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Is AllPeers FireFox's P2P "Killer App"? 275

Vivek Jishtu writes "Tech Crunch predicts that the AllPeers Firefox extension will massively increase the attractiveness of that already popular browser, drawing more millions away from embattled Internet Explorer. AllPeers is a simple, persistent buddy list in the browser. Initially, interaction with those buddies will be limited to discovering and sharing files."
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Is AllPeers FireFox's P2P "Killer App"?

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  • Quantumware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:07AM (#14392065) Homepage
    Interesting to speculate about software that we can't download, so can't try. Yes, it could be a killer app. Yes, it could be dead on arrival. We won't know until we open the box! Wow, that was interesting...
  • Ick, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baadger ( 764884 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:08AM (#14392072)
    Looks like a load of hype to me. I've never been a fan of mergin applications into "suite"'s or such. I don't even like media player's in my P2P apps, too many bad experiences with fudged partial videos or mp3/ogg's trashing the process.

    Give me simplicity without the unnecessary integration.
    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:21AM (#14392189) Journal
      It is two different approaches to a solution.

      The extreme unix view is to get a lot of small apps that each do exactly 1 task and do it well. This has some advantages. The first is that the builder of such an app can concentrate on just 1 problem, another is that you should be able to mix and match. If I want to search through a number of files for a text string I can combine a number of tools as I want.

      The disadvantage is also clear, you gotta learn about a lot of apps to do one end task. In windows search is simple. In linux it is two apps each with different syntax rules. Windows search is limited, linux search is complicated.

      Another way of doing things is in adding similar functionality to an existing application. Making it feature rich or bloated (depending on your point of view). Web browsers are an obvious example. Should for instance bookmarks be part of the browser or a seperate app? What about a media player? Should the capability to view the source be an internal app (ala firefox) or an external app (IE and opera). Email? Well it is part of the internet isn't it? RSS? XML viewer? XML entry?

      Get the picture?

      I don't like suits either but then I am not a typical user. I prefer my email and browser and p2p and media player to be nicely seperated. Then again I can live with the fact that I have first to click on a link then choose to save the torrent file then go azureus select open torrent, select the torrent and finally be able to start leeching.

      You would be suprised how many people would scream bloody murder if they had to do this.

      Sadly it seems that at least in the browser sphere you and I are loosing. Feature creep seems to be a way of life for browser developers.

      Anyway I wish the company luck, they already seem to have gotten themselves some free advertising and without even having a product to showoff. Good job.

      • by ajwitte ( 849122 ) <> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:33AM (#14392273) Homepage
        In general, I agree that smaller apps that play well with the system are better than "suites", especially when said suites are inflexible and self-contained.

        The stated goal of the Firefox project is to build a browser-only app that's lighter weight than Seamonkey (nee Mozilla Suite). So far, I think they've managed to include useful features without bloating Firefox too much.

        It's hardly fair to point to a plug-in for Firefox that's developed by a third party and claim that Firefox is becoming too feature-rich/bloated.

        P.S. I imagine your views also influenced your choice of text editor? :)
      • by Phisbut ( 761268 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:48AM (#14392396)
        Sadly it seems that at least in the browser sphere you and I are loosing. Feature creep seems to be a way of life for browser developers.

        Not really. The whole point of Firefox is to have a very small general-purpose web browser, to which you can add whatever extension you wish.

        When AllPeers releases its stuff, *your* Firefox won't instantly become bloated. It's an extension. If you don't want it, don't download/install it, and you won't have it. Firefox is very flexible in that way.

        Just because there are more and more extensions available for Firefox doesn't mean it's becoming bloated. It means it's becoming more flexible. As long as you have the option of not installing all of them, I don't see why extensions are a problem.

      • I don't like suits either but then I am not a typical user.

        How so? Do you wear them inside out? Or over fireman's gear? I can see how that could be a problem actually. Maybe we need adaptive suits that expand and contract as needed?
      • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:43PM (#14392818)
        The disadvantage is also clear, you gotta learn about a lot of apps to do one end task. Get the picture?

        For the hundredth millionth time, learning is not an issue for everybody. And the people who don't want to learn cripple the choices of those of us who do.

