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Can someone enlighten me, what's the difference between GNUnet, Freenet and Retroshare?
There seem to be a big overlap with SSB and ipfs too.

@charlag the only common thread here is that they are p2p and some of them use a DHT. how technical a description are we talking?

@xj9 technical. Wonder why multiple incompatible things exist

@charlag I'm working on a multi part article that dives into the details and history, because there are a lot of them.

it boils down to "fully decentralized transport, identity, and storage" is a complex and difficult problem with no clear solution. as such, there is also insifficient consensus to develop a standard for this problem either. like, p2p internet is only in the research phase at this point in time so what you're looking at is a bunch of prototypes.

@charlag Cynical / pessimistic response: Because it's always nicer to start out in a greenfield project than to dive into something already existing and make it better. The latter in most cases sucks from a technical point of view but even more so from a community involvement point of view. That's why we're left with a bunch of solutions that are less than 60% complete and still unusable for the majority outside the tech / FLOSS bubble... 😟 See XMPP vs. Matrix, too.

@xj9

highly unhelpful joke response 

@charlag

I got it! they're all different words! :blobthinkingsmirk:

@charlag
Some of those are primarily for chat, some of them are mostly file storage, some try to do both without bias, probably with predictable results. They each have a distinct mathematical basis for what they do and distinct cultures that emerged in response to decisions made during early development

@charlag Retroshare is aimed at small groups and is mostly a self contained GUI application tho it can accept new applications as plugins.

Freenet was a big global network before pivoting to small groups. It acts like a background darknet service for other programs to use, though I think it comes with a few applications included. It's even more aimed at anonymity than RetroShare and last I checked it was even less friendly to use, but that was many years ago.

I am not really familiar with GNUnet.

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