FLOSS Weekly Episode 781: Resistant To The Wrath Of God

This week Jonathan Bennett and Doc Searls sit down with Mathias Buus Madsen and Paolo Ardoino of Holepunch, to talk about the Pear Runtime and the Keet serverless peer-to-peer platform. What happens when you take the technology built for BitTorrent, and apply it to a messaging app? What else does that allow you to do? And what’s the secret to keeping the service running even after the servers go down?

Holepunch (the company behind Pear Runtime): https://www.holepunch.to

Pear Runtime Website – https://pears.com/

Launch Press Release – https://pears.com/news/holepunch-unveils-groundbreaking-open-source-peer-to-peer-app-development-platform-pear-runtime/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Pears_p2p

Documentation – https://docs.pears.com

Keet – http://www.keet.io

Did you know you can watch the live recording of the show right in the Hackaday Discord? Have someone you’d like use to interview? Let us know, or contact the guest and have them contact us!

Direct Download in DRM-free MP3.

If you’d rather read along, here’s the transcript for this week’s episode.

9 thoughts on “FLOSS Weekly Episode 781: Resistant To The Wrath Of God

  1. >What happens when you take the technology built for BitTorrent, and apply it to a messaging app?

    Everyone gets the message – except for one word in the middle since the original sender went offline.

  2. I listened to this episode which made me very curious, as I like the idea of using a decentralized, peer-to-peer network for things like a chat app that doesn’t even rely on a server like Matrix/etc. to relay messages. So went researching. In the process got curious what alternatives to this might exist, as typically when one person thinks of something, so do others. And it didn’t take long to hit on this: https://alternativeto.net/software/keet/about/

    where the comments caught me a bit off-guard, but made me go off and check. And sure enough, the commenter is not wrong. These Holepunch folks say they are open-source. And yes, they do at least have the Pear code out there. Yet the source for Keet the app is not from what I can tell. The closest I found was this wrapper (“Keet application shell for macOS, Linux, and Windows”), but not the actual app itself, in one of their hundreds of GitHub repos: https://github.com/holepunchto/keet-appling

    On the one hand, you have a GitHub account with 233 repositories, which one might assume shows a willingness to share, and feels like the dumping ground of a scattered coder, not an outfit trying to build a company/brand. But then you have the websites at https://holepunch.to/ , https://pears.com/, and https://keet.io/ , which all are nice and “shiny”/polished. Yet only one of them–the Pears site–actually references their GitHub repo in any way. That seems odd for folks who claim to be all about open source. Truth be told, my Spidey senses are tingling a bit.

    So my question to the FLOSS Weekly interviewers is this. What is your criteria for having folks on who claim to be FLOSS? Because this feels potentially a tad disingenuous. Neither the keet.io nor the holepunch.io sites have any links/references to their GitHub repos, which is odd in itself if you are calling yourself open-source (and GitHub is where you keep your source code). Would you not make this more obvious/prevalent? And during the interview, I believe Jonathan even hit upon this, saying how he had to Google to find their repos. That didn’t strike you all as a bit odd?

    Is there a minimum standard for giving voice to folks who claim to be open source? Or can anyone simply claim so and get an interview on FLOSS Weekly? At the very least it would have been nice if you would have pressed Holepunch on this issue, especially in light of all the various challenges in recent years around FLOSS and corporations/money. As it stands, I don’t know if I would use Keet or could recommend it to anyone who believes in FLOSS. Because it’s not. And while right now one can download and use their binaries for free, Holepunch could just as easily pull the rug out from under users at some point and require payment/licensing.

    At the very least they should be open/honest/clear about their intentions. While Pear might be FLOSS (that repo appears to have an Apache license), giving them air time to talk about Keet in the same breath as if one is just like the other feels… a bit off.

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