Thingamablog Templates And Freenet 0.5

Recently I wrote about a project Modifying Thingamablog For Freenet 0.5 and while I have not yet been able to solve the puzzle of how to make the needed mods for the current version of Thingamablog, I have run into a problem with the templates.

Thingamablog uses tags within the templates that need to be converted into the final urls for each of the various pages within a blog.  For example, every occurance of <$BaseURL$> in the template will be replaced with the BaseUrl of the blog.  i.e. http://blog.domain.com

There are several of these tags:
<$IndexPageLink$>
<$ArchiveLink$>
<$PageLink$>
<$FrontPageLink$>

They present a problem when inserting the blog into freenet however because in order to do that, the BaseUrl has to be #$#ps.key;/#$#e:ps.ednum;//, which the Freesite Insertion Wizard (FiW) will replace with the correct /SSK@publickeyvalue/edition-number//

The problem is that this only works for the index.html page of the blog.  I need to find a way to convince FiW to parse all of the .html pages in the blog instead of just the index.  This is needed in order for the different pages of the blog to work within freenet.

I’d appreciate input from Freenet 0.5 users or Thingamablog users on ways to get the themes that are distributed with Thingamablog to work properly for freenet blogs (flogs)

I’d really like to get this off the ground because publishing within freenet is a great way to be able to distribute material that would otherwise be subject to censorship and Thingamablog is a great tool for creating and formatting the flog (freenet blog) before it is published.

Technorati Tags: blog, Blogging, fiw, flog, Freenet, freenet+0.5, freesite+insertion+wizard, template+tags, thingamablog

Modifying Thingamablog For Freenet 0.5

When I started my first blog, I was using thingamablog to do it with.  I’ve long since converted to WordPress but I remember it well.  It was actually a decent program.

Then on the latest edition of the flog “My Two Cents Worth(freenet link*)” there’s talk of a version that’s been modified so that it’s possible to use it for freenet.  I’ve known about this version since it was created and I even knew that the original developer of the freenet mod hasn’t worked on it in a long time and has, in fact lost their source code in a hard drive crash.  What I hadn’t realized however was that in all this time, nobody else has taken up the project.

So, I took a look at the test flog (freenet link*) and the flog (a ‘flog’ is a Freenet Blog) of the guy who did the mod (freenet link*) and it’s all very familiar Thingamablog style blog, though the only known executable: Thingamablog-1.0.5.freenet.jar

has got a few bugs that need to be worked out.  Apparently it’s not quite the version used to insert /jaff/15// (freenet link*) and the original project was never completed.

Since the modified source is not available, I got the source for Thingamablog 1.16b from Sourceforge and tried to recreate what had been done on 1.0.5 Here’s the source code for what I’ve managed so far: Source code for freenet version of thingamablog1.16b

So far, I’ve managed to do the part described in /jaff/12// (freenet link*), so it’ will accept
#$#ps.key;/#$#e:ps.ednum;// as a base URL which FiW can then parse into the correct freesite key for insertion, but there still remains the part described in /jaff/13// (freenet link*).

I’ve not been able to figure out where in the source the thing puts together the URLs for categories, archive pages, or individual article permalinks

The problem is that while I’ve varying degrees of skill in Basic, C, html, php, tcl and a bit of javascript I haven’t done much with Java at all.  This makes figuring out somebody elses code a lot more difficult.

Back in January I tried asking on the Thingamablog forum on Sourceforge and haven’t yet seen a reply.

If somebody would be willing to take a look at this source and give me a clue or six I’d love to see this project completed and working.  Especially if it could achieve Jafo’s original goal of adding functionality to TAMB that would let it handle the inserts as well as the blog management duties.

This would make creating and maintaining a flog so easy that it could well bring more *current* freesites into existence.

Besides, as was pointed out on /mytwocents/61//(freenet link*), 0.7 has taken this idea and run with it.  THEY have a thingamablog that is tailored to talk directly to the 0.7 node.

http://downloads.freenetproject.org/alpha/thingamablog/thingamablog.zip

I don’t know about anybody else but this idea originated on 0.5 and I’d like to see 0.5 benefit from an easy to use, self contained, Flog publishing system that this could turn into.

