> Giving people and media items a fixed address at one location vastly
> simplifies the problem of forming these groups and collections.  It's
> much harder to find other users and media items scattered across many
> different sites than at one central site.  (This is why we are building
> VV!)  And it's much harder to coordinate and update a collection
> containing items scattered across many sites than at one central site.

It seems to me this relates to the classic napster vs gnutella achitecture
evaluation(?). The selling point of the distrubuted, decentralized nature of
gnutella was, in the main, user  privacy. Performance though, in my personal
experience and from a system logistics point of view, was in napster's
corner and I atrribute this to the directory residing on a centralized
server. Though the files were distributed, queries were routed thru a
central hub as opposed to decentralized nodes and thus the "path" between
users was shortened.

> Reed's Law argues that our media network must be a Group-Forming Network.
> To form these groups, we have to link media items and people together
> and to each other.  As i explained in our IRC discussion, this is easy
> to do if the database is centralized and very complicated otherwise.

Simpler from a system wide perspective in the case media, perhaps, but keep
in mind that somebody's got to create and maintain the centralized db,
associated code and/or the host itself; realistically with the kind of
loving care and attention of a commercial venture (on call 24/7) precisely
because of the centralized structure. If the central server goes down or
lags, the whole thing grinds to a halt till somebody can find the time to
troubleshoot and fix it.

At least in the abstract(!), a decentralized "p2p" system could conceivably
benefit from the redundancy of the query pathways between content "servers",
shades of Arpanet, so that DeanSpace labor and resources might be directed
towards the 5700 other things that need to be maintained, improved, added...

Mind you I emphasize the above term "abstract" cause I have no idea
precisely how such a system might be designed and implemented; gnutella
Granted, the feasibility of an in place, functional and reliable distributed
system may well prove the best argument for the ctralized option in the end.

<--enter gratuitous quotation that implies my profundity here-->

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