[jdev] decentralized omniscience

Geof geof.lambert at gmail.com
Sun Mar 17 20:36:48 UTC 2013


On Mar 16, 2013 8:11 AM, "Justin Karneges" <justin at affinix.com> wrote:

> **
>
> In thinking about federated social networks, I started to wonder if
> certain features enjoyed in monolithic systems might not carry over very
> well to our world. There are many situations where Facebook tailors your
> view based on its all-knowing graph database, but these kinds of things may
> be hard to pull off when there isn't any all-knowing entity.
>
>
>
> Take, for example, the case of viewing a Facebook post that contains many
> "likes". If any of your friends liked the post, then their identities will
> be placed in the data summarization of that post. This scales well, too. A
> public post which might have 10000 likes will still manage to include your
> 1 friend that liked the post in the summary.
>
>
>
> I'm not sure if it's possible for these kinds of features to exist fully
> decentralized (or at least not without it being insanely complex), but we
> of course we don't want a wholly centralized system either. Maybe there's a
> middleground, whereby complex brainpower can be offloaded to special
> services dedicated to the task, without putting everything in that basket.
> I'm thinking of a model like the web and search engines. The web is
> functional without Google, but Google adds a lot of all-knowing value to
> those who wish to use it. So, perhaps services like Buddycloud could take
> care of all the storage, actions, federation, etc, but then separate smart
> searchy entities could be optionally integrated to augment the experience.
>
>
>
> The reason I bring this up here is to discuss some protocol. I think all
> that is really needed for a system like this to work is for the smart
> entity to act as a proxy. So, when fetching a post, you'd send a request to
> the smart entity, which then requests out to the post source. If the post
> has 10000 likes, then the smart entity would need to download all of these
> and create a customized summarization to be returned to the initial
> requester. Oh, and of course we'd need a way for the post source to
> validate that the smart entity can act on behalf of the initial requester.
> The smart entity should not have full access to everything, but only what
> it is able to see based its users. The end result is that there isn't
> necessarily any smart entity that knows *everything*, but perhaps several
> that independently know enough to get the job done for their users. Like
> search engines on the web, these smart entities of federated social
> networks could be proactive in crawling, subscribing to, and caching data,
> such that in many cases they will immediately have answers for their users
> without needing to proxy out every time.
>
>
>
> Perhaps this could be accomplished with something like XEP-291 (to allow
> your JID to vouch for a third party JID allowed to act as you), and SHIM
> (for the proxied request to stamp who the original requester was).
>
>
>
> Is that it? Can anyone think of a smart feature they've seen on Facebook
> or Google+ that could not be accomplished with this very simple protocol?
> Maybe there are some features that absolutely require a central entity?
>
>
>
> Justin
>
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