
>>     To date, we really only have two services that demonstrate open (ie,
>>     multi-administration) interoperability at Internet scale:  email and
>>     DNS.
> So, yes, I did intend my comment to be provocative and did suspect I was
> missing one or another service.  But I also messed up, by not making clear
> I was targeting open, /distributed/, /applications-level/ services. (And
> yes, for this kind of discussion, DNS is an application.)
> That is, I meant the qualifying test to be that there often is casual
> interoperability across a /sequence/ of independent administrations, and
> use by a very large fraction of the Internet.
> Alia's BGP reference was the biggest surprise -- thank you, Alia! --
> because I think it /does/ qualify and it hadn't occurred to me.
> The problem with all of the others cited above is that they aren't at used
> at scale or aren't really used with open, multi-hop interoperability.  Much
> of the list, above, is for lower-layer protocols.
> FTP and HTTP are simple, single-hop client/server mechanisms.  The latter
> is, of course, widely used, but it's a one-hop service.  (In reality, of
> course, the web has all sorts of additional hops, if one looks at content
> distribution, and other mechanisms, but they are behind the scenes and
> under tight control.)
> NNTP is a very nicely distributed service, but it is not used at scale.
> As I understand SIP use, the multi-hop mechanisms are another example of
> tightly-control operational prior arrangement, behind the scenes.  So it
> might qualify for "at scale" (though it might not) but it's operation isn't
> sufficiently open -- ie, permitting /casual/ interoperation.
> I'm a fan of xmpp/jabber, but it, too, simply hasn't attained sufficient
> 'at scale' use.
> Hence my slightly-modified claim that, other than email and DNS (and, yes,
> BGP), we have been strikingly unsuccessful at deploying new distributed
> application services and getting them to be successful at scale.
> d/
> --
>   Dave Crocker
>   Brandenburg InternetWorking