      • by Tom ( 822 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:59PM (#14392943) Homepage Journal
        You missed the important part of the Unix way:

        * If I can mix'n'match on the commandline, I can write a script
        * Since all my scripts use standard commands, I can mix'n'match scripts (e.g. webstats.html)
        * IF I can mix'n'match scripts, I can write a nice GUI to make it easier

        The whole point of the Unix way is using components, plugins, extensions - whatever the hype of the month calls them.

        CD Writing software is a great example. Choose the GUI you like. Under the hook, none of them had to reinvent the wheel, they all use the same software to do the actual burning.

        Great concept. I'm sure 10 years down the road, M$ will "invent" it and hype it to hell just in time for Windos ZX or whatever.
      • You're trying to apply the UNIX console app metaphor to GUI apps, and that doesn't really work. When the entire user interface of an app are an input and an output stream, and they both only handle text, then yes, you can string a bunch of apps together that can operate in chain fashion on these streams, especially if they can understand each other's output formats. But in the GUI world this particular concept of UI IO streams becomes a lot more complex and even meaningless. You have to abstract the interfa
      • More a matter of my own perspective here, but when I'm trying to hack something to get it to work, I like a large toolkit that I can pipe around and have full control over everything through a large collection of tools. i.e. if I'm fluent in a field I want control over every knob. (e.g. logic synthesys scripts at work where I want control over the find command that prunes the tree, and the perl scrip that hacks the file syntax)

        If i just want something to work in a field I'm not fluent in or do not need cont
    • I actually do use Opera which has an e-mail client and an IRC client built right, but neither feature of which I actually use. I of course visit webpages, in tabs under the Opera process, that load videos inline but only as a matter of convenience. I often push inline videos to the external equivalent player (For instance, when viewing 'Man stroke Woman' on the BBC site, excellent by the way for UK readers). I've also used Opera's built in BitTorrent client (in the snapshot build's), but very tentatively fo
    • Re:Ick, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:45AM (#14392363) Homepage
      I don't see the logical link between Firefox and p2p. There are a gazillion different types of files I could download off the internet, and a zillion different things I could do over the internet. Having a "persistent buddy" (whatever that is) built into my browser for each one seems to me like it would make my experience as a user more confusing, not easier.

      I also have to wonder about the logic of saying that this will really make firefox take off. The percentage of internet users who use p2p isn't that high, and of those that do, how many of them will like this particular app so much that they'll switch to firefox from IE? And how are they going to try the app if they aren't already using firefox?

      BTW, it also looks clear that it's going to be closed source. After the kinds of experiences people have had with closed-source p2p clients on Windows installing spyware, why the &^%*$ should anyone get excited about installing yet another proprietary p2p app? Uh, wasn't the cool thing about firefox supposed to be that it's open-source? Who would have cared about firefox if it had been another proprietary browser?

      And finally, there are different p2p protocols for different purposes. This one apparently is only bittorrent. The author talks about sharing his movies with his parents, but that isn't what bittorrent is optimized for; bt is optimized for sharing a single, big file that lots and lots of people want, like a BSD distribution or the "New Voyages" videos. []

  • Paranoid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ehaggis ( 879721 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:10AM (#14392092) Homepage Journal
    This looks like a great feature, but it also looks like it could be a consistant security breach waiting to happen. These are the features and user toys that have plagued Microsoft security. Let's hope we don't trade safety for neato-gizmo stuff. And now I will don my tinfoil hat and be silent.
    • Re:Paranoid (Score:5, Funny)

      by Ingolfke ( 515826 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:19AM (#14392176) Journal
      Thanks for the comment template. I'll use this template anytime any new feature of any product is released. It'll save me so much time having to actually think up a specific meaningful response.
    • Re:Paranoid (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Billosaur ( 927319 ) *
      This looks like a great feature, but it also looks like it could be a consistant security breach waiting to happen.

      See, happening already. IE would be flamed for having another "Security Hole" in its browser; In Firefox, this is the greatest thing since sliced bread... we think. Haven't actually seen it.

      It's simple: browsers shouldn't do everything. If you want P2P, use standalone software. If you want read news, shop online, and browse the net, use a browser.

      • So don't install it.

        I'm not sure why everyone is so up in arms about it being released. There are lots of ridiculous plugins out there. I've got one running that makes all my tabs different colors...Now that's pointless bloat! But if I decide that the browser is getting sluggish, I can go through and take out the plugins I don't really use, and we're back to normal.

        Just because a plugin exists, doesn't make it an automatic security hole for a browser.
    • "Let's hope we don't trade safety for neato-gizmo stuff."

