MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Mozilla-Based Open Source Project Needs Volunteer Programmers

Tuesday May 6th, 2003

Brad Neuberg writes in with news of a new open source project called Paper Airplane, which relies heavily on Mozilla technologies. Paper Airplane is a browser-cum-peer-network that enables users to easily create collaborative online communities, even if they're running behind firewalls or NATs. Brad is looking for volunteers to participate in the project, which uses JXTA and Java as well as the Mozilla application framework.


#1 Naanou

by deelan

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 1:22 AM

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you may want to take a look at Nannou open-source project <http://naanou.sourceforge.net/>. it's written in C#, most sub-modules are completed but GUI still needs some work. it uses MIT's Chord protocol to form a truly decentralized p2p network (no central server). it's features an internal httpd 1.1 server and all file transfers happen via HTTP.

it could by used as a base or just to borrow ideas, i've read author documents and chord protocol papers and it's very smart.

#7 Re: Naanou

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 3:25 PM

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Deelan, thanks for that link. I'll look over the project a bit and get back to you.

Brad Neuberg

#10 Re: Naanou

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 3:36 PM

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Deelan, Naanou sounds great but it's written using the .NET technologies. Unfortunately, these don't play too well with Mozilla. In addition, I want Paper Airplane to be cross-platform (even though I know about Mono for Linux it is still quite divergent when it comes to supporting libraries).

Too bad, since it sounds like a nice architecture.

Brad

#24 Naanou

by deelan

Wednesday May 7th, 2003 7:17 AM

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''Deelan, Naanou sounds great but it's written using the .NET technologies. Unfortunately, these don't play too well with Mozilla.''

yeah, it's not cross-platform and has an heavy IE dependency (it uses IE to browse remote shared files).still i think it sports very nice features and ideas you could use in your project. keep an eye on it. i always thought that naanou and other similar projects could lead to personal "instant" service/websites, that is, users can not only share file but also web pages and other stuff. this concept in some ways is similar to freenet distribuited websites.

mmm, dunno if they would really useful.

later, deelan

#2 Cum?

by djst

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 2:03 AM

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What is a browser-cum-peer-network?

#3 Re: Cum?

by mlefevre

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 5:11 AM

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did you read the article? the software is a browser (client), but is also a web server. each bit is a client and a server, so it's a peer network.

#6 Sorry

by djst

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 1:43 PM

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No I didn't read the article. I read the text on the front page and it says "browser-cum-peer-network". I just thought it was funny, I guess I'm just immature. :-p

#8 Re: Sorry

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 3:26 PM

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Hm, that is an interesting way to describe my project :)

Brad

#19 [OT] Re: etymology of cum / come

by MarkHB

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 8:07 PM

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Do you have a reference for the Latin derivation of the vulgar meaning of "cum"? I have a copy of the 1st Ed. OED, and that links the vulgar meaning of "come" to the orthodox meanings, and finds that word's roots in Teutonic.

#12 Re: Sorry

by GAThrawn

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 5:20 PM

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"Cum" look it up in a dictionary, Mr Dirty Mind, it's Latin and it means "with".

So "browser-cum-peer-network", means literally "browser-with-peer-network", which from the details in the article sounds like a pretty accurate description to me.

(Interestingly the meaning of "cum" that you're thinking of, also comes from the same Latin word, eg John cum Jane, means John with Jane, but certain less than savoury media have perverted the meaning and usage of the word over time (pun intended).)

#20 [OT] Etymology comment misplaced

by MarkHB

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 8:33 PM

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Sorry about that, I meant to reply to GAThrawn.

#26 Re: Re: Sorry

by FattMattP

Wednesday May 7th, 2003 1:03 PM

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Then why not write "browser-with-peer-network" in the first place? The rest of the article wasn't in Latin.

#27 latin shmatin

by seringen

Sunday May 11th, 2003 5:39 PM

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if we stopped using words from latin, we'd be pretty screwed. just think if we stopped using french words, then you couldn't say "ménage à trois" - then where would we be as a society? I guess just as long as I could do it <i>cum laude</i>

#4 "New" domain endings

by dtobias <dan@tobias.name>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 10:30 AM

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"Second, the peer network creates an alternative domain name system to the existing one, allowing users to freely use hundreds of new domain endings, such as .politics, .environment, .love, .name, .crush, .marryme, .laborpolicy, .gay, and more."

Actually, there *is* a .name domain in the existing domain name system... if these guys are defining an "alternative" one into their browser, it could break the ability to surf real .name sites (like mine: <http://dan.tobias.name/> ) The same would happen if any of their others get eventually adopted by ICANN as real TLDs.

#5 Re: "New" domain endings

by AlexBishop <alex@mozillazine.org>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 11:43 AM

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"'Second, the peer network creates an alternative domain name system to the existing one, allowing users to freely use hundreds of new domain endings, such as .politics, .environment, .love, .name, .crush, .marryme, .laborpolicy, .gay, and more.'

