Dijjer is Ian Clarke's New P2P Tool

By Jon Newton 11/23/04

Freenet author Ian Clarke is developing Dijjer, a new open source p2p content distribution tool, and he's looking for people to test drive it before it goes online in beta.

"Dijjer is a peer-to-peer HTTP cache, designed to allow the distribution of large files from Web servers while virtually eliminating the bandwidth cost to the file's publisher," he told p2pnet.

"Dijjer is designed to be simple, elegant, and to cleanly integrate with existing applications where possible. Dijjer uses "UDP hole punching" to allow it to operate from behind firewalls without any need for manual reconfiguration.

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"Dijjer's distributed and scalable content distribution algorithm is inspired by Freenet."

Below is a brief Q&A.

p2pnet: When did you start working on this?

Clarke: Several months ago. It's hard to pinpoint a specific time because it's a combination of a variety of ideas that have been at the back of my mind for quite some time.

p2pnet: What prompted you?

Clarke: Dissatisfaction with apps like BitTorrent, and a desire to demonstrate that the ideas behind Freenet could be applied to solve other problems.

p2pnet: When do you expect (hope) it'll be completed?

Clarke: Well, I'm sure that development will continue for quite some time, but I hope to release a beta version in four to eight weeks that will be suitable for large-scale adoption.

p2pnet: Who do you see as the principle users?

Clarke: Anyone who needs to distribute large files to large numbers of people but who can't afford to pay for the bandwidth that this would normally require.

The download site says features include:

No Firewall configuration
With many P2P applications you must reconfigure your firewall to get the most out of them. Not so with Dijjer, we use state-of-the-art "NAT2NAT" techniques to get the most out of your internet connection without any reconfiguration.

Sequential downloads
If you tried to download a video through Dijjer you may have noticed that you could start watching the video before the download completed. This is because Dijjer behaves like a web server, pieces of a file are download in-order and fed to your web browser when they arrive, allowing your browser to start displaying content before it has completely downloaded.

No "Tracker" necessary, works with virtually any URL
This is a big one, Dijjer will work with almost any direct URL, the content publisher doesn't need to lift a finger - they may not even realise that people are using Dijjer to save their bandwidth costs!

Cross platform and native compilable
Dijjer is implemented in Java, meaning that it will run on Windows, Linux, and Macs. Those who don't wish to install the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) will be pleased to note that Dijjer can be compiled with the GNU Compiler for Java (JCJ) to native code thus eliminating the need for a JRE. Native compiled versions of Dijjer will be available from this site in due course.

Free as in Speech
Dijjer will be released under the GNU Public License.

No cumbersome clients
Dijjer downloads through your web browser or preffered HTTP download application. You don't need to learn to use yet another P2P client user interface.

Advanced scalable distributed caching algorithm
Dijjer uses a highly scalable distributed caching algorithm inspired by Freenet. This will allow it to deliver faster download speeds while placing less burden on the web server, and will be better able to handle sudden increases in demand for content."

"Now all I need are some people to help me test it," says Clarke.


Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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