more good stuff from dan bricklin – A Taxonomy of Computer Systems and Different Topologies: Standalone to P2P
“We all know that P2P relates to some sort of topographical difference in using computers and networks compared to what was common in the near past. What we struggle with is “what is that difference?” What I think is that people want to think that there is one new topology and that’s what’s happening. I think we’re confused because all sorts of things, each of which has merit, claim to be “Peer-to-Peer”, yet they all are different in many fundamental ways. They all use multiple PCs, which we think of as “Peers”, connected by the Internet “to” something, so they each can lay claim to that moniker.
Let me propose some taxonomy that describes the topologies and roles of computers in a network, and then let’s examine the taxonomy of various systems, such as Napster, Instant Messaging, and Groove, in light of that taxonomy.”