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Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby SlyckTom » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:16 pm

Whats up!

I feel a bit like Brian from Family Guy when I'm asked, "So how's that novel coming, does the protagonist become richer for the experience, friends become enemies, enemies become friends..."

Anyway...I've finished the basic framework from chapters 1-6, and now I'm up to chapter 7, which is the introduction to eDonkey2000/Kad. This is where things are going to get a bit hairy. I know the fundamentals of eDonkey2000, but like anything related to P2P, there are many important nuances that are easily overlooked. I'm not a big ED2K user either. Perhaps the ED2K fans can help answer a few questions :D

1) What method(s) are used to search for files? Is searching Kad via eMule the predominant method?
2) Are ED2k servers still an important aspect to this community? If so, what role do they play?
3) Are there any viable ED2k indexing sites remaining? How important are they?
4) Are ED2K links still an important method of indexing files?
5) What is the relationship between the centralized ED2K server and the Kad overlay?
6) How similar/different is Kad from the DHT overlay that aids in BitTorrent distribution?
7) How similar/different is Kad from Overnet?

I'm sure I'll have more, thank you!
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Overnet User » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:50 pm

1) searching for files is usually done via automatic, global servers, or via kad. There is also the option to search via filedonkey or server. You can also search via search engines (google, and some ed2k search sites). I usually search global servers, kad, or automatic.
2) Server list sites: http://gruk.org/list.php
http://www.gruk.org/server.met.gz
http://www.emule-mods.de/?servermet=show
http://edk.peerates.net/index.php
http://peerates.net/peerates/index.html
I do not agree with the statistics on site http://edk.peerates.net/servers.php?sel ... k=1&sort=5 Usexext.to and Usenext.to 2 are the top servers atm and have been for a while and peerates.net ip blocked and say its a no file server which is incorrect.
http://ocbmaurice.dyndns.org/index.html
http://ed2k.2x4u.de/index.html
Servers still play an important part of the community bridging the gap between ed2k and kad/Overnet if you wish.
I would set your serverlist to update serverlist at startup, update serverlist when a client connects, and update serverlist
when connecting to a server. This will give you many more servers that may or may not be useful. I would set the servers
on the list above to high priority and connect to one of the servers above when connecting to ed2k. While for a while there were only 12 safe servers left, now there are over 30 servers (safe) and the list above are not indexing them all so that's why I recommend the above also.

3) There are over a hundred if not more ed2k indexing sites still around indexing files for the network. As far as if they are important or not, it would depend on if one would like to use them or not. They are still important helping keep the ed2k/overnet/kad network alive.

4) ed2k links are still important for indexing files.

5) The two help make the network what it is today and what it has been A great resource for a copious amount of files.
I'll let someone else answer the remaining questions and/or add to the above.

Oh yeah, and the one that started it all (well kind of) is also online again ( http://www.sharereactor.com )
also see ShareReactor Strikes back : http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=1283
Last edited by Overnet User on Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:27 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby qm2003 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:15 am

Hi,
i'll just add a few brief remarks to Overnet Users answers.
A few remarks might apply to more than one question, but i'll post them only once.

1) What method(s) are used to search for files? Is searching Kad via eMule the predominant method?

The different search methods do not cover the same ground and will threrfore return slightly diferent search results.
Usually this is only important if you are searching for rare files. In such cases you might want to try ALL the available search methods.

Search engines (like http://www.emugle.com ) usually only use results collected from servers. I haven't seen any web ed2k search engine using KAD searches yet.

If you are using servers, you have to connect to one. On connection EVERY ed2k client will transmit info to this server about ALL the files you share and download currently !!!

This fact opens a big can of worms if you connect to the wrong server and is a big reason for the decline of the ed2k servers.


Also, results collected from servers might include fake files and sources depending on the servers in your list.
This way many bad servers spread infected files on purpose as well, mostly keygens, cracks and such.

I can't stress this enough. Get a clean server list and keep it clean.

That means, do NOT update your servers from other clients. In this case i do NOT agree with Overnet User.

Using an current IP filter list (from Bluetack for example) additional to a clean server list helps to keep the bugs out, so to speak.

2) Are ED2k servers still an important aspect to this community? If so, what role do they play?

In a nutshell, the main purpose of an ed2k server is to index the files of its connected users and bring them and other ed2k users (from other ed2k servers as well) together.

This role of ed2k servers is definately on the decline.

In my opinion, there are only 3 valid reasons left to use ed2k servers at all
- additional search results from non - KAD clients
- finding sources for files, in case you are not connected to KAD for whatever reason
- setup your own private ed2k server in a private (virtual) LAN to share files ONLY with your buddies

3) Are there any viable ED2k indexing sites remaining? How important are they?

You betcha there are. :mrgreen:

But do not think of them as something like the equivalent of Torrent indexing sites or trackers.
The ed2k network does not need them in order to function.

You should see them more like publishing sites for links to verified, tested and well shared quality files on the ed2k network.
But more important are the forum comunities and their releases. Most of them don't make it to the front pages.
There is the REAL action.

4) Are ED2K links still an important method of indexing files?

ED2K links are the very basis of making files in the ed2k/KAD network easily available on web sites.

They contain all the information a ed2k client needs to find exactly that one particular file (if available at all).

Additional to that, there are (for emule clients !) .emulecollection files that can contain a whole collection (hence the name) of single ed2k links (similar to .torrent files).

5) What is the relationship between the centralized ED2K server and the Kad overlay?

Both worlds can happily live without each other now, but there are still many emule clients connected to both.

Before the latest emule release (.49c), in case you wanted to connect to KAD only, you had two choices:
- find and download a KAD node list on the web or
- connect to a ed2k server and download a file in order to get enough known ed2k clients already connected to KAD and connect via one of them

With the latest emule release (.49c) you can just do a clean install and almost immediately connect to KAD, no NEED for servers or node lists anymore, although they are still a valid fall-back option.

6) How similar/different is Kad from the DHT overlay that aids in BitTorrent distribution?

1st, i wont say BitTorrent DHT copied KAD, but it was certainly "inspired" by it,
and 2nd, DHT still doesn't support file searches.

On DHT you can find additional seeds and leechers for a torrent you already have via its HASH,
but you can NOT search for new files or torrents.

I'd say that is a big difference.

7) How similar/different is Kad from Overnet?

KAD was inspired by Overnet.
In fact, the very first KAD implementation tried to reverse engeneer the Overnet protocoll in order to be able to connect to the EDonkey2000 overnet network.

As far as i know this revealed some serious design flaws in Overnet (bad scalability with increasing network size , search related issues and initial connection method mostly).

The emule developers in charge back then decided to drop Overnet support completely and develop their own serverless network from scratch based on the KADEMLIA algorithm.

For more info on that matter i suggest you have a look into the change logs for the emule client.
Quite interesting reading material.



Ok, the brief remarks weren't so brief.
So sue me.
:mrgreen:
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:48 pm

Ok great! A couple of follow ups...

But more important are the forum comunities and their releases. Most of them don't make it to the front pages.
There is the REAL action.


Could you elaborate?

Also...when I asked about the relationship between the ed2k server and kad...

Let's say you click on an ed2k link and are connected to an ed2k server; but no server indexes the file you want. Will this search request also pass on to Kad (or coordinate simultaneously) to find a potential swarm?
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Overnet User » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:49 am

qm2003 wrote:
Search engines (like http://www.emugle.com ) usually only use results collected from servers. I haven't seen any web ed2k search engine using KAD searches yet.


There is also http://edk.peerates.net/googler.php as well as many more.

qm2003 wrote: If you are using servers, you have to connect to one. On connection EVERY ed2k client will transmit info to this server about ALL the files you share and download currently !!!
This fact opens a big can of worms if you connect to the wrong server and is a big reason for the decline of the ed2k servers.
Also, results collected from servers might include fake files and sources depending on the servers in your list.
This way many bad servers spread infected files on purpose as well, mostly keygens, cracks and such.
I can't stress this enough. Get a clean server list and keep it clean.
That means, do NOT update your servers from other clients. In this case i do NOT agree with Overnet User.
Using an current IP filter list (from Bluetack for example) additional to a clean server list helps to keep the bugs out, so to speak.
2) Are ED2k servers still an important aspect to this community? If so, what role do they play?

In a nutshell, the main purpose of an ed2k server is to index the files of its connected users and bring them and other ed2k users (from other ed2k servers as well) together.
This role of ed2k servers is definately on the decline.
In my opinion, there are only 3 valid reasons left to use ed2k servers at all
- additional search results from non - KAD clients
- finding sources for files, in case you are not connected to KAD for whatever reason


Having more servers in your serverlist will increase your availability to get files from other ed2k users. If the said file that you would like to download is on one of the "bad" servers but the "bad" server has the only complete part that you need for the file to complete, this is why I recommend having many servers in the server list. Once connected to a server, the server then searches the other servers in your server list for the said file. In the event that a part of your download is corrupt, you don't have to re download the whole said part of the file so the bad parts are checked and removed and the good parts are kept. It may say something like "download part 41 is corrupt (filename.type) AICH successfully recovered 9.10 of 9.28 mb of part 41 (filename.type). There is not a total loss of the said parts and your client doesn't really lose much information of the downloaded chunk (.16 mb total in the above example). The client then tries to re download the said corrupt part (only .16 mb) and not the whole chunk. More often than not, this is not a big deal. There have been many times where the only source or few sources for the file I want is on one of the not "trusted" servers and the download downloads fine. Maybe a corrupt chunk or so but as I pointed out above, not a big deal.

Now searching for a file if you are connected only to one server which is "bad" or not "trusted" (you can only connect to one at a time but the server searches the other servers in your serverlist automatically to a not "trusted" server is a different story. The not "trusted" server may block your search results or send you fake results or search spam. I would recommend connecting to a recommended server from the list above to search ed2k to get files on ed2k network if you desire to get your files from this method. I would recommend connecting to a "trusted" server to do your searching if you desire to search for files this method and not connecting to a "bad" server to conduct your searches. Remember, you can only connect to one server at a time but that server searches through the other servers in your server list to get more results. Many "bad" servers searches may like stated above, turn up fakes, etc. I would only connect to the bad servers through another server and let it search through the servers in your server list for the file. The client does this automatically when downloading a file. This would be a lot simpler to understand if there were only good servers or "trusted" servers.

The question remains though, whose to say that the file that you desire, the other user is connected to a "trusted" server or not? He or she may be the only source but is connected to "bad server whatever". Well you may never get the source for the file that you want if you only have "trusted" servers in your serverlist since it resides on a "non trusted server and the client doesn't have kad support enabled. (shareaza users/etc) The the main purpose of an ed2k server is to index the files of its connected users and bring them and other ed2k users (from other ed2k servers as well) together. Having less servers in your server list will in effect, not link you to other connected users of other servers. While you may have a different file than you wanted on the ed2k network, the file will not complete if it had corrupt parts to the file. Only the good file chunks will be put together to have your said file. More often than not, keyword searching is adequate if connecting to a "trusted server". If you want more "verified" files, you can search the web or index sites and see others comments for the file. Wait, you can also do that to any other file on the network while you are on the network. Clicking on details of the file you are downloading will also show you information of the file in question. Pretty elaborate system...

Let's say you click on an ed2k link and are connected to an ed2k server; but no server indexes the file you want. Will this search request also pass on to Kad (or coordinate simultaneously) to find a potential swarm?


If you are connected to kad also, yes.
Last edited by Overnet User on Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby jimmy90 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:46 am

Overnet User wrote:Having more servers in your serverlist will increase your availability to get files from other ed2k users. If the said file that you would like to download is on one of the "bad" servers but the "bad" server has the only complete part that you need for the file to complete, this is why I recommend having many servers in the server list. Once connected to a server, the server then searches the other servers in your server list for the said file. In the event that a part of your download is corrupt, you don't have to re download the whole said part of the file so the bad parts are checked and removed and the good parts are kept. It may say something like "download part 41 is corrupt (filename.type) AICH successfully recovered 9.10 of 9.28 mb of part 41 (filename.type). There is not a total loss of the said parts and your client doesn't really lose much information of the downloaded chunk (.16 mb total in the above example). The client then tries to re download the said corrupt part (only .16 mb) and not the whole chunk. More often than not, this is not a big deal. There have been many times where the only source or few sources for the file I want is on one of the not "trusted" servers and the download downloads fine. Maybe a corrupt chunk or so but as I pointed out above, not a big deal. Now searching for a file if you are connected only to one server which is "bad" or not "trusted" (you can only connect to one at a time but the server searches the other servers in your serverlist automatically to a not "trusted" server is a different story. The not "trusted" server may block your search results or send you fake results or search spam. I would recommend connecting to a recommended server from the list above to search ed2k to get files on ed2k network if you desire to get your files from this method. I would recommend connecting to a "trusted" server to do your searching if you desire to search for files this method and not connecting to a "bad" server to conduct your searches. Remember, you can only connect to one server at a time but that server searches through the other servers in your server list to get more results. Many "bad" servers searches may like stated above, turn up fakes, etc. I would only connect to the bad servers through another server and let it search through the servers in your server list for the file. The client does this automatically when downloading a file. This would be a lot simpler to understand if there were only good servers or "trusted" servers. The question remains though, whose to say that the file that you desire, the other user is connected to a "trusted" server or not? He or she may be the only source but is connected to "bad server whatever". Well you may never get the source for the file that you want if you only have "trusted" servers in your serverlist since it resides on a "non trusted server and the client doesn't have kad support enabled. (shareaza users/etc) The the main purpose of an ed2k server is to index the files of its connected users and bring them and other ed2k users (from other ed2k servers as well) together. Having less servers in your server list will in effect, not link you to other connected users of other servers. While you may have a different file than you wanted on the ed2k network, the file will not complete if it had corrupt parts to the file. Only the good file chunks will be put together to have your said file. More often than not, keyword searching is adequate if connecting to a "trusted server". If you want more "verified" files, you can search the web or index sites and see others comments for the file. Wait, you can also do that to any other file on the network while you are on the network. Clicking on details of the file you are downloading will also show you information of the file in question. Pretty elaborate system...


Does anyone else find that paragraph almost intimitading! ;)
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby qm2003 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:12 pm

Well,
ohk,
lets get started, shall we ? :toast:


SlyckTom wrote: Could you elaborate?
(on forum communities, front pages and REAL action ...)


Ever been to a torrent tracker community forum ?
Yikes.
After that gruesome experience join the forum of one of the well respected, long standing ed2k indes sites and you'll just know.

SlyckTom wrote: Let's say you click on an ed2k link and are connected to an ed2k server; but no server indexes the file you want. Will this search request also pass on to Kad (or coordinate simultaneously) to find a potential swarm?


If you are connected to KAD, emule will search the KAD network for all your started downloads, not any ed2k server.
Emule will also ask all its currently know users for sources to those files.

As fas as i know, a ed2k server can only return connected users as potential sources for your files, a ed2k server does not ask other servers for sources, your client does. Ed2k servers don't know anything about the KAD network either.

Overnet User wrote: There is also http://edk.peerates.net/googler.php

Thats an ed2k search engine that incorpoates web links as well. Just like any normal web search engine.
It still does not use KAD to perform any searches.
I don't understand your point.

jimmy90 wrote: Does anyone else find that paragraph almost intimitading

Not so much intimidating as hard to read and even harder to understand.
I guess, Overnet User ment, the bigger the better.
Your server list !
And he used more words.

If you are on the hunt for that lonely and only source for a file you so desperately need, go for it.
Just be aware of the consequences.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Andu » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:33 pm

SlyckTom wrote:Let's say you click on an ed2k link and are connected to an ed2k server; but no server indexes the file you want. Will this search request also pass on to Kad (or coordinate simultaneously) to find a potential swarm?


IIRC it will simultaneously query both networks for sources. Also you could call the ed2k server and the kad network the search layers of the client. Both are independent but Kad was obviously designed to mimic the ed2k server search behaviour whenever possible.

Regarding your question towards BT DHT and Kad

AFAIK both are based on the Kademlia algorithm. Emule's Kad implementation was already relatively old and mature when the BT community started digging into it. IIRC the Azureus devs were first to see the potential and one of them actually asked for some help on the eMule project forum back then. But I guess since the code was open they probably just used it for pointers. They obviously had to adapt the code anyway since they use Java and not MFC.

Not sure what the current BT DHT implementation is like.

Your KAD/Overnet question is not that easy to answer since Overnet is obviously closed source.

But from what I've heard they can't be totally different since they both are based on the same search algorithm. It's just that the algorithm was differently implemented and adapted for the needs of the respective networks. Considering eMule's popularity they had to keep scalability much more in mind. Also Overnet has crumbs and horde (not sure how much that plays into the Kad implementation) and eMule has AICH hashes which will get more importance in the coming versions.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby SlyckTom » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:52 pm

Thank you for the responses so far!

Now, another question about eMule. What advantages did this client have over eDonkey? In other words, how did eMule trump eDonkey as the superior ED2K client?
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby qm2003 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:58 pm

The usual,
huge monopolistic corporation not listening to its customers wishes.

Ok, MetaMachine was never a huge corporation, but is was definately not listening to its customers.
And of course EDonkey2000 was closed source, which was (is) simply NOT COOL. :mrgreen:

And the ever increasing hostile environment for P2P companies in the US played its part as well.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Andu » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:27 pm

Development on the original edonkey2000 client just stopped at some point. The edonkey devs had moved on to develop the Overnet client and left the ed2k network unattended. Emule just swooped in and kept the network alive. They reduced the overhead, increased usability and just had the cleaner, leaner and open sourced client. They also made sure that the server based network became much more scalable.

Once the edonkey devs saw that eMule was stealing the show and that the ed2k community was not flocking to the new Overnet network as they expected it to they eventually decided to release the hybrid edonkey client which connected to both ed2k and Overnet. That was too little and too late and the **AA's were already on their case.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Overnet User » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:16 pm

next came eDonkey Settles for $30 Million http://www.slyck.com/story1288_eDonkey_Settles_for_30_Million . MetaMachine installed a backdoor for when you booted up your client after certain versions, (after they promoted and told everyone to upgrade) that connected (phoned) home to overnet.com or edonkey2000.com that disabled the client and displayed "“The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available. If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law.

There was ways of making the client work such as blocking it from connecting to the said websites or installing it offline. Unfortunately this was not enough to keep the Overnet network online (haven't been able to connect in like forever). If others can try to connect to the Overnet or Edonkey network, this would be great as for I have limited time and resources at the moment. It would be great to get Overnet to connect and see what the population looks like for the network. It is very possible that the network is still online as for when I was last able to connect I counted around 2 million people on it through its display.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby napho » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:26 pm

Overnet User wrote:
[color=#FF4000It would be great to get Overnet to connect and see what the population looks like for the network. It is very possible that the network is still online as for when I was last able to connect I counted around 2 million people on it through its display.


I think the network is being used by these people http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_botnet , so I can only imagine what it's like now. :shock:
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby NocturnalVagabond » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:55 pm

SlyckTom wrote:Now, another question about eMule. What advantages did this client have over eDonkey? In other words, how did eMule trump eDonkey as the superior ED2K client?

Well, for many, it didn't.
This was often a very heated argument among the fanbois for both camps, but the fact was that emule did not perform that well for all.

Me, I found eDonkey the better client. As qm2003 quite correctly said, the eDonkey devs pretty much did what they wanted and didn't really listen. With eMule being open source and much more configurable, I tried it many times. However it never attained the speeds I could get from eDonkey. Plus, at the time, many of the eDonkey faithful were still using it because of the Overnet connection, which since the client was a hybrid meant they were using eD2K as well by default. The Kad network was still in it's infancy, and in no way matched Overnet. Of course, it has come a long way since then.
Why eDonkey performed better for some is uncertain. There was some suggestion that it could be a geographical issue, possibly relating to the way ISP's in some countries/regions had things set up, but why this would make a difference I don't see how. It was also speculated that various routers and/or modems might be a factor. Certainly the overhead caused primarily by the early Kad was an issue for some routers.

eMule also copped a lot of flack for it's credit system. While eMule devotees will turn and say 'well you had horde etc', horde didn't quite work the same way (and was able to be turned off within the client). The credit system had one major drawback - you only earned credit with those who you had sent data to. It did nothing to improve your performance with everyone else. This was considered bordering on file-trading, something that hardline P2Per's have always shunned.

However, all this said, the eMule client did work wonderfully for many. Was this well enough to account for the higher percentage of clients across the network? Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not entirely.

In the days that eMule first gained popularity, pc's were also beginning to reach more and more people, people who had little idea what they were actually doing. These novice, general pc-users were constantly hearing about a new nasty - the adware-infected program.
MetaMachine was a business, like it or not, and needed to turn over cash somehow. Unfortunately for them, selling a P2P client wasn't raising enough income, so the eDonkey client was offered free with adverts served in the top corner. This was a huge turn-off for the masses of new pc owners who were hearing and reading about the evils of spyware, viruses, etc. This in itself may explain why the eMule client gained such a surge in popularity. For most of us, disabling the adverts was a simple matter, but with eMule being ad-free and open source, for someone new coming into the P2P world the choice was pretty simple.

Another aspect to consider was the dominance of the server-based network at the time. Kad was nowhere near the viable alternative it would later become. Despite the push by the cartels to inject bogus servers, the forums for both clients were filled with 'how-to-recognise-and-remove' topics, and servers remained the primary method of connection. Lugdunummaster had become the driving force in server protocol, and up until this point his updates were always in tune with both clients. However, after a while his changes were not being fully supported by the eDonkey devs. Eventually they did play catch-up, but it was probably too late.

Now, having said all that and concentrated on the actual workings of the network, the clients and the protocols involved behind the curtain, there was one other aspect which I think doesn't get acknowledged - simply put, eMule looked nicer.

For the flood of noobs entering the big bad www lifestyle, eye-candy was important. I'm sure I will have offended some die-hard eMulers by saying their client was picked because it 'looked pretty', but it does seem to matter to many. Just like some people prefer blue cars over green ones (even if the green model has better mileage etc), or would rather get a motorbike because it looks cooler, software choice is for many driven by the look and feel of it.

eMule also allowed greater control over the client. With more settings that could be tweaked, many found they could get more out of it. eDonkey was an 'out-of-the-box' application - either it worked well for you, or it didn't. The open-source nature of eMule certainly contributed to this, and as for MM they felt little need to allow all the little adjustments for the end-user on a client that they found worked fine. Unfortunately for many it didn't.

There was also an issue of compatibility between the clients on the network. As time passed, eDonkey users found it harder to get files from eMule users, and vice versa. The two clients simply did not play well together. There were a good number of other clients on the network at that time, such as Shareaza, Emule plus, Lphant, Morpheus, ML donkey, etc. While both eMule and eDonkey seemed to have no problem working with many of these, they just didn't like each other. At the time, the eDonkey forums response to this was usually along the lines of 'well we dont need emule, we just share among ourselves on overnet'. Terribly short-sighted.

Once the eMule client gained the advantage of numbers, it continued to grow. Being open-source and mod-able, they were quicker to respond to issues and address them. IIRC the eMule client was by a long shot the first to recognise files over the 2G limit. And if you were looking for a client to begin you pirating ways with, there were now more people using the mule, so it is understandable that a higher number of new users would go for what was the most common. Coupled with the fact that legal action and unresponsive devs at MetaMachine were hampering progress, eMule kept moving forward. The improvements in Kad through this time were also a major factor. This once little-used sideline network was beginning to stand on it's own, particularly as less and less trustworthy servers could be found.

So, as I stated at the beginning of all this, I was an eDonkey user. However, eMule has been the client to come through in the end. Competition is a driving force, and I will admit that I expected the eMule client to stagnate after the demise of MetaMachine, perhaps taking the complacent attitude of 'meh it works, why change anything'. However they did not. The client itself, and the eD2K network in general, are not the P2P power they used to be, but it's still the alternative to Torrents when you want that rare file.

So why is eMule better? God, I hate that question. C'mon Tom, don't invite a fanboi fracas :lol: :P
It's better to ask 'Why did eMule become the dominant client?'
I would say that, for the majority of users, the open-source nature, friendly GUI, better configuration control, and the emergence of Kad as a viable alternative. The snowballing effect of market-share and word-of-mouth (or text, in this day and age) have certainly played no small part either.
Diehard donkeys will tell you that if the **AA hadn't shut it down, things would be different. Zealots will never give up.
I really don't think there is a simple answer, or a 'better' involved. While there were certainly benefits found by many in the eMule client, development both in and around the two clients at the time probably played a large factor in the direction of the whole eD2K network. Perhaps these factors simply hurried the inevitable demise of the donkey? Frankly, the whole idea of a company/corporation profiting from our sharing still seems a bit of a conflict. But it's the nature of entrepreneurs too see a niche and go for it, which really is what MetaMachine, and other legitimate pay-P2P makers, were. In hindsight I might even go so far as to say that even if MM had a far superior client, the end was pre-ordained for the whole business model anyway - events and circumstances merely hurried it along.


Today's eMule is still slow. Anyone who says otherwise is only downloading the latest episodes of 'Lost', or Brittney's new single. Maxing your connection with eMule is like speeding in peak-hour. However, much like going to work in the morning, downloading with eMule will get you there eventually. It's bloody frustrating at times, but hey, I'm from the generation who waited 20 friggin minutes for a simple game to load from cassette onto my commodore computer... :roll:
I can wait if I really want it.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Overnet User » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:08 pm

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Upload hidden to prevent preying eyes.
Ed2k/Kad Is really not all that slow. Not downloading/ul mainstream stuff/non riaa/mpaa/etc.
This is working with an isp that will disconnect you if you go above caps. 768 upload purchased
but if you go above 620 you will be disconnected along with you will be disconnected
for having too many sources at once for a period of time. This explains the fluctuation
in the dl chart. Higher upload = higher download. Ed2k & Kad are not all that slow for those
that say they are. If I lived where I used to live last year before, I would have 9mb dl/up.
These figures do not reflect that. Also I got a new net connection on 4/20 as the log shows
higher dl rates starting at this time. Before it was botchy service and took forever to get new
pipes. I went away for work for a month in Dec and then when I returned had server problems
in and out for 4 months. Log also reflects isp disconnect for their network not being able to
handle my traffic and I was blocked. Net connection would always hang and had to be reset at
provider level before (no net connection isp 2/23-3/15 isp disconnect had to find better provider/
sucky service, provider couldn't handle so many connections at once)
Started acting up after work trip and took 4 months to get new provider.
2004 date is due to incorrect time display on pc/year/day/mo (last stat)
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby NocturnalVagabond » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:57 pm

What's not reflected in that data is how many files are involved. Yes, you can get gigs per day if you are downloading hundreds of files, or files with hundreds/thousands of sources. Stats don't reflect this. When you are downloading only a small number, and by small I mean say 2 or 3, particularly rare files with something like a dozen sources or so, you will not max your connection like you can with torrents for example. eDonkey was pretty much the same, I never intended to infer otherwise, just that I and others did find it relatively quicker.
My point regarding speed is not meant as a criticism, it's a direct consequence of how the protocol works. Downloading a chunk then disconnecting, moving to the end of the source's queue and starting the routine again. For files under 10MB this isn't as much an issue, but when the file is 100MB or in the gig range then it does become one.
This was always our problem on the eDonkey forums. Users wanted speed, but you have to think in terms of maximising the usefulness of the client. The best way to do that was to add more files, which in simple terms meant that while one file was waiting in a queue, another could be downloading. But there are times when you really don't need or want a lot of files, you might only be looking for a couple, and this is when the speed issues with ALL ed2K clients highlights itself.
With torrents you get great speed, but you cannot have wide variety & availability. Sharing the range of files that you can find on the eD2K network means (at a simplistic level) the total network bandwidth has to be divided over more transfers, and that results in lower per file rates. Just the way it works.
You have jumped on me before, taking me out of context, when I referred to the eD2K network 'having died off a bit'. Never have I intended to imply the network was dead or irrelevant, but it has lost ground against torrents. Having been involved with the ON/eD networks from way back in the very early days, the last thing I am ever going to do is bag the clients or the network, including eMule (but those damn rogue clients are fair game :evil: ). Today I tend to search torrents first, but eMule is they ONLY other P2P app I have installed. It's my backup option for finding what I cant in torrents. And this is how a lot of people do it now, which is what I meant the time I referred to the network having quietened down in the last few years.
Overnet User wrote:Higher upload = higher download

Ok, in theory it should. In reality however, only with those you have transferred data to. I understand the credit system is partly a way to discourage leeching, but is it the best way? When the files you want are shared by persons X, Y and Z, but only P and Q have uploaded a shitload of data from you, X, Y and Z won't send data to you any quicker. In practical use, the sharing of your files in this scenario doesn't make a difference. You might as well be leeching and sharing nothing, those 3 users' clients see you as no different unless they happen to want the files you have.
Don't misquote or misunderstand me, something is needed because it's just human nature for many to take and not give. I just don't think any eD2K client has found a good solution yet.
Overnet User wrote:Ed2k & Kad are not all that slow for those that say they are.

C'mon, that's a bit of an arrogant thing to say. Just because it works well for you, does not mean it works well for others. In many cases its a settings issue, but not always. Again, its the rare and poorly-sourced files that are the issue, and coincidentally they are one of the biggest drawcards of the network. To share enough files across the network to maintain the availability of variety, but through the same upload pipes, simply means each will receive less allocated upload bandwidth which in turn means a lower download rate at the other end - unless of course your file has hundreds of sources, but if it's that common then you are back to the question of whether you could also get it on a torrent.


edit: regarding the speed, one of the problems for those dinosaurs of us who have been using eD2K for a long time is that we are used to it, whereas the newer generation of gimme-gimme-gimme are accustomed to torrents. It's hard for us to admit. But put it this way - the other night I downloaded a torrent with only 5 peers, staying stable at around 500-600 kB/s... I would never have the expectation for eMule to ever match this with only half a dozen complete sources, :wink: and having an understanding of how eMule works, this is absolutely fine with me.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Overnet User » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:15 am

I tend to have files just waiting to be added to the client/ in search ready to dl or in separate folders ready to be imported
to the client. I do agree for single files and not dl many files, it does take a while. I just like to set it and forget it but coming back to check on it ever so often. It kind of goes the more you share related files, there is a likelihood that other clients may want something you are sharing and this goes toward your credit. You probably know about the "ask for another file thing in the sources for the client. This means that they have other files that you are dl from them that also and possibly they want you to upload to them so this goes toward your credit if its with the client. More credits= faster moving through the queues = faster file availability. I also agree that if you want to dl something like in 5 min then go about your business, this may not be the best network to do that in. That would be for torrents more than likely. Lots of settings and items can affect your dl performance. Another is your known clients list. I guess I don't really notice too much b/c client usually runs 24/7 so it has lots of time to build up credits and interact with others .No pun intended.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby NocturnalVagabond » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:29 am

Overnet User wrote:I guess I don't really notice too much b/c client usually runs 24/7 so it has lots of time to build up credits and interact with others .

24/7 certainly gives the most benefit. Sadly though, in many parts of the world, not only do we contend with download caps, but a lot of ISPs also add upload into your total, and eDonkey/eMule (Kad in particular) has always had the overhead issues. For this reason a lot of people won't (can't?) leave it running like that, probably contributes a fair bit to the bad speed reputation.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby SlyckTom » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:47 pm

This was always our problem on the eDonkey forums. Users wanted speed, but you have to think in terms of maximising the usefulness of the client. The best way to do that was to add more files, which in simple terms meant that while one file was waiting in a queue, another could be downloading. But there are times when you really don't need or want a lot of files, you might only be looking for a couple, and this is when the speed issues with ALL ed2K clients highlights itself.
With torrents you get great speed, but you cannot have wide variety & availability. Sharing the range of files that you can find on the eD2K network means (at a simplistic level) the total network bandwidth has to be divided over more transfers, and that results in lower per file rates. Just the way it works.


This is another aspect I'm trying to wrap my head around - the network protocol specifications.

I understand that, much like BitTorrent, the ED2K protocol breaks files up into small chunks. BT clients generally keep uploading until the file is distributed to whoever needs it. The result is fast service

I imagine the following is the same on both the centralized and decentralized portions of the ED2K network. But if I understand NV correctly, each chunk is treated like a independent file? In other words, lets say I want a 100 MB file which is broken into ten, 10 MB chunks. Once I download chunk #1, I have to wait until the uploaders' queue is cleared before I received chunk #2?
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Andu » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:07 pm

NocturnalVagabond wrote:eMule also copped a lot of flack for it's credit system. While eMule devotees will turn and say 'well you had horde etc', horde didn't quite work the same way (and was able to be turned off within the client). The credit system had one major drawback - you only earned credit with those who you had sent data to. It did nothing to improve your performance with everyone else. This was considered bordering on file-trading, something that hardline P2Per's have always shunned.


I can agree with everything else but this is at least twisting the truth a bit.

Yea, eMule does have the credit system and yes it is a file trading incentive. But the credit system only adds a factor to the overall score computation. Therefore it only reduces your waiting time a bit. You might never get to actually trade. People have done simulations and you can find them on the eMule board which demonstrate that the effect of the credit system is rather mild.

On the other hand horde was a simple tit-for-tat trading system. Meaning once you joined a horde most of your upload bandwidth was dedicated to this group of 3-4 other clients. It had to be enabled by setting the download priority of a file to the highest possible but lots of people always did.

And since you mention that horde could be turned off. Emule allows you to turn the credit system off as well. It has been optional since the very first version it was introduced in.

@Tom essentially that's how it works. People request a file from a source. Once that source has an upload slot available it will contact you. Your client then says which part it wants (chosen because it's the rarest your client knows) and starts downloading. Usually once the part is downloaded you get put to the back of the queue again unless there is no queue.

This is an obvious necessity though since on eMule people share lots of files and average file sizes tend to be a hundred meg or more. So unless you have a ton of upload bandwidth you would never get to actually share more than 2-3 files effectively. But this is the same issue on any network. If you start sharing hundreds of files on BT your dl speeds will tank and spreading your shares will be rather hard.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby NocturnalVagabond » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:27 pm

Andu wrote:And since you mention that horde could be turned off. Emule allows you to turn the credit system off as well. It has been optional since the very first version it was introduced in.

Ah ok, that was one thing I wasn't aware of. To be honest once I started using eMule I never thought to look for that.
And apologies for any truth-stretching. Perhaps since I initially came from the eDonkey side of the fence, my view was a little tainted. You've been with eMule for a lot longer than I have.
Personally I never liked either method.

Andu wrote:once the part is downloaded you get put to the back of the queue again unless there is no queue

hehe - the term hen's teeth comes to mind :wink:

Andu wrote:If you start sharing hundreds of files on BT your dl speeds will tank and spreading your shares will be rather hard.

Thank You. Thank you, thank you. Can you pleeeeeaaaase come and tell that to some of the wads I've tried to explain it to? I am sick of hearing 'well if eD2K can keep a big variety, why can't torrents?' :roll:

SlyckTom wrote:But if I understand NV correctly, each chunk is treated like a independent file? In other words, lets say I want a 100 MB file which is broken into ten, 10 MB chunks. Once I download chunk #1, I have to wait until the uploaders' queue is cleared before I received chunk #2?

Independent? yes and no - it is in context of how you are getting it, but it is still linked in that if you are requesting two files from one uploader, the second chunk of the first file will get preference to the first chunk of the second.
And although you will go the end of his queue, what you hope will happen is that at about this time you will have moved through someone else's queue and they will then be able to send you the next chunk, so that by the time this one has finished you have moved back through the first uploader's queue and are ready to receive the next from him.
Consequently, this is the importance of having a lot of sources - to keep you getting chunks from each of them should, in theory, maintain a fairly stable download speed range.
This is when you can experience the feeling of true frustration - try downloading a file that is say 500K over a multiple of chunk size/s ... grrrr!!

Breaking the file up wasn't such a big issue when the protocols were first developed. Back then, files over 20 or 30 meg were unusual for sharing. If you wanted something larger than the average mp3 then you would have to get it in 2 or 3 bits. I think it's important to remember the ratio of connection types at the time. With many more people still on dial-up, if you were transferring the entirety of a large file then you tied up a slot for a long time, and others waiting in your queue would spend more time waiting for their transfer to ever start. At least this way, the upload slots would be shared around more. What this did was enabled the downloader to at least see progress, and meant your upload time was spent on a greater range of files. This in turn is why eD2K can maintain the larger availability of files.

However with the increase in average shared file size, the 10M limit has become a bit of a burden for the protocol. Its probably one of the biggest factors now in the speed limitations of the clients, but certainly can't be gotten rid of without harming the range of availability.
@Andu, you've been around the eMule forums a long time, has there ever been any push to see this chunk size increased? perhaps to 20M or something, in line with the higher connection speeds that most people have now? Is it even possible?


edit: after posting this and walking away, I got to thinking... this is probably the central issue in the eD2K 'is slow / is not slow' debate. Transfer speeds are not limited by protocol, connections are effectively the same for torrents and eD2K, so you should in theory get the same rates. However it is the stop/start nature of waiting in queues for chunks that makes the files take a lot longer to complete, and so the term 'slow' does not refer to speed, but time taken.
Of course, heavily dependent on sources, but it's like when you're driving - you never seem to count the green lights, but you notice how many friggin red ones stop you. :evil:
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby IneptVagrant » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:02 am

changing the size of the chunk is meaningless for the most part.

The Chunk based queue has the effect to require you're participation in the "swarm" for far longer than a bt transfer of the same file would require it.

Say there is a file with 1 seed and 1000 clients, and they all have the same up/down speeds. (Theoretically) In eMule that 1 seed will transfer to all 1000 clients equally. And each client will transfer to each of the other 999 clients equality. The result will be they all finish at apx the same time.

In comparison if the same situation occurs in BT, the client(s) who connect to the seed first will received treatment until their file is completed. This generates complete copies sooner, but also gives clients the option to then leave the swarm. And if a client leaves the swarm the total transfer time of the BT swarm will to be greater than the eMule swarm.

**

The real speed difference in individual files comes from the ease of sharing collections in eMule vs BT. A 'good' seed in BT is probably only sharing a few files, and is actively participating with only few hundred other clients. While a 'good' seed on eMule is sharing their entire collection (or at least whatever fits on their disk). So its not uncommon for a eMule client to have a queue of 5,000+ (thats 5000 x 10MB, or a 5GB queue spread across hundreds of requested files).

I may be interested in one small file or a large file with 100 pieces and 100 sources. Both will take the same amount of time. The time to sit thur a queue vs the time it takes to sit through 100 different queues is similar. In contrast a 100 piece file with only 4 sources will take very very long, since you will have to sit thur 4 queues 25 times each.

**

BT is the crack of p2p, eMule is the archivist. I used eMule for several years, but I prefer to get my fix some time tonight and then discard it when I'm done with it so I use BT now.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:54 pm

Ok...well it makes sense why ED2K is slower than BT...from what I understand, the queuing system, especially when it comes to rare files, is a rather painstaking process. But this is a mixed blessing...the longer wait, coupled with the die-harders that have been around for ages, allows for old files to stick around for a long time.

BT has the advantage of a tracker to find peers and keep info flowing. I suppose this is a reversed mixed blessing, as this leaves the network vulnerable but allows for very fast speeds.

But doesn't BT also use a queuing system as well...or does the fast exchange of peers compensate for a potentially longer wait period?
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Andu » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:12 pm

NocturnalVagabond wrote:However with the increase in average shared file size, the 10M limit has become a bit of a burden for the protocol. Its probably one of the biggest factors now in the speed limitations of the clients, but certainly can't be gotten rid of without harming the range of availability.
@Andu, you've been around the eMule forums a long time, has there ever been any push to see this chunk size increased? perhaps to 20M or something, in line with the higher connection speeds that most people have now? Is it even possible?


I think netfinity was working on something along those lines. Although he essentially wanted to create smaller chunks to share. The advantage of smaller chunks would be that the queue rotates much faster and the first leeches would get the subchunks faster. The only disadvantage would be more overhead to get the hash table or tree. He suggested to minimize this problem by only sending subchunk information on demand.

Theoretically increasing chunk sizes should be possible. Iirc the AICH hash is the root hash of a hash tree. I am not quite sure anymore how the hash tree was laid out though. Would have to ask the devs about that.

But bigger chunks only make sense for people with several MBit upload speed though since the official client opens up 3kB/s fast slots until 100 slots (I think it was 100) are opened. After that only it increases per slot speeds and makes bigger chunks feasible.


I didn't know that seeds in BT favoured clients that had more downloaded. Doesn't really make sense either since by spreading parts you get more peers that can actually contribute to the distribution effort. In an ideal case you would try to give every client a chunk (assuming that ul speeds are identical) so that the leeches share these among themselves so much that the stress on the seeds is lessened.

Tom for that reason some mods introduced SUQWT. Right now whenever a client is shut down the information as to who waited how long is lost. So if you are waiting for a rare file that only has a single source that also shares lots of popular files you are really in a terrible situation. If that client regularly shuts the client down then you might have to wait ages to receive anything. SUQWT on the other hand stores the time a client waited by the time you shut your client down. Then when you open your client again that client is added to your queue with the waiting time assigned to him that he had when you left. That makes obtaining rare files a lot easier. The only problem is that the official client (90% of the userbase) hasn't introduced that feature yet and might never do.
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Re: Questions about eDonkey2000/Kad/eMule

Postby Ratt » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:26 pm

NocturnalVagabond wrote:However it never attained the speeds I could get from eDonkey.
...
eMule also copped a lot of flack for it's credit system. While eMule devotees will turn and say 'well you had horde etc', horde didn't quite work the same way (and was able to be turned off within the client). The credit system had one major drawback - you only earned credit with those who you had sent data to. It did nothing to improve your performance with everyone else. This was considered bordering on file-trading, something that hardline P2Per's have always shunned.


Indeed, with this relative lack of speed (perceived or real, doesn't matter for this argument) and the myopic credit system, the network became geared towards infinite file retention and slow-but-steady, dedicated filesharing. And from these type of sharers the network itself gained a kind of mental stubborness, "here-to-stay-forever" attitude that it would not have had if the priorities had been different (and let's face it, the big sexy priority in P2P is always speed, then as now). In other words, quite by accident Emule ended up turning weaknesses into survival strategies, which, when Edonkey went in the direction it did, turned out to matter a great deal.
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