      Do you wear a base ball cap or a full face motorcycle helmet when you walk in the park? Are you willing to trade the saftey of a crash tested helmet for the neato-gizmo value of the baseball cap?

      We trade safty for convienence constantly. The same goes for this kind of thing. Is the security risk that someone might download my vacation videos of the kids in Disney Land greator then the convienence of sharing those videos with family and friend quickly
  • Pardon Me.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordPhantom ( 763327 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:11AM (#14392099)
    ....but I thought the continual vulnerabilities in IE and the better interface (tabs, etc) were what pulled folks from IE. Isn't Firefox itself the "killer app"?
    • Nah. A killer app is one whose extraordinary usefulness drives a particular market. The webbrowser itself was a response to the big killer app, the internet. The network had been there for years, but when they started making it pretty with pictures and blinking things, people went nuts. It drove browser development, broadband deployment, and started the biggest boom/bust economic cycle in recent history.

      That is a killer app. Firefox is nice, but it's just another browser until it comes up with the one thing
  • Fog (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zutroi_Zatatakowsky ( 513851 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:12AM (#14392102) Homepage Journal
    I believe AllPeers has already been slashdotted, did we need this once more? They *still* haven't released their software. Woop-dee-doo.
  • by trogdor8667 ( 817114 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:13AM (#14392114)
    Granted, I've only used a handful of bittorrent clients, but my biggest complaint with most is that they use the majority of my bandwidth, and I can't even get google to load when I have them open, let alone most other sites. Why would I want to have this happen every time I open Firefox? I open my browser to surf the net, not get bogged down with extensions that drain every ounce of my connection so I can share a single picture or movie with my girlfriend.

    Granted, its a good idea, I just hope they fix that one thing that plagues other clients. With Bittorrent, typically, you're sharing larger files, with this, the intent (though I'm sure it will be used for other things as well) is to share smaller files with close friends. Hopefully, this will be taken into account in the final version.
    • by pebs ( 654334 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:28AM (#14392240) Homepage
      Granted, I've only used a handful of bittorrent clients, but my biggest complaint with most is that they use the majority of my bandwidth, and I can't even get google to load when I have them open, let alone most other sites.

      This is more than likely because you are using up all your upstream bandwidth. Limit your upstream to something under your max and you should be fine. You can also limit downstream, but that's less likely to be a problem.

      I have 40KB upstream max with my cable service, and I limit it to 25KB and have never had any slowdown problems after doing so. BT never approaches my ~500KB downstream max, so I've never had to limit that. I use Azureus as my client.
    • With azureus you can lock your download & upload rates so that doesn't happen.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:13AM (#14392115)
    In the future, AllPeers will also have folders to allow public sharing (probably with restrictions to control copyright violations)

    Why does it need restrictions at all? You can do the same thing with an unrestricted email attachment. Just put in a warning notice about sharing, but don't restrict its functionality.
    • Why does it need restrictions at all? You can do the same thing with an unrestricted email attachment. Just put in a warning notice about sharing, but don't restrict its functionality.

      Because if email was invented today the inventor would likely be sent through all circles of legal hell by the various intellectual property lobbying organizations.

  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:13AM (#14392119) Homepage Journal
    Anywhere we see "get our program, its the XYZ killer app" its usually a bit of a pretender.
    The killer application for firefox is BROWSING THE FRIKKIN WEB.
    Stop trying to cloud the waters.
  • Nothing to see here (Score:5, Informative)

    by broothal ( 186066 ) <> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:15AM (#14392134) Homepage Journal
    The last time [] slashdot covered this the response was "come back when this is more than vapoware." Well, this is still nothing more than a bunch of slides. What has changed since the 28th when the story was last published? (Nothing, it seems)
  • Oh, please. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:15AM (#14392136)
    Listen up, people: that functionality is what geeks (like you and me) want. It is *not* what the vast, vast, vast majority of browser users want.

    By far, the most frequent browser users are corporate people who have (significant) parts of their internal operations accessible by a browser. They won't be using it because the company's internal operations aren't set up that way. (And if you don't understand that dimension of browser users, you ought to look at where most Windows desktops are deployed: in a corporate environment.)

    The next most frequent users are moms, pops and their kids at home visiting numerous sites for homework (read "plagiarism"), sports news and recipes. (And if you don't understand that dimension of browser users then get up out of your chairs, walk down the street and do a door-to-door survey of people in your neighbourhood.)