===

* Note: links marked with “(freenet link*)” will only work if you have freenet 0.5 running on 127.0.0.1:8888

Technorati Tags: Anonymity, anonymous+blogging, anonymous+publishing, Blogging, blogs, flog, Freenet, freenet+blog, freenet+publishing, java, Open+source, Programming, publishing, sourceforge, thingamablog

Freenet 0.7.0 release candidate 1 released

First, I’ll quote the “official” announcement that appeared on the Freenet support list this morning:

Freenet is a global peer-to-peer network designed to allow users to publish and consume information without fear of censorship.  To use it, you must download the Freenet software, available for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems.  Once you install and run Freenet, your computer will join a global, decentralized P2P network. You will be able to publish and consume information anonymously, either through your web browser, or through a
variety of third party applications.

Freenet 0.7 is a ground-up rewrite of Freenet.  The key user-facing feature in Freenet 0.7 is the ability to operate Freenet in a “darknet” mode, where your Freenet node will only talk to other Freenet users that you trust.  This makes it much more difficult for an adversary to discover that you are using Freenet, let alone what you are doing with it. 0.7 also includes significant improvements to both security and performance.

Freenet 0.7 RC1 can be downloaded from:

http://freenetproject.org/download.html

There’s been a lot of work done on 0.7 since it was split off from 0.5 back in Dec 2005 and yes, 0.7 is faster … for small files and Frost messages.  I understand that large files can still take two to three times longer to retrieve or insert on 0.7 as the same files will take on 0.5

However, 0.7 is worth checking out and looking around.  It will probably take a while for people new to freenet to become familiarized with how things work and get a feel for best practices.  However, with either version there are some basics:

1), For best results, your node should run 24/7 or as much of the time as possible.

2), The larger your node’s data store, the better.  I’d recommend at least 1GB and preferably more. My 0.5 node has 25GB of store and my 0.7 node is set to use 10GB for now.

3), When a new node first starts up, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or so to get sufficiently integrated into the network for freesites and files to start loading at a decent pace.

4), On 0.7, you’re better off to exchange darknet refs with ~ 10 to 15 other nodes and disable “promiscuous mode” (opennet)

I personally intend to stay with 0.5 as my primary freenet experience.  Especially since development work has re-started on it a few months ago.

I will also continue to maintain my own “unofficial freenet alternative download” page with installers for several recent builds of freenet, a seednodes.ref file and a little bit of help getting it installed and started.  I’ve just started some update work on this page and will be adding several more pages to cover several freenet utilities as time permits.

Technorati Tags: anonymous+p2p, anonymous+file+sharing, 0.7+release, alternative+download, alternative+freenet+download, download, Freenet, freenet+0.5, freenet+0.7, freenet+download, freenet+help, freenet+utilities, node+reference, seednodes, unofficial+freenet

Freenet 0.5 Seednodes File Updated

Freenet users: I’ve updated the seednodes.ref.zip file that I keep available on my “unofficial freenet alternative download page

For those who prefer to get it within freenet itself here’s the key:

CHK@JithgPJCnK6JBPWOZimPXlOyQXYUAwI,p9LVPGPIWedHtWI8ryJX8A/seednodes.ref.zip

(for this link to work you must be running Freenet 0.5)

Technorati Tags: alternative, download,, alternative, freenet, download,, download,, Freenet,, node, reference,, seednodes,, unofficial, freenet

Answer To A Freenet Question

I recently received an email asking about something I said on my unofficial freenet 0.5 download page.  After answering, I decided that it’d be worthwhile to share that answer for anyone else who might have any passing interest in my opinions.  (with the addition of fixing a few typos and a broken sentence or two that were in the original.)

Note that I’m not against 0.7 so much as I prefer 0.5 for the reasons stated below.  I’m also aware that freenet in whatever flavor is still a work in progress and that in time things such as my opinion may change.  At the very least I think this is food for thought.

on the freenet 0.5 part of your website (http://peculiarplace.com/freenet/) you state:

“I personally believe that this is not a good idea because 0.7 still lacks features that many feel it should have.”

