Currently waxing philosophical over P2P as an application framework, not just yet another application.
In a nutshell, peer to peer applications would be built against a framework supporting plug-ins for arbitrary network transport schemes, authentication and signing schemes, and peer discovery schemes.
With this arrangement, it would be possible to configure the components in an arbitrary fashion in order to use the same software to accomplish many different goals:
- Files could be shared gnutella-style with a high degree of trust that you'll get good content back.
- The framework could be used to facilitate for-payment object sharing with a third party authenticating users based on payment.
- The framework could be used to accelerate file exchanges with Bit Torrent-like caching.
- The framework could be used to simply share bookmark lists with people on your ICQ contact list and people on your friends' contact lists.
- It would even be possible to plug an Advogato-like trust system in and apply it against a browsable file server.