Genuine inquiry . Maybe I am not experienced enough with the various federated platforms but I am an avid user of matrix, and have dabbled in lemmy. From what I have seen is federation is on the path to decentralization but not fully there. It creates fiefdom, little kingdoms . Great yes you may find one that suites you better, but users now can end up isolated to their island, switch island sure but now you are isolated for the previous island and maybe others. Its stupid. On matrix you need to know the other island(server) to even find its rooms(communities). Some rooms block users from one server while others block users of other servers. You either have to run multiple accounts or accept the limits. Add in you are at the mercy of your home server, you can lose your account have it immitated, and more. The performance is horrible not sure why, but content is slow to update and spread. Matrix has the problem because of its design most people are on the matrix.org server and so the point of federation is largely lost. They are moving to p2p where it seems the solutions for federation now dont apply.

Anyway why is federation not stupid? Are these problems only with Matrix? Cause I look at lemmy and it seems far worse.

@Ferk
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It’s definitely not stupid. P2P does have its own set problems and inefficiencies that don’t exist in federated servers.

Also, the separation in “fiefdoms” is not necesarily a trait implicit in the federation. Email is federated and I don’t think people using Gmail feel like it’s an isolated island separated from those using Hotmail.

Having to synchronize state across peers in a P2P network can be troublesome and has limitations, specially in groups with very few peers that might not be simultaneously online at the same time and/or have limited bandwidth (if you think content in federated Matrix is slow to spread, then don’t be surprised if it’s even worse in a situation like that were it be P2P).

I think you can find arguments for both methods and it just depends on what are your requirements. I think a hybrid model of federated servers and peer nodes where you can choose whether you want your community on a dedicated server or in your own peer node (that’s what I hope Matrix is doing) would be more flexible and preferable than just going full p2p or full federated. But neither of them are “stupid”.

smallcircles
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P2P does have its own set problems and inefficiencies that don’t exist in federated servers. […] I think a hybrid model of federated servers and peer nodes […]

Indeed, I too think that eventually we’ll move to a model of hybrid decentralization, where both federation between servers/apps and P2P devices are intermixed. Both types of decentralization have their pros and cons and this allows a “best of both worlds” scenario.

I think a hybrid model of federated servers and peer nodes

@lemm1ngs
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22 años

Yes email is an interesting point, but aren’t many mail servers blocked for spam? or many automatically filtered into trash for spam? Mind you so many run their own domains for companies it cant be possible that only a few domains are whitelisted? I am not sure how gmail and others go about blocking for spam but it would have to have a reporting theshold type situation.

I think as federation expands feifdom should be less of an issue but then look at the split in mastodon with gab.

The other thing to think about email is it is user to user messaging, private with laws protecting it. I am not concerned with being blocked or censored in the modern messaging platforms for this because they use e2ee and cannot discern any of the communications. You are still at the mercy of the network you are on and hence p2p helps with that, depending on hardware how much though. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use the cell hardware in phones to mesh? Thats nuclear world ended or revolution type tech.

I think matrix p2p will have to take a multi type node approach, with them beginning the existing home servers will just act as peers but imagine more will have to be done. Yes propogation will be slow but the tech is quite new so will have to see where it can go. I imagine nodes can adapt or be set to provide more based on resources available much like torrents can. Like a hydrid approach but more dynamic.

@Ferk
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Yes email is an interesting point, but aren’t many mail servers blocked for spam?

Aren’t there blocklists in many p2p networks? I know in bittorrent there are. I’m ok with blacklisting (which I expect even gmail does, like you are hinting), as long as it’s non-intrusive enough to not be detrimental.

My point is that it’s not federation what’s the cause of the “fiefdom” syndrome, the behavior of the p2p-swarms/federated-group is. In theory you could have the same problem in p2p network if a majority of peer nodes applied whitelisting. Each whitelist (and whitelist sharing could be a thing, much like blacklists in bittorrent are, so each community could all share the same source for its whitelist) would be its own “fiefdom”. This would kind of defeat the purpose of the openness of p2p in the same way as whitelisting in federation kind of defeats the purpose of an open federation. What causes the “fiefdom” isn’t federation itself, but the protective philosophy.

