January 12, 2005

Kenosis: P2P RPC that decentralized BitTorrent

Decentralization By: ams

Ben Sittler noticed that Kenosis got Slashdotted yesterday:

UnderScan writes “Eric Ries, writer/programmer/CTO, authored an
article ‘Kenosis and the World Free Web’ at Freshmeat [Owned by
Slashdot’s Parent OSTG]. Kenosis is described as a ‘fully-distributed
peer-to-peer RPC system built on top of XMLRPC.’ He has combined his
Kenosis with BitTorrent & removed the need for a centralized tracker.
He states: ‘To demonstrate Kenosis’s suitability for these new
applications, we have used it to improve upon another peer-to-peer
filesharing application that Just Works: BitTorrent. BitTorrent does
one thing incredibly well. Using a centralized “tracker,” BitTorrent
manages efficient distribution of data that is in high demand. We have
extended BitTorrent, using Kenosis, to eliminate this dependence on a
centralized tracker.’ See also the Kenosis README for details on using
Kenosis-enabled BitTorrent.”

From http://kenosis.sourceforge.net/
Kenosis is:

  • a fully-distributed p2p RPC system built on top of XMLRPC.
  • zero-defect software.
  • highly compatible.

The inventor recently quoth:

Four years ago, I wrote an article for freshmeat called “The World
Free Web” in which I described a way to make Web content available in
a distributed and anonymous way via Freenet. Back then, I expected, as
did many others, that Freenet was on the verge of completion, and all
that remained was to think of interesting new applications to write on
this new platform.

Now, for the record, I still have high hopes for Freenet and am still
a contributor to the Freenet Foundation. But as it stands, Freenet
simply does not work, and it is not a suitable platform for the
development of new applications.

Two years ago, Malcolm Handley and I started the Dasein Software
Partnership in order to create new peer-to-peer tools and applications
for the Free Software world. We started writing applications for
Freenet, but grew frustrated with Freenet’s lack of stability. Next,
we switched to The Circle, a distributed hashtable based on Chord.
Despite its maturity, it too is not stable or reliable enough to form
a suitable platform.

So we decided that we would need to create a new system, designed from
the ground up for simplicity, stability, and scalability. We call that
system Kenosis.

Kenosis is a fully-distributed peer-to-peer RPC system built on top of
XMLRPC. Nodes are automatically connected to each other via a
Kademlia-style network and can route RPC requests efficiently to any
online node. Kenosis does not rely on a central server; any Kenosis
node can effectively join the network (“bootstrap”) from any connected
node.

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