    The next most frequent users are people like you and me: intensive users who push the boundaries -- who stopped using IE years ago (I'm mostly Opera, occasionally Firefox and still have a version of Lynx that I can launch).

    The next most frequent users are ... well, that's it ... there are no other users.

    So basically: when you get to the people who use their browsers the most, you're also talking about the smallest cohort of browser users. Killer app? Sure: but only for us.
    • You're shouting into the wind. While you're right (IMO) the majority of
      slavering techno heads that go for this sort of stuff don't have much
      contact with the day to day computing world , so don't really have a clue
      what 99% of users want or need.
    • Re:Oh, please. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aurelian ( 551052 )
      The same can be said for just about any new app or service. The web itself was only used by people in your third category at first, then it went mainstream. Ditto mp3 players.

      In any case I'm not so sure your division into three groups is all that valid; there's a whole spectrum of users from geek (you) to semi-geek (your dad perhaps, or friends who rip cds and use email) to non-geek (your mom). Geek trends often filter their way along the chain, and in doing so, become big business.

    • You're right in your analysis, but wrong in your conclusions. You forgot that those corporate people have a life outside the corporation.

      When they go back home, they usually will want to communicate with the group of moms, dads and kids - which don't necesarily use the same computer or even live at the same house. This is the point where an easy protocol for sharing content is most needed (mail worked well for a time, but it didn't scale to the current big multimedia files of video, mp3 and digital cameras)
  • by murderlegendre ( 776042 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:15AM (#14392142)

    Since the AllPeers applet is still in the box, it's impossible to say whether or not it's a killer app. Since we cannot directly observe AllPeers, it must be existing in a meta-state where it is at once both a killer app, and in fact not.

    But I'm slightly uncertain about this.

  • RIAA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:17AM (#14392154) Homepage
    I can imagine the FUD campaign the RIAA would run against FF and Microsoft running their own to put FF into the category of P2P software, which will result it in being banned from most businesses.
  • What next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:17AM (#14392155) Journal
    And in other news, the Open Office suite has been released as a Firefox Plugin. Analysts predict that not only will this draw users away from from IE, but millions will also switch away from Office.

    An interesting quote from the article, "What we're really waiting for is someone to release a linux distribution as a Firefox plugin. This will spell certain death to both IE and Windows simultaneously. The big hurdle is to figure out how to launch Firefox before the OS has even booted."

    Dan East
  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:20AM (#14392180) Homepage Journal
    Allpeers certainly does look awesome, but what's it doing in a web browser? It belongs in an IM client like GAIM or as a standalone app. I've been waiting forever for an easy way to share files with my friends, but I'm not crazy about the idea of tying up 100MB of RAM leaving Firefox open all the time.
    • 100MB of Ram? What version do you have that uses only 100MB of Ram? Where can I download it? :)
    • I've been waiting forever for an easy way to share files with my friends, but I'm not crazy about the idea of tying up 100MB of RAM leaving Firefox open all the time.

      There are other similar programs, for example [], which was just bought by Microsoft a few months ago, which stands out from other P2P programs in that you can "autosync" a folder across multiple computers, so you download a mp3 on one computer and it's copied over to other computers automatically.

  • FF needs a simple BitTorrent plug-in to make the downloading of files easier - an alternative to HTTP transfers. Something slimline that will benefit those who don't or can't run a full p2p app, but might need files that are released via p2p. More and more we see files not hosted on a web server, but are instead available as a torrent. Something needs to built to bridge the gap and allow more people to participate. This AllPeers extension doesn't look like it'll do the job. AllPeers is something for the tee
    • a simple proxy plug-in, which all other bittorrent clients can detect and latch on to.
      Maybe I'm the minority, but I always wind up saving the .torrent files and running the curses client on my firewall: even ignoring bittorent port issues, that's the system wich has the most uptime. I would love for bittorrent clients to somehow know about this, and send their .torrents to my more-stable system.

