Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by cmn32480 on Monday December 14 2015, @05:22AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the lotsa-teeny-parts dept.

TorrentFreak reports on WebTorrent, a project using BitTorrent and WebRTC to transport files:

WebTorrent is a project launched by Feross Aboukhadijeh, a Stanford University graduate who has already booked quite a few successes in his career. After graduating he founded PeerCDN, a P2P-assisted content delivery network, which was sold to Yahoo at the end of 2013. Feross then focused on WebTorrent, convinced that it could revolutionize how the web works today.

"I felt that the idea of 'people-powered websites' – websites that are hosted by the visitors who use them – was too revolutionary to keep locked up as proprietary software, and I wanted to do more to push the idea forward," he tells TF. "Imagine a video site like YouTube, where visitors help to host the site's content. The more people that use a WebTorrent-powered website, the faster and more resilient it becomes."

[...] "WebTorrent is the first torrent client built for the web. It's written completely in JavaScript – the language of the web – and uses WebRTC for true peer-to-peer transport. No browser plugin, extension, or installation is required," Feross tells TF.

Over the past two years WebTorrent has matured into a project that's slowly starting to win over several major tech companies. Netflix, for example, contacted Feross to discuss his technology which they may use to stream their videos. A few months ago Netflix specifically mentioned WebTorrent in a job application, which shows that the video giant is serious about P2P-assisted delivery.

[More After the Break]

Feross believes that companies such as Netflix could benefit greatly from WebTorrent. Currently, streaming performance goes down during peak hours but with WebTorrent this shouldn't be a problem.

[...] Netflix aside, there are already various noteworthy implementations of WebTorrent. The project's homepage, for example, shows how easily it can stream video and βTorrent offers a fully functioning torrent client UI.

Other examples include File.pizza, which uses WebTorrent to share files in the browser. The same technology is used for server-less websites by PeerCloud and Webtorrentapp, while GitTorrent uses it to decentralize source control.

In addition to the examples above, the Internet Archive is also looking into the technology for its video distribution, and another major tech company is considering adding WebTorrent support to their web browser.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Libtorrent Adds WebTorrent Support, Expanding the Reach of Browser Torrenting 7 comments

Libtorrent Adds WebTorrent Support, Expanding the Reach of Browser Torrenting

Libtorrent has bridged the gap between WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients. The open-source BitTorrent library, used by clients including Deluge, qBittorrent, and Tribler, will help to widely expand the reach of browser-based WebTorrent tools and services.

[...] Over the past few years, several tools and services have been built on WebTorrent's technology. These include Instant.io, βTorrent, as well as the popular Brave browser, which comes with a built-in torrent client based on WebTorrent. These apps and services all work as advertised. However, WebTorrent-based implementations typically come with a major drawback. Since communication between WebTorrent peers relies on WebRTC, it can't share files with standard torrent clients by default.

This rift between WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients is now starting to close. Libtorrent has just created a bridge between the two 'worlds' by implementing official WebTorrent support.

[...] Right now, WebTorrent and traditional torrent clients can't talk to each other. However, the libtorrent peers will soon act as a hybrid, bridging the gap between these two ecosystems.

WebTorrent support #4123

Previously: WebTorrent, a BitTorrent Client Running Within the Web Browser


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:01AM (#275997)

    UPnP allows proprietary .torrent-like clients to use the user's bandwidth without their knowledge or consent.

    While I like to use Bittorrent whenever I can, the dedicated .torrent clients allow you to throttle both the number of connections and both the upload and download bandwidth.

    The proprietary clients I have seen do not even report the upload bandwidth. You can often find a hidden settings menu to either disable P2P or...throttle the download (but not upload).

    I have seen one such client knock out DNS; presumably from saturating the upload bandwidth (router said it was fine with the number of connections, but seemed slow to respond).

    Combining .torrents with some kind of DRM that prevents file saving just galls me, BTW.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday December 14 2015, @01:48PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday December 14 2015, @01:48PM (#276094) Journal

      Well you're right. When I was finishing up the submission I went to the WebTorrent homepage and it started preloading a 130 MB video!

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @07:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @07:55PM (#276287)

      I looks like WebRTC [w3.org] uses TURN and STUN for NAT traversal, not UPnP.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:18AM (#276002)

    I want my Internet to be a big truck!

    When I watch TV, I don't care about sharing with my neighbors, and you know why? Because I don't watch trendy crap! Because nobody, nobody, is watching the same thing as me! So fuck you, content provider! Build a big fucking pipe and let me download your shit!

  • (Score: 2) by Username on Monday December 14 2015, @06:20AM

    by Username (4557) on Monday December 14 2015, @06:20AM (#276005)

    Yes, I’d love to view a website where all the images were replaced with photos of doge by some 14 year old kid. Awesome concept. They’ll probably fix that by having the browser download all the files over and over again until it gets one with the correct hash.

