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[GNUnet-developers] About collections

From: Igor Wronsky
Subject: [GNUnet-developers] About collections
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2004 12:27:33 +0200 (EET)

I just noticed the collection concept. After looking
for a moment at the code, I got the impression that
it runs on sporadic sblocks. While inserting, a
nextId is generated, which is used to identify the
next update and so on. If this is so, it seems
to inherit the weakness of the sporadic inserts,
that is, one lost link in the chain and the
collection is done for?

Correct me if I'm wrong. I couldn't find much about
these background technical issues in the docs.

In addition, the republished nblock doesn't seem
to be updated to reflect the nextId, so that it
doesn't safeguard the chain either. Again, sorry if
I'm wrong. But if this is so, I understand why we
don't update it, as that'd cause some serious extra
pollution to the namespace adverts channel,
especially with big collections.

In possible future protocol change this could
be fixed somewhat if we had a special type of blocks
that has gnunetd readable, but immutable and
verifiable plaintext fields. With this, we
could put a collection serial number visible
to the nblock, and make gnunetd, when seeing
this type of block, retain only the newest
entry. As this is done for an advertisement,
I don't think it would bother to users to
find only the latest entry. Even if the sblock
chain would break, finding a new advertisement
would get the users back on track.

Just my 0.127 cents,


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