      But I am also of the mind that most communications should happen through a stable proxy.
      • Cool, I work in a very similar way with how I download torrents. I've been working on a system to make this nicer... so far I've written a python script that "wraps" the bittorrent-console program and allows me to manage multiple torrents downloading on a remote computer. (Ie I can start and stop them and then disconnect my "client" and the downloads continue..) It's not really ready to be published anywhere yet, but I didn't know there were other people who would even be interested in such a thing..
        • I tend to just use screen for now. It has everything I need as far as persistence and tracking goes, but the real goal in creating a script (for me) would be transparency. That much seems like an impossible goal, however. As the network traffic doesnt carry with it enough information to fake the role of client. You'll always need the .torrent somehow. Meanwhile, you'll also need the actual /data/ somewhere too. So for "transparency", I think there will need to be some type of proxy protocol agreed apon by c
          • Ah, I see what you mean... have the torrent downloading on the firewall but saving the data to another computer. I currently have my "downloading" computer setup with a large harddrive. I suppose you could do this with a NFS or something, but for now I haven't needed to deal with it. I was using screen for this purpose for a long time but finally decided to do something that could handle multiple downloads without having to guess which screen PID is which, among other things. However, I'm not sure I foll
  • Private filesharing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by technopinion ( 469686 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:56AM (#14392455)
    This is indeed a killer app... if it were a standalone app. Why isn't it? And why isn't there already an app like this? It doesn't seem as though it would be that hard to create, but everything I've tried for private filesharing within a group of friends has been either too complex (waste), too limited (grouper, icq, msn, etc) or too braindead (many others).

    Just give me a torrent client or emule-like app that I can limit to a group of defined contacts.
    • You want a closed file sharing program that only the people you know and give the password to can use? Hamachi. is AMAZING. No mac client, yet, but there is one for windows and Linux.
    • I'm trying to figure out why this wouldn't be a comments and ratings system for websites, like Google was initially intended to be.

      I don't mean [****o] ratings like Alexa and such offer, but actual trust-based user feedback like the Slashdot friends system.

      If people I trust liked a site, I'd like to know about it, basically.
  • I waited years for this to come out, and now the site is slashdotted and I can't get my beta test request in. Oh darn it all.

    Features I'll be looking for is drag and drop sharing of pictures or folders, and an interface so easy that any new user can find files I want them to see within seconds of visiting my address or buddy icon.
    Firefox needs a Bit torrent extension so badly.
  • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:22PM (#14392660)
    <troll>What is with all this social networking crap? Egads. The only technological phenomenon more annoying than blogorrhea (and Mac fans) is this recent notion that everything I do online should be intimately shareable with everyone I know. Hello? If I wanted social interaction, I'd go hang out with people instead of huddling in a dimly lit corner of my basement staring bleary-eyed at the cold, pale glow of my CRT.

    Come on people. Am I the only one who still does shit alone on the Internet?

    And yes, I too appreciate the irony of spurting antisocial rants on a community web site.
  • by Xugumad ( 39311 )
    Next question?

    Seriously, if I want to run a P2P app I would, wait for it, run it under my OS. Firefox is a not an OS (yet, and wasn't the whole point to get away from the "everything but the kitchen sink" problem with Netscape?).

    I want my web browser to, y'know, browse the web with. Doing FTP is also nice.
    I want my OS to run applications under (not, despite what Microsoft would have you believe, browse the web with).

    Couldn't we keep this seperation? Please?

    Also, even if AllPeers is such an incredible P2P ap
  • Duh - Adblock (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:32PM (#14392728)
    No, the "killer app" for Firefox is, has been, and forever shall be Adblock.

    Instant message programs and file sharing programs are a dime a dozen, but Adblock is what separates Firefox from other web browsers. It'll have a far more profound effect on the web, too, as eventually it'll become clear to advertisers that the conventional massive blinking ad in the middle of the site's content just isn't as effective as the innocuous text-only ad, because users are far more likely to block an annoying ad than they are a simple text ad.

  • by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:41PM (#14392793)
    Vaporware is always a killer app. Nobody advertises an application that doesn't exist yet as merely being a decent app that will do a job.

    Vaporware is always hyped as a killer app.
  • Browser != desktop (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:44PM (#14392821)

    I can only imagine this was done as an extension because XUL Runner [] isn't finished yet.

    I think using the browser as a host for other apps is cool, there will be a bubble in this as there is in so many other internet trends. Right now we're in the "Wow, let's write an extension because we can!" phase (partly because the only practical way to develop with Gecko is as such, see above). When everyone gets over the cool factor of it, the projects that actually enhance (or even relate to, for that matter) the browser experience will be distilled away from what should have been standalone apps in the first place.