    I have a better idea. A browser that only renders HTML, CSS, and images. It will be simple, fast and amazing!

    There is just too much bloat with browsers today. People are trying to do everything with it. Soon there will be an embedded virtual machine that will be used to run win32 in the browser.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:36AM (#276010)

      Bittorrent verifies all of the file pieces with a (mostly) cryptographically strong hash (SHA-160 [bittorrent.org]).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @06:44AM (#276012)

        If you had obtained your brain by BitTorrent, perhaps you would possess the basic skill of reading comprehension.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by tftp on Monday December 14 2015, @07:04AM

      by tftp (806) on Monday December 14 2015, @07:04AM (#276015) Homepage

      Do not worry. It is all but impossible to obtain a good photo of a Doge [wikipedia.org].

    • (Score: 1) by jamesbond on Monday December 14 2015, @10:05AM

      by jamesbond (2383) on Monday December 14 2015, @10:05AM (#276042)

      There is just too much bloat with browsers today. People are trying to do everything with it. Soon there will be an embedded virtual machine that will be used to run win32 in the browser.

      Too late. Among many others, this already works: http://js-dos.com/ [js-dos.com] and version that support win32 can't be that far behind.

  • (Score: 2, Troll) by FatPhil on Monday December 14 2015, @10:39AM

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday December 14 2015, @10:39AM (#276053) Homepage
    The whole point of the torrent protocol is that chunks can come from any peer in an arbitrary order. Streaming requires the blocks in order. Unless it doesn't start showing the content until the whole file is downloaded, in which case it's not actually streaming. If it's abusing the protocol to prioritise the earlier chunks, then it still has the issue of a peer failing to deliver a chunk on time. With a single server, you only have to trust one node to have sufficient throughput, but with multiple peers you have to have not just sufficiently high throughput, but also sufficiently low latency. From every single peer. Having so many possible points of failure seems unwise.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday December 14 2015, @01:51PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday December 14 2015, @01:51PM (#276095) Journal

      Is it really abuse to prioritize beginning of files (like uTorrent can already do with torrent streaming)? You can give higher/lower priority to different files in a torrent, why not different pieces of a file as well?

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1) by loic on Monday December 14 2015, @03:22PM

        by loic (5844) on Monday December 14 2015, @03:22PM (#276128)

        +1
        How is selecting preferably some blocks more than others is abusing the system? About every single torrent client allows to prioritize files, or even to skip some specific files, and it could probably be extended to specific blocks. The bittorrent protocol does not specify any download order AFAIK. The only prioritizing rule I know of is that it tries to distribute first the less available blocks, yeah, an upload rule.

        Oh my god, they use an impure proprietary fork of bittorrent! Burn them!

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday December 14 2015, @04:07PM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday December 14 2015, @04:07PM (#276146) Homepage
        The original (and current) specification advised random piece order so that peers do not end up with the same pieces and lacking the same pieces of the file, which is a natural but unwanted consequence of in-order requests. The fastest leecher can effectively only ever download from the seeder, and not from any other peers, for example, so you've broken the distributed nature of the transfer. Resilience to loss of a peer suffers. In particular, if the fastest leechers disconnect immediately after completing, it all turns to shit. Which is behaviour which I've seen in the wild.

        I think worst-case behaviour means that after O(N) transfers only O(sqrt(N)) of the N pieces have left the seeder if there are sufficiently many (Omega(sqrt(N))) badly-behaved leechers. Random behaviour would raise this to O(N). Not just that, but as all similarly-bandwidthed peers will get the same blocks at about the time, there will be way more 'have' messages that are uninteresting, so you're decreasing the available bandwidth.

        Sure, a few clients having a preference for a particular subset of a torrent, such a track from an album, can be done, the algorithm is resilient to that. However, for the scenarios presented *every* client will be having *exactly* the same preferences, and all of the mathematical modelling that prove the original works efficiently have to be thrown in the bin.
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @04:50PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14 2015, @04:50PM (#276176)

          In a streaming media scenario, the fast downloader will probably stay connected until the video finishes playing (unless the stop halfway through).

          I can envision such downloaders seeding for as much as 90% of the time.

          If many people stop watching the video half-way though (due to the content, not technical reasons), then the first portion of the video is most important anyway. Presumably trying to "seek" through a boring video will also distribute preferred blocks to some extent.

  • (Score: 1) by BrockDockdale on Monday December 14 2015, @05:40PM

    by BrockDockdale (5983) on Monday December 14 2015, @05:40PM (#276208)

    Poor thing's out of work, now reduced to desperately mentioning bot keywords like WebTorrent on its job applications.

  • (Score: 1) by J_Darnley on Tuesday December 15 2015, @12:58AM

    by J_Darnley (5679) on Tuesday December 15 2015, @12:58AM (#276438)

    As I argued elsewhere last time this thing was brought up. This is not a working torrent client. It cannot speak to any other working client. It. Is. Broken.