11.30.20

Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

Posted in Site News at 9:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It would be nice to embrace GNUnet one day, but it’s not production-ready yet

GNUnet logo, large

Summary: Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we’re finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs

RECENTLY we’ve been researching a number of networking and rendering protocols; some replace the format, some transmission protocols, some the nature of data distribution. In essence, the Internet is a mechanism for exchanging streams and files. They’re sent around in the form of packets (UDP and TCP/IP). UDP is still used a lot in DNS. Some systems seek to replace DNS. Due to the nature of routers, replacing the Internet itself (rather than build a layer on top of it) would be challenging; it would require worldwide, large-scale cooperation from countless ISPs.

“Accountability or improved behaviour comes about when there’s increased transparency.”With Gopher, Gemini, BBS (over Telnet), (S)FTP and various other protocols (GNUnet insists it’s still in alpha) there are many options at our disposal, but for the time being we use IPFS, which seems solid, stable, and widely used (approaching a million nodes worldwide).

So what about GNU? “GNUnet is a software framework for decentralized, peer-to-peer networking and an official GNU package,” Wikipedia says. “The framework offers link encryption, peer discovery, resource allocation, communication over many transports and various basic peer-to-peer algorithms for routing, multicast and network size estimation.”

That’s quite similar to IPFS, but IPFS seems to be production-ready and we encourage our readers to participate.

A couple of months ago, foreseeing more EPO leaks (Benoît Battistelli sent lawyers to threaten us with legal action; António Campinos has not yet done that), we started making and then improving plain text versions of everything, ranging from blog posts to IRC logs. Pretty much every protocol and piece of software supports plain text, even BBS.

IPFS large logoWithout getting dirty and going deep into all the pertinent details (we spent much time reading about and experimenting with the above), one thing that’s safe to say is that on the Web there are almost no plain text sites. Sites which claim to be “text-only” are basically simplified HTML and some contain malicious JavaScript, including spyware. When we speak of plain text we mean no hyperlinks or images. Nothing of that sort. At one point we tested GNU/Linux utilities that convert images to ASCII or Unicode, but those are pretty useless when one has only 79 characters across and no colours (it’s binary).

Last night we made our last modifications (for the time being) and tested extensively the latest code which turns this site into plain text (Unicode, albeit nothing that’s lacking widespread support, e.g. emojis) and then feeds everything into a peer-to-peer network, namely IPFS. For the time being we rest better, knowing that copies of everything we publish are not just downloaded by many peers but also served by many peers. This means that stuff we publish cannot be taken down; and even if we’re being forced to take something down we’re unable to also take down copies, served by other nodes. In that regard, we’re not just censorship-resistant but a deterrent to censors (those who understand how it works would deem it an exercise in futility if they sent takedowns or nastygrams/SLAPP).

So on we go, writing articles and publishing suppressed material, including some internal documents of interest to the wider public. Accountability or improved behaviour comes about when there’s increased transparency. People in positions of great power don’t like transparency because it threatens that power.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. InteLeaks – Part XXX: Harbor Research's Pseudo-scientific 'Research' for Intel, Bizarrely Suggesting a Microsoft Partnership for a Domain Largely Controlled or Dominated by Linux

    The full document that Intel paid for and in turn used to justify cracking down on Free software (obliterating Free software-based workflows inside Intel), instead outsourcing all sorts of things to proprietary software traps of Microsoft



  2. Chromium and Chrome Are Not Free Software But an Example of Microsoft-Fashioned Openwashing Tactics

    It's time to reject Google's Web monopoly (shared with other companies but still an oligopoly); removing its Web browser would be a good start



  3. Links 23/1/2021: Chromium Pains and New Debian Maintainers

    Links for the day



  4. InteLeaks – Part XXIX: Harbor Research Did Not Produce a Study But an Elaborate Hoax for Intel, Suggesting Microsoft Partnership and Outsourcing Based on Zero Evidence and No Solid Rationale

    The pseudo-scientific ‘report’ from Harbor Research is more of the same nonsense we’ve grown accustomed to; unethical if not rogue firms are being paid to lie — or to perpetuate falsehoods which someone stands to gain from



  5. Video: The State of Communities Surrounding GNU/Linux Distributions

    A discussion about the state of volunteer efforts going into the development, maintenance (in the 'maintainership' sense) and support/advocacy of GNU/Linux distros



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 22, 2021



  7. InteLeaks – Part XXVIII: Intel Served Report From Microsoft Boosters, Who Provide No Actual Evidence and No Science to Back Their Supposed 'Findings'

