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If you give people peer to peer software (such as a web sockets application if the peer to peer part gets implemented, but could be anything) the first step for some kinds of applications is to find a specific person and try to connect with them. If neither of you has a URI (and knows what it is) you need a third party to handle finding each other and verifying your identities. After that the third party isn't needed because you go peer to peer.

I could of course write that third party software and put it up on a website, but then I would have to write that third party software and put it up on a website (or a server that isn't a website if that's how I want to do it).

Does anyone offer this service? Ideally as a website and of course ideally free.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check out GWebCache, which is an open-source spec for this sort of thing.

And here's an open source implementation:

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I can't easily tell if this would do what I want - the buddy list sounds promising. But I guess leveraging the largest peer to peer network around is probably a way to start. – psr Apr 12 '12 at 21:29

irc has been known to be used as a "find a peer" mechanism. otherwise that is the entire purpose of a 'tracker' (in bittorrent parlance). ie to tell peers about other peers particularly interested in the same assets. So if you have a web server handy, just grab a tracker install and use it. You don't have to code anything for it. your software could just spoof requesting a dummy asset just to find peers.

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Sorry if I wasn't clear in the question. I want to find my friend Joe, not any peer or anyone with some asset. I suppose being me friend Joe could be a kind of asset, but verifying Joe's identity is part of the problem too. It could maybe be worked around but only if the bittorrent network can get me to Joe in the first place. I don't know much about how bittorrent works, but I don't think it's really good at that. – psr Apr 12 '12 at 16:52

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