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From Ali Lown <...@lown.me.uk>
Subject Re: Wave Kickstarter
Date Sun, 01 Dec 2013 17:22:36 GMT
Joseph,

> So I've spent the last month thinking about running a kickstarter to
> fund the work. Christian's email was really timely.

I had wondered this as well, a while back - but I didn't know anyone
who would be available to actually do it...
(I had hoped that the FundWIAB thing which showed up a year-or-so ago,
would have turned in to this, but it didn't).

> I want arbitrary JSON documents, or arbitrary embedding like we talked
> about a few months ago.
> I want a protocol based on real P2P algorithms rather than the hacky
> mess we have at the moment with trees of servers connecting via an
> XMPP extension
> I want the same fundamental protocol to work server-server or
> server-client. The OT stuff should work like git.

Yes. Getting the 'Wave protocol' out of the code, so that it can be
further extended (as had been originally intended with Google's work
on the protocol - and their mock RFC) is definitely the best way
forward from here.

> No single person can maintain our 500k of legacy java code. I want to
> write a better version with much cleaner separation of OT protocol and
> application specifics. I still want a web client, but it should be
> written in pure javascript.

By 'pure javascript', I assume you mean Coffeescript (or similar). I
don't know if JS is really the best approach - or simply because it is
'trendy' in SV atm.
However, the language choice should be almost irrelevant, compared to
the protocol definitions - as whatever is produced should be easily
implementable in other languages.
(If it isn't - then it suggests that maybe we need to simplify
something else somewhere...)


> I don't know what the best way to build (3) is - but I'm more than
> happy to build the platform that a new kind of email could be built on
> top of. Maybe the current WIAB design is totally fine for that part -
> though I want end-to-end encryption.

This is both the hardest and the easiest of the 3 sections to build.
Getting a 'Wave' system which can act in the same way as Postfix does
for mail, is a fairly simple task on top of the OT/federation tools in
the library described above.
It is then a case of putting a nice client on it...

This does mean that the target audience for 'Wave' is changed to
developers, rather than us building an end-user product directly,
which is fine, but just something to note.

> I don't know when the right time to do this would be. I don't know if
> I should work alone or if we should put a team together (Hi Ali!). If
> I were to do this properly it would take about a month of prep to get
> a kickstarter together, and if it is successful I'd want to quit my
> job to do it. I think it'd take me about 6 months to a year of work to
> get a stable, secure platform working (probably closer to a year), and


Hi Joseph! :P
This is a lot of work for a single person to achieve. It is also hard
for a single person to maintain motivation in one area for such a long
period of time, so I would strongly suggest against trying to work
alone on this.

My only worry with a KS is how do we market it? As beyond putting it
on Hacker News, explaining an P2P OT-backend communication system is
likely to confuse (if not discourage) potential backers.
(It also sounds more like the abstract for some academic research,
than a commercial project [the issue with being on the edge of
research for this technology]).

If successful, I would want to put my degree on hold to work on this.


There is definitely a lot to think about for this...
Ali

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