    Findings and recommendations from Harbor 'Research' aren't based on any scientific methods, just perceived loyalty, branding, and a bunch of unsourced quotes (from unnamed people with ridiculous job titles like a soup of buzzwords)



  8. Erosion of Communities, Ascent of Corporate-Industrial Fake Communities

    Despite the attempts to manipulate/trick developers (and sometimes users) into becoming unpaid workforce of for-profit companies, there's an exodus back to real communities, which aren't subjected to the fury of wealthy shareholders who utterly dislike or simply don't care for software freedom



  9. The Corporate 'Left' and the Open Source Pseudo 'Movement'

    President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things



  10. Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  11. The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

    The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)



  12. InteLeaks – Part XXVII: 'Pulling a Nokia' on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

    The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation



  13. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 21, 2021



  14. InteLeaks – Part XXVI: Harbor Research is Horrible 'Research', Lacking Actual Technical Background

    Having looked at the members of staff of Harbor Research (individually), it seems clearer now why they have an affinity for Microsoft and why they're directing Intel to liaise with Microsoft and become a prisoner of Microsoft (even in areas where Microsoft is increasingly irrelevant)



  15. Links 21/1/2021: Raspberry Pi Pico, Ubuntu 21.04 Picks GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. How a Newly Inaugurated President Biden Can Advance Software Freedom (If He Actually Wishes to Do So)

    Techrights has 'Four Suggestions' to President Biden, the 46th 'front end' of American plutocracy



  17. InteLeaks – Part XXV: Intel's Brain Drain Leads to Unusual Measures

    As the company once known as 'chipzilla' loses its relevance and dominance in the market it's reaching out to retired people, trying to get them back onboard



  18. Hey Hi (AI) is Just a Trojan Horse for Illegal Software Patents, According to EPO Management and Litigation Firms It's in Bed With

    The longtime pushers or the lobby of patent profiteers just carry on pushing for software patents, nowadays latching onto the inane and unwarranted media hype around Hey Hi (AI) — a hype wave that was co-opted by EPO management to grant unlawful patents



  19. The Central Staff Representatives (CSC) of the EPO Are Petitioning to End the Assault on EPO Staff

    The EPO, just one month after the staff went on strike, is about to receive a compelling petition to stop the assault on EPO staff



  20. InteLeaks – Part XXIV: Love for Microsoft, Not for Free Software or Whatever Replaces Microsoft

    Intel is basing its big decisions on buzzwords and firms that master buzzwords; it's sad that instead of listening to Intel's own (in-house) engineers it's relying on a bunch of clowns who push 'Clown Computing' and 'apps' and 'UX'...



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 20, 2021



  22. Links 21/1/2021: Google Tightens the Screws on Chromium, VideoLAN VLC 3.0.12

    Links for the day



  23. IBM Panics and Resorts to 'Customer Retention' Tactics With Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

    IBM 'frees' RHEL but with limitations that can restrict growth of small companies (or subject them to financial barriers, originally unforeseen)



  24. Recent Techrights Articles About President Joe Biden

    Instead of writing yet more stuff about the latest US president, let's look back at what we wrote in recent weeks/months



  25. Links 20/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 RC2 and the RHEL Contingency

    Links for the day



  26. InteLeaks – Part XXIII: Intel Paying for Bogus 'Research' 'Insights' Which Merely Seek to Justify Outsourcing to Microsoft and Imposing Microsoft's Proprietary Software on Free Software Developers

    Intel's preference for Microsoft monopoly (an imposed/top-down decision) was seemingly certified by so-called 'consultants' and 'analysts' from the outside rather than the inside, basically manufacturing a false perception of consent after managers had already made up their minds



  27. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part V: How FSF Secrecy Ended Up Insulting People, Alienating Trans Developers

    Having just uploaded this introductory video, we delve into the backstory or the real reason the FSF sank into somewhat of a crisis with the trans community almost half a decade ago



  28. InteLeaks – Part XXII: Bubbles and Buzzwords, No Substance at Intel's Internet of Things (IoT) Group (IOTG)

    The video above is continuation of the previous part about a document full of superficial buzzwords (not technical jargon anywhere), in effect recommending to managers that they blindly follow trends and cargo cults (such as Clown Computing) and not what’s most suitable for technical excellence



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 19, 2021



  30. Links 20/1/2021: WireGuard for pfSense and New US President

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts