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[GNUnet-developers] Hello! (brief introduction and lots of questions)

From: Olie Ayre
Subject: [GNUnet-developers] Hello! (brief introduction and lots of questions)
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 19:01:55 +0000

Hello everyone,

I'm Olie. I found this project fairly recently and I think
it's absolutely incredible. It solves many problems I've found
with what the docs call the "legacy internet", and adds piles
more stuff that I never thought I'd want. Even just in alpha,
I think there is some seriously amazing work happening with
this project.

I spent today reading through and
learning about what I'm able to grasp at the moment. I must
say though, I finished reading having more questions than I
had when I started. I'd love to be able to learn as much as I
possibly can about how it all works and fits together and
eventually be able to start contributing wherever I can.

As I have a lot of questions, I'll try my best to keep them
organised here. I'm not expecting anyone to go through and
answer everything, just the odd thing when someone has time.
If I'm asking about something that I might've missed when
reading docs and watching videos then do point me to where I
can learn more.

### 1: How might I "serve" files?

At the moment, I have a little 1GB VPS on which I host a
personal website and a project website. What I'd like to know
is what the equivalent to this sort of thing would be with
GNUnet. I heard it mentioned in a few of the videos I've
watched that GNUnet isn't really supposed to be used with a
browser. Would it be a more "GNUnet way" thing to have my
"site" be a set of more traditional documents that are made
available using the file-publishing systems? How might I
collect them together into a coherent group and make them
accessible using a tidier and more memorable URL than some of
the gnunet://fs/* links I've seen with entire public keys?
Would it simply be done with GNS and some form of file path?

### 2: How might I chat with friends?

I've read the document section on the "Conversations" program
that uses a phonecall-esque approach, and I've also read that
protocols like SMTP haven't been implemented "yet". In a
hypothetical GNUnet which is more developed and actively used
by a larger population, what would be "the" way of doing
Email-style communication, IM-style communication, and any of
those and voice in groups with multiple members? Would there
be additional protocols and components in GNUnet that would
manage these kinds of communication? How do/might they

### 3: How might I make use of my "ego"s and GNS zones from
       multiple machines?

I have a desktop at home, a laptop, a work computer, and my
VPS. If I were to connect all of them to GNUnet and had made
myself a couple of "ego"s for say personal use and public use
(with a pseudonym) and had a personal GNS zone, how might I be
able to act as any of these "ego"s from different devices? For
instance, I might be using "Ego1" on my desktop talking to a
friend and need to go somewhere. When I get to my destination
and take out my laptop, how might I be able to continue the
conversation still as "Ego1"? Or would having a separate ego
or group of egos for each device be how I'd do it?

### 4: How can I make sure data is still available when my
       machines are powered off?

If for instance I have files hosted on a machine or have my
GNS zone on my computer and I turn my computer off, would the
files and GNS records still be available to other machines?
Can they still resolve my GNS records without my machine being
on? If I host a file rather than just indexing it, will it be
available via other peers at all? If not, then would it be
reasonable to run most if not all of my GNUnet content from my
VPS which will be on all the time?

### 5: How are public keys linked to specific machines?

As a machine's address is given as its public key, how can one
machine look at a public key and know how to figure out what
exact computer that means? What's the logical process from a
computer being given a public key either directly or via GNS
to getting data to the specific machine that key refers to?
Would a better understanding of how "legacy" IP addresses
achieve the same task answer my question here?

### 6: How might an organisation manage a presence on GNUnet?

Say there is some Company C that runs an online shop and that
company wants to make its service available over GNUnet. How
might that be done? Would the website be hosted in a similar
fashion to any other website just accessible over GNUnet and
with transactions managed using Taler? What might the key
differences be between such a site on GNUnet and on legacy
internet from a user/customer perspective?

### 7: How might "local networks" work?

Or would they exist at all? The systems I work with in my job
might have a handful of internet-facing servers, but - like a
lot of environments - most of the servers live within LAN and
never exist outside. Would this be similar with GNUnet? Would
there be a different system for managing localised connections
and controlling access?

### 8: If I setup my machines to use GNUnet, how can I have
       them try and use GNUnet for all traffic, but fall-back
       to legacy internet when the service I'm requesting
       isn't reachable over GNUnet?

Is this the kind of setup that might be considered "default"?
The documentation described ways of using GNS to access the
legacy internet with Virtual Public Networks, and using
"Ascension" to convert legacy DNS tables to usable GNS tables.
How much of a cross-over is there between legacy internet and
GNUnet at the moment?

### 9: What sorts of applications might I write for GNUnet
       considering what systems already exist?

If I want to write an application that uses GNUnet to
communicate with other users or access things like software
repositories for checking for updates and the like, what would
be the approach to this? Or say I wanted to create a social
network, is the idea of GNUnet that everything work on the
protocols and systems that are part of GNUnet and really
integrate with it as a platform? Or might an application use
its own protocol instead? Also, with what systems are already
part of GNUnet and what logical additional systems I might
anticipate in the future, would there be much need to write
applications for it at all? The only exceptions being clients
to these existing systems?

### 10: Where does my key come from?

Is it my existing GPG key pair that I use for emails? Or are
new keys created for every host, ego, and GNS zone?

### 11: Last one. What chat rooms and systems can I start
        participating in right now?

Are there any? I think it would be amazing to see it working
and be talking to people with it and browsing content others
have already made? Is there anything doing a similar job of
the IRC channel but on GNUnet? If not, are there docs that
would allow me to - once I'm more familiar with how it all
works - to setup my own "room" that I can invite friends to
and chat in?

I know that was a lot so I'm very grateful to anyone that took
the time to read through all of my rather naive and maybe
over-excited questions - and sorry if this isn't the best
place to be asking all these questions or if my wall of text
isn't really appropriate for this list. Again, from all that
I've seen so far, I think this is genuinely incredible and I
would really like to be able to contribute to this project in
the future.

Thank you all,

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