Could you please point out some of these features for me, that 0.7 seems to be missing? Does the 0.5 version provide these features instead of 0.7?

You also state “[…]the stable version (0.5) that a lot of freenet users consider to still be better and more anonymous than 0.7”, without giving any reasons. Why do people think that 0.7 is less anonymous?

One of the reasons I had for that was the lack of a functioning opennet capability.  Of course when I wrote that, opennet was still a far off concept that many on 0.7 were arguing strongly against.  Now that opennet is available on new installs 0.7 is scoring better in that regard.

Darknet is still something of a crap shoot in my opinion.  Making trustworthy darknet connections requires that you actually know the person whose node you’re exchanged darknet refs with and have reason to trust them.  For most people, that’s just not going to happen.

I’ve made the mistake of casually mentioning freenet to people in the past, only to watch their eyes glaze over as I then have to explain what it is and why it’s important enough to get involved with. Now I’m a lot slower to even mention freenet to anyone, let alone trust them enough to exchange darkenet refs with.

Even though there are somewhat secure means (encrypted frost msgs, etc.), there still remains the fact that most of the time, people are forced to exchange refs with people they don’t know and have no reason to trust in order to make darknet connections. There’s GOT to be a better way to deal with this. No, I don’t presently have any ideas, if I do come up with any I’ll be sure to publish them.

Another reason is embodied in this warning generated when the node starts up:

==
Note that this version of Freenet is still a very early alpha, and may well have numerous bugs and design flaws. In particular: YOU ARE WIDE OPEN TO YOUR IMMEDIATE PEERS! They can eavesdrop on your requests with relatively little difficulty at present (correlation attacks etc).
==

I realize that this vulnerability exists for 0.5 as well, however in 0.5 there is a much greater “plausible denyability” because 0.5’s opennet has a much larger number of open connections creates a greater level of transient requests than 0.7

0.7 however, doesn’t have nearly the number of open connections since it’s hard-coded to limit the total number of opennet connections to 20 and the maximum recommended number of darknet connections is 15 or so.  This, combined with the potential eavesdropping means that 0.7 nodes have less “plausible denyability”. Darknet only nodes having even less than opennet or hybrid nodes

As I understand what Toad has said about it, the only real cure for this is premix routing which would make it impossible (or as nearly so as is practical) for immediate peers to eavesdrop on requests or to attempt to snoop the contents of any given node’s datastore.  He has said that implementation of premix routing isn’t planned until 0.8

Yes, 0.5 would benefit just as much as 0.7 from the inclusion of premix routing, but because of the differences in how the two opennets work I think that 0.5 comes out with a greater anonymity and security, not only of the contents of a node’s datastore, but also in the anonymity of who is inserting or requesting what.

There’s also the matter of the node now handling inserts and requests to the degree that once the individual app initially hands it to the node, the app no longer has much say in how the transfers are handled because the node is processing everything.  I think that while there are benefits in being able to have the node handle everything like that, there’s times when it’d be better to do it the old way with the app handling things.

The final thing that a lot of 0.5 users don’t like one bit about 0.7 is the fact that while 0.7 is just great at moving small files or frost messages, it has turned out to be a lumbering dinosaur when it comes to inserting or requesting large splitfiles.


To illustrate the point about the number of connections, my 0.5 node currently has 172 connections to other nodes, some initiated by my node, others initiated by other nodes.  These connections persist for varying amounts of time and then new connections are made automatically.  No one node can really make even a good guess whether a request or insert that it receives from my node is coming from my node or is actually just being forwarded from another node or where it is in a chain that could be as long as twenty hops.

I also have an 0.7 node that I run periodically for a few days a week.  It has four darknet connections and sixteen opennet connections.  That’s not much of a crowd to hide in.


Technorati Tags: Anonymity, anonymous+network, anonymous+p2p, connections, darknet, file+sharing, freenet, freenet+0.5, freenet+0.7, freenet+project, hide+in+the+crowd, network, opennet, opinion, p2p, plausible+denyability, premix+routing, Security, toad

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