"Actually, there *is* a .name domain in the existing domain name system... if these guys are defining an 'alternative' one into their browser, it could break the ability to surf real .name sites (like mine: <http://dan.tobias.name/> ) The same would happen if any of their others get eventually adopted by ICANN as real TLDs."

I agree with you in general. I don't know the details so it's obviously not possible to state what would happen with a dispute but in general I don't think it's a good trend. Organisations like New.net <http://www.new.net/> are already 'polluting' the namespace with non-standard gTLDs.

I once came across a site of another organisation - I can't remember its name - that are trying to build an alternative DNS system (I think the motive was philosophical rather than profit-driven). They supported the existing TLDs but when ICANN announced the new gTLDs in 2000, one of them clashed with one of the group's own (I think it may have been .name). They elected to not adopt the new gTLD. I fear that moves like that are just going to lead to fragmentation (or maybe not - the alt. Usenet hierarchy was originally started as an alternative by a guy who couldn't get the main backbone carriers to carry his new rec.sex and rec.drugs groups but there's no real fragmentation in the Usenet hierarchy today).

Alex

#9 Info about how Paper Airplane interacts with DNS

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 3:31 PM

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Hi. The way that Paper Airplane works is that it respects the existing DNS system for the pre-existing country-code endings, the standard .com, .edu, .org, etc. endings, and the seven or eight new endings that were approved a few years ago. I think .name is one of those seven or eight endings that were approved, so if I included it in my list then I made a mistake. The way that Paper Airplane will work is if a user types a domain name into the address bar that has one of the domain endings defined above from the older DNS, then the older DNS system will be used; otherwise, the peer network is contacted to resolve the domain name into an actual web-site.

Any new endings that come down from ICANN that clash with what Paper Airplane is doing _won't_ be respected. I have a variety of reasons for this, but one of them is that I feel that ICANN no longer has any legitimacy. One of the reasons I've started work on Paper Airplane is that I got tired of complaining about ICANN and wanted to actually do something about them.

Thanks, Brad Neuberg

#15 Re: Re: Re: Re: Drop off autocomplete="off"!

by GuruJ

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 7:14 PM

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How hard would it be to add an 'override' system, so that (eg) .name.pa translated to a Paper Airplane address and/or .name.icann translated to an ICANN address? No sense burning your bridges when you don't have to...

#16 BTW, Ignore the strange title of my last comment

by GuruJ

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 7:14 PM

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#17 BTW, Ignore the strange title of my last comment

by GuruJ

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 7:15 PM

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#18 BTW, Ignore the strange title of my last comment

by GuruJ

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 7:16 PM

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#21 Forcing name resolution

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Wednesday May 7th, 2003 12:30 AM

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That's a good idea. I had thought about having different "url" handlers that users could specify to "force" an address to be resolved using the older DNS system, but you're idea is simpler for users to understand.

Brad Neuberg

#25 hmmm...

by bmacfarland

Wednesday May 7th, 2003 7:23 AM

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Then if this became popular, I'd have to construct a browser detect for this and send ".name" links to ".name.icann"? ".Name" may be a bad example but pretend icann comes out with something like, ".hospital" and paper airplane already has it. Then to avoid conflicts in my applications I would need to fix those links otherwise they would be unsurfable as intended to people using Paper Airplane. If it's an end-user type application they would think that Paper Airplane is "broken." because it doesn't take them to where the link would make them think.

#11 Info

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 3:41 PM

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If anyone has any questions about Paper Airplane I'd be happy to answer them.

Brad Neuberg

#13 how about editing bookmarks on the fly

by an_mo

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 5:48 PM

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where can we download it?

#14 In development

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Tuesday May 6th, 2003 5:56 PM

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Nothing to download yet. :) I'm 1/3 through creating it, and am looking for programmers to help me finish it.

What do you mean about editing bookmarks on the fly?

Hope all is well, Brad

#22 Re: In development

by GuruJ

Wednesday May 7th, 2003 1:11 AM

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I've searched around for information on Paper Airplane, and I can't find a website anywhere for even a 'something is coming soon' page!

If I'm not just missing it, and there *isn't* one yet, have you considered hosting your project (or at least a stub referral site) on <http://www.mozdev.org>? They do lots of good work with Mozilla projects.

#23 Paper Airplane website

by BradNeuberg <bkn3@columbia.edu>

Wednesday May 7th, 2003 1:14 AM

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Hi GuruJ; there is a Paper Airplane website, it's just password protected right now. I've decided to keep a low-profile until we have a strong base of running code. I want to avoid what happened to FreeNet a few years ago; they announced their project in a big way before they had any real software, and it disillusioned alot of users when it took them another two years before they could release a running system. Email me for info (<bkn3@columbia.edu>) and I'll give you details on the web-site.

Thanx, Brad