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   Re: what Napster means for XML

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 11:20:50 -0400 (EDT)

W. E. Perry writes:

 > I'm sorry, I don't follow this at all. There is an initial moment
 > when the only copy of SAX offered is the one on your laptop,
 > connected to your cable modem.  While that copy is available--an
 > hour, a day--dozens of interested parties will download it.

OK, let me rephrase then -- in a distributed system like Napster, the
likelihood of the availability of any piece of information at any
particular time is dependent on its popularity.  If enough users have
copies of the information on their systems, then at least one of them
is likely to be connected when I go looking; otherwise, the
information is simply unavailable.

This works well with MP3s because most people go out looking for the
same few thousand MP3s over and over again.  In the general case,
however, this model will not always be applicable: any piece of
information that does not reach a certain level of popularity will
simply be unavailable most of the time.

Clearly, the Napster model *will* be work in other areas that share
similar properties to MP3s -- a relatively small number of items with
a relatively large number of users -- so please don't take this as a
blanket dismissal.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

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