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Re: [GNUnet-developers] GNUnet mail ?

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] GNUnet mail ?
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2004 09:58:08 +0530
User-agent: KMail/1.5

On Monday 07 Jun 2004 11:52 pm, Benjamin Kay wrote:
> Speaking of which, perhaps we'd all like to fix the GNUnet chat protocol
> before we delve into creating a GNUnet mail system. It could be a great
> learning experience...
> Any suggestions, Christian?

Yes, a few.  First, I want to focus on making sure that what we have works 
nicely.  That includes the various problems that are pending, from Glenn's 
recent trouble with bandwidth limits to whatever is there on Mantis and the 
various features in the todo list.  Now, that's in terms of coding work.

Second, there is the aspect of protocol discussion and development.  A couple 
of week back I already discussed an improved chat protocol with a few people 
on IRC.  What I suggested was to start a WWW page to organize the discussion, 
list design goals and ideas, just like what was organized for the namespaces 
and directories.  Plan first, then hack.

Same goes for what you proposed for GNUnet mail.  I believe that running it 
over AFS does not make too much sense, the requirements are probably too 
different.  Which goes in line with what Benjamin said here, mail would 
possibly be a completely different protocol (just like chat).  I have thought 
about this before, but no conclusive complete design has emerged so far.  If 
someone wants to write up his ideas in HTML and put them up for discussion, 
please do so.  But we need some basic *design* document to start the 
discussion from.  Either way, this is not going to happen anytime soon.  
Nevertheless, here are some features you may want to think about: 
anonymity/pseudonymity, economic viability (contribute => be able to use the 
system, spammers would have to contribute huge amounts of resources), 
mailinglists (how to distinguish from spammers? moderation? sign-on/sign-off 
protocol?, encrypted mail to mailinglists?), distributed storage (replicate 
E-mail to avoid loosing it and ensure availability), integration with 
existing mail clients (SMTP/POP/IMAP?), integration with existing mail 
protocols (do we want exit-nodes / entry nodes or do we leave that to 

Now, what of these do you want?  Why?  What other features do you need? How to 
do it?  What infrastructure do you need to do it (I smell DHTs, but you may 
have other ideas)?


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