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is dat better than zeronet?



It's hard to find comprehensive comparation. I think Dat is something like IPFS while Beaker is something like Zeronet but it uses Dat instead some custom transfer protocol. I don't get why Dat and IPFS are developed separately - it seems like unnecessary fragmentation and duplicated effort. I'd love to hear opinion on this.


From Dat's FAQ https://docs.datproject.org/faq

How is Dat different than IPFS?

IPFS and Dat share a number of underlying similarities but address different problems. Both deduplicate content-addressed pieces of data and have a mechanism for searching for peers who have a specific piece of data. Both have implementations which work in modern Web browsers, as well as command line tools.

The two systems also have a number of differences. Dat keeps a secure version log of changes to a dataset over time which allows Dat to act as a version control tool. The type of Merkle tree used by Dat lets peers compare which pieces of a specific version of a dataset they each have and efficiently exchange the deltas to complete a full sync. It is not possible to synchronize or version a dataset in this way in IPFS without implementing such functionality yourself, as IPFS provides a CDN and/or filesystem interface but not a synchronization mechanism.

Dat has also prioritized efficiency and speed for the most basic use cases, especially when sharing large datasets. Dat does not make a duplicate of the data on the filesystem, unlike IPFS in which storage is duplicated upon import. Dat's pieces can also be easily decoupled for implementing lower-level object stores. See hypercore and hyperdb for more information.

In order for IPFS to provide guarantees about interoperability, IPFS applications must use only the IPFS network stack. In contrast, Dat is only an application protocol and is agnostic to which network protocols (transports and naming systems) are used.


> It is not possible to synchronize or version a dataset in this way in IPFS without implementing such functionality yourself

But why not build version control on top of IPFS?

It has been discussed here: [1]. It seems a matter of correctly working with immutable data structures (which IPFS provides storage for). And it seems a bit silly to rebuild that storage layer from scratch.

[1] https://github.com/ipfs/faq/issues/83


From what I've read and seen in the docs, faq, presentations, etc., it appears to me that IPFS really pulls in a lot of stuff about the network layer, because it's trying to be, well, an Interplanetary (distributed) File System.

DAT is fundamentally a portable, self-contained, data repository. Replicating DAT archives across a broad network and whatnot is definitely a problem that needs to be solved, but IMO that should be solved at a different layer, without rolling in all sorts of complecting concerns such as network ports, routing, and payments for storage and whatnot.


Yes, agreed. Of course overlap among projects is inevitable and it would be nice if there was more effort to coordinate and collaborate as this would allow for potential dev efficiencies (not guaranteed though). In this case, DAT is a practical and pragmatic approach where IPFS is more hinged in the crypto blockchain token space which can be a turn-off and add unnecessary baggage. The DAT and Beaker teams don't want to add that noise and have different philosophies, so it is better for now that these projects are independent and in future can assess and maybe a new project will treat both as prior art and converge the best parts. And around we go.


Ya, we've thought about that. Dat's storage is pretty flexible and we have a content-addressed storage library. A lot of our users do not want or need to storage data in IPFS though so it adds unnecessary complexity to do that by default.

Someone could built a storage that uses IPFS, similar to our dat-http storage [1].

[1] https://github.com/datproject/dat-http


I would love to hear a comparison of Dat and Zeronet. The only difference I'm aware of is that Zeronet uses Blockchain technology and the Beaker Browser / Dat folks are of the opinion that Blockchain won't scale for the P2P web.


ZeroNet does not use blockchain tech beyond same cryptography as Bitcoin (and by extension bitcoin addresses). But it does not use "blockchain" for anything core.

You could prob swap this question for "what is the difference between DAT and Bit Torrent" since ZeroNet also uses BT and DAT is similar tech... but this has been answered already.

Outside of this, DAT is agnostic and modular while ZeroNet is focused on p2p website. So a comparison of ZN and Beaker (rather than DAT) would make more sense since both have same focus. Beaker's approach is to use a web browser wrapper (electron/chrome) while ZN is headless and allows you to use your existing web browsers. Beaker is able to offer more/different features because of the tight relationship with a browser app and this affords a powerful path forward beyond just serving static files as web pages. However, ZN also lets you leverage browser database and ability to make simple webapps.

It's really just different approaches to accomplish more or less the same goal of a p2p web. You could say Beaker is more cutting edge because it uses newer DAT (something new) and open to integrating IPFS etc vs being bound to BitTorrent (older tech).

The nice thing is, you can run ZeroNet and Beaker at same time and enjoy both p2p web networks ;-)


From what I can tell (and I am not an expert): Zeronet and IPFS are really fixated with solving the P2P secure content distribution problem. They convolve the solution of that transport-level problem with what I believe to be the central problem, which is a distributed content integrity system. DAT is a technology is that primarily fixated on that latter component, and is relatively independent of transport.

I think that things like p2p transport via Tor, bt, etc. are all red herrings. The robust computing infrastructure for the next-gen, distributed information system that the world needs, should not be tied to transport layer concerns like that. It should work reasonably well via flash-drive-sneakernet as it does over fiber and LTE.


Dat works great in the sneakernet flashdrive scenario as you can P2P sync over offline WiFi and dat clients like beaker browser will automatically verify cryto signatures. It makes distributing a verified offline and online P2P web very accessible for non technical folks. It's like SSL for the offline web.


Yep, that's why I like it. :-)


ZeroNet doesn't use a blockchain. Its only bitcoin related technology is that the site addresses are compatible with bitcoin addresses. You can import the private key into bitcoin and receive funds sent to the address used for the site.




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