The road ahead: Infrastructure

Direct Connect rests upon three parts: clients, hubs and hub lists. If there are no clients available then the community becomes stagnant and the appeal for new users diminishes.  Hubs must be available, else there’s no way for clients to connect to each other. The hubs provide the very community we have. The hublists provide clients with a sense of direction where there are other hubs with users.

These three parts are, in my mind, equally important and it is imperative that we have them in our infrastructure.

Direct Connect has had problems when hublists go down or becomes outdated etc, so the infrastructure we have should manage these types of problems.

The Direct Connect community is concentrated around the ability to provide a straight forward file sharing service all the while having a talk and discussion forum. These two parts are why DC is so great: you can have a discussion while sharing content that you and your peers like.

The infrastructure of DC should allow users to interact while they are not necessarily using a normal client. A website can serve as a client where you simply have a tab for chat and one for downloading etc.

The infrastructure should give users the ability to browse any type of software or discussion topic around DC, and this is the intent with DCBase.org. The idea is to create a central source for DC content. If we can gather information about each client in one place, users don’t need to go to different sites that have different appearances. users can go to a single site and if they choose so, they can continue on to the main page of the mentioned software or item of interest. The central source needn’t own each client or have the source code of each client, it simply needs to be able to refer to them.

Basing content around one place will also help making information unambiguous and not redundant. This infrastructure idea should allow developers control over their system while the face of DC can be unanimous.

An interesting aspect may be to create, say, a real non-profit organization. The organization could be recognized by a government, allowing the validity of DC to increase and potentially draw some attention from new users. The organization can serve as an ‘umbrella’ for donations, for example by distributing its donations to developers and their own infrastructure. It could also open up the possibility of receiving government funds to stabilize the DC infrastructure.

The infrastructure can provide websites, build and download repositories. It can allow specialized hubs dedicated to support and development.

The road ahead

The future is to try and merge many sources of information that needn’t be separated. For instance, the NMDC and ADC project can simply be a general “DC protocol project”, with minor branching. Whenever we can join resources, it will mean that there’s less time managing the multitude of sources and more time doing what we want — the further development of DC. If we can merge different functionality of software or if we can provide a clear interface for those interested in DC content, all the better.

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