On the other hand, I can also understand that protectiveness is needed when we deal with hosting content that’s not private anymore but it’s open to the public. When hosting publicly you become responsible of the content you are publishing, even when someone else wrote it. If, for example, a country wants to ban a community that shares illegal content, then they might take action against whoever is hosting that content, whether the content is hosted in a federated dedicated server or in a personal p2p node, that’s no different. They can prosecute you either way… same way as many countries prosecute p2p bittorrent sharing for copyrighted works. So ultimately you do need some form of moderation so that you don’t end up hosting content you don’t want to be involved with as “partner in crime”.

I imagine nodes can adapt or be set to provide more based on resources available much like torrents can. Like a hydrid approach but more dynamic.

Yes, that’s what I was saying. I’d prefer a hybrid model where you actually have both dedicated servers and user nodes. Torrents have problems when there’s not enough peers, there’s a lot of dead torrents out there showing this.

@lemm1ngs
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22 años

Aren’t there blocklists in many p2p networks? I know in bittorrent there are.

Block lists with torrents were used to try prevent legal implication and a few other reasons all which are largely useless because peers on blocklists can just move to nonblocked ips, especially peers with resources looking to gather evidence.

My point is that it’s not federation what’s the cause of the “fiefdom” syndrome

I disagree but it is a point worth exploring. Thinking what would be the cause likely is that the federated instances exert control over the content rather than just storing and relaying it to the users to deal with.

In theory you could have the same problem in p2p network if a majority of peer nodes applied whitelisting.

Yes you could but it still depends how the content is distributed, peers on the white list could act as relays to those not on the white list. This would risk them being removed but when dealing with so many peers I just dont see lists like that working to segment the network too much. They may as well fork. The desire to remain connected to the larger network will be too much for most users. You could also have underlying blockchains or hash tables that make forking the network not very promising.

When hosting publicly you become responsible of the content

Section 230 and the dmca should still apply, enforcing becomes much harder with p2p but so does defending I think the legal system does make having free speech an interesting problem inspite that the constitution says it should be possible. I think having speech government and companies and many others don’t want is part of the plan for these networks. There is a great many authorities not happy at the freedoms the internet has allowed.

Torrents have problems when there’s not enough peers, there’s a lot of dead torrents out there showing this.

Yes but I think keeping the text part of these platforms alive should be much easier. Torrent only needs 1 peer(seed) with a full copy, a social network can easily have 50000 users which is a lot of resistance and redundancy.

@Ferk
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Block lists with torrents were used to try prevent legal implication and a few other reasons all which are largely useless because peers on blocklists can just move to nonblocked ips, especially peers with resources looking to gather evidence.

Same can be applied to federated blocklists. You can just move a server to a nonblocked IP. The only way to truely block content is to use whitelists instead of blocklists.

Yes you could but it still depends how the content is distributed, peers on the white list could act as relays to those not on the white list.

Same could be applied to federated servers then. Servers on the whitelist could act as relays to those not on the whitelist.

Section 230 and the dmca should still apply, enforcing becomes much harder with p2p but so does defending I think the legal system does make having free speech an interesting problem inspite that the constitution says it should be possible.

This all depends on the country. I know first hand of cases where letters have been sent to particulars in P2P networks and have been called to court.

a social network can easily have 50000 users which is a lot of resistance and redundancy

This is why I’m saying it depends on the case. Those big communities maybe don’t need a dedicated server, but that might not always be the case. I might want to make a private community for my family or a small circle of friends. Much like how I might want to have a Matrix room with a few people that might only come online one at a time.

@lemm1ngs
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32 años

Good points you make, whitelisting is powerful that way making closed communities. I wonder if lemmy will ever have encrypted communities?

Funny I just watched you make 2 edits while I was reading which impressed me with lemmy’s update speed. Its making matrix look slow.

Yes use case is important I think adding features and choice and letting users work it out is a good path. Something good would be serverless communities, matrix needs that for some rooms especially with p2p.

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