    As much as some people want to think the OS will become merely a life support system for the browser, it just isn't going to happen; the network is not the right place for some things, and if one program has everything [], it inevitably becomes bloated and slow [].

  • by fak3r ( 917687 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:53PM (#14392904) Homepage
    Go here and enter your email to be alerted when AllPeers goes live []. I'm going to try it out, for sharing photos and home videos between friends/family, this sounds cool. Kinda like a .Mac for everyone.
  • It looks like a search of a problem. What makes it such a big deal? What makes it more useful than a program like Azureus? Nothing, as far as I can tell. But then again, it's reviewed on a site dedicated to Web 2.0, so a lot is explained.
  • by thenerdgod ( 122843 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @01:05PM (#14392998) Homepage
    A news client!
    An HTML editor!
    An Email client!
    An IRC client!
    A Javascript debugger! ..oh... what? Moz... wha? Oh.

    Please everyone, stop making my browser into a suite.

  • by plasticmillion ( 649623 ) <> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @01:10PM (#14393033) Homepage
    I can't resist commenting on this, even though I'm forgoing the very tempting opportunity to moderate posts on this thread (by coincidence Slashdot just gave me moderation status).

    Yes, it's a bit silly to speculate about whether AllPeers will or won't be the killer app for Firefox when you can't even see it yet. That said, Michael is making an important point, and I'm afraid that a lot of people aren't grokking it because they attach too much baggage to the term "P2P".

    We're not making a Kazaa clone. We're giving people the possibility to share files with their friends and family inside Firefox. This *could* be a killer app because it gives people a real motivation to switch their non-technical contacts (especially family) to Firefox so that they can share with them. In other words, we're adding network effects to Firefox.

    Does this mean that AllPeers will be the killer app for Firefox? Who knows. But the idea itself isn't patently ridiculous. If you want to make your own judgement, please register for our beta and check it out when it's available. Also, read my blog [] if you want more technical nitty-gritty about what we're up to.

    • Just curious: This sounds like a neat app, but I'm curious why you chose to tie this to Firefox instead of making it a standalone. If I were going to p2p share photos with my family, I'd do it only with an app that's open 24/7, and for me, Firefox is not that app (memory bloat).

      I do run Torrent 24/7, and if it had a system for distributing files among friends, I might use it. Right now, I do my friends/family sharing through my FTP server - also something that can run in the background without disturbin

      • For the PR value. :-)

        I'm mainly kidding, although we were certainly not oblivious to the fact that Firefox users are an early adopter oriented crowd who would likely be more interested in what we are doing than the average web user. Another major consideration was the fact that we wanted to be multiplatform, but didn't want the bloat of Java, the licensing complexity of Qt, etc.

        At the same time, someone was speculating here (I think) that we only based this on FF because XULRunner is not yet available.

  • by hatless ( 8275 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @02:19PM (#14393702)
    So let's see. By using BT to share personal files with a few people, you forgo the one big reason to us BT: high speed downloads thanks to swarming connections with multiple peers.

    Take that away and you're left with a buddy-file-transfer scheme that's actually going to be slower than any of the competition. Unlike the major IM clients, anyone behind a firewall or NAT (meaning almost everyone) will have to not only open ports on the firewall but also forward the ports to their PC in order to get an upload speed of more than about 10K/sec. And unlike uploading the files to your personal hosted webspace (which you can usually do a whole lot faster than a BT upload), the files are only available for download when your PC is online? Are most people with desktops going to leave them on 24/7 and turn off power management just to keep the new baby pictures available when they could have just uploaded them to Kodak instead? And what about laptops? How effectively are laptop users going to effectively share much of anything?

    Also, doesn't using BT generally degrade web browsing performance? If I'm going to have BT on my own PC at all, why would I want a client that shuts down when I'm not browsing, which is normally when I'm happiest to let BT eat up all my bandwidth?

    This gets funding? Meet Web 2.0, eerily similar to Web 1.0.
  • by Pushnell ( 204514 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @03:07PM (#14394241)
    If by "killer app" you mean, "all chances of being used in a corporate environment are dead" then yes, this may turn Firefox into just that. Until FF gains central management of (amongst many other things) allowed plugins, then P2P capabilities via plugins are, in fact, a strike -against- deploying FF. I'm surprised we don't already have plugins for connecting to the popular IM services, which is another common problem.

    We need to be giving corporate decision-makers -more- reasons to switch to FF, not fewer.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre