Shareaza entered the P2P world as a Gnutella client back in the summer of 2002. Initially, it was a welcomed member of the Gnutella community as its lead programmer, Michael Stokes, introduced many new and revolutionary ideas to a rather stagnant network. Growing frustrated with the slow pace of development of the Gnutella community, Michael broke ranks and started Gnutella2.com.
The creation of Gnutella2 created a whirlwind of controversy and criticism, much of it generated by the BearShare camp, against Michael Stokes. Some in the Gnutella community scoffed at the revelation that Michael Stokes had started Gnutella2 without consulting the other developers, while others praised him as a visionary. Many were pleased to see the Gnutella2 name permanently out of the hands of corporate developers.
Shareaza persevered regardless, and went on to become one of the more popular file-sharing clients. To this day, its Gnutella2 user base rivals that of the original Gnutella. Not only does it support Gnutella and Gnutella2, but additional plug-ins for BitTorrent and eDonkey2000 were also implemented.
While updates are frequent, the latest revision to Shareaza is certainly the most welcomed. As of June 1, 2004, Shareaza is being released under an open source license. It becomes only the third client, other than Gnucleus and LimeWire, to be a truly open Gnutella application. However, this trend towards a more open atmosphere has been quite common lately, as the LimeWire camp released their product with no third party software or advertising. Let us hope others follow Shareaza’s and LimeWire’s example. Check out the change log below:
Shareaza 2.0 - Open Source
Shareaza - Even More Free Than Before
Shareaza has long been respected as a high-end multi-network file-sharing client with “no strings attached” in a world where many competing applications display banner ads, beg for money or offer “paid versions”, or worse yet dump a load of unwanted stuff on your PC.
Shareaza has avoided doing these things so far, and today I’m taking a step that will ensure it never falls into those traps in the future.
Shareaza version 2.0 is being released with some cool new features, better performance, and a sleek new theme – but the biggest and most important change is that it’s now offered under the GPL, an open source license.
Developing Shareaza as a closed source product has been a lot of fun – it made some important technical improvements, broke some new ground with an original P2P network, “upped the ante” with many of its competitors and probably contributed to the growing trend away from “heavy spyware bundling”.
After all of this, I now feel like the best way to maximize the value of Shareaza to everyone is to really make it available to everyone – not just as an executable download, but in source form as well. I’ve incorporated a lot of good ideas people have sent in over the years, but I’ve also had to skip a lot of good ideas because they didn’t fit in with the direction Shareaza was going at the time. As an open source product, anyone is free to implement their own ideas and try their own directions – and I think that’s a good thing.
Of course I still have some strong views on which direction Shareaza should be going, and what kind of features I want to add – but now that can be part of a bigger picture, rather than the only picture.
The Shareaza 2.0 codebase is currently available for immediate download below, but its final home will likely be at SourceForge.net. The end-user installer is also available below.
And finally for those who aren’t interested in the whole open source thing, there are also some cool new features and important performance improvements:
- A new, very comprehensive “remote web access” feature allows full remote control of Shareaza’s searches, downloads, uploads and networks from any web browser.
- Helpful new “firewalled” warning message and link to router configuration tips
- Performance improvements on all supported networks
- Some sleek new “2.0” graphics.