Interview: Jason of Swapper

Nothingface5384: What’s inspired you to develop Swapper?

Jason: After I left my former company in April 2001 for a well needed extended vacation, I needed something to fill my day. I decided to learn C#. I felt the best way to do this was to write a piece of software – P2P seemed interesting.

Nothingface5384: How long have you been in development with Swapper?

Jason: I started coding in June 2001 and released the first good version March 2002.

Nothingface5384: Are you currently working on any other projects or have you in the past?

Jason: I just started experimenting with a new idea that should bring P2P more into the mainstream. The product should be ready by years end. Aside from that, my lips are sealed.

Nothingface5384: What’s your main goal or your biggest concern of Swapper?

Jason: I code for food, and I like to eat at fine steak houses, so I need to make more money from Swapper. I’m looking for companies to license my libraries for inclusion in other projects.

Nothingface5384: What’s been some of the problems or drawbacks?

Jason: Swapper’s main problems are caused by the Gnutella protocol itself, which is still young and in need of improvement. Almost any change to the protocol requires lengthy debate and cooperation among the different servent developers. Naturally, this is a time consuming process. Bugs and differing feature sets is another source of headaches.

Nothingface5384: What issues have you been working on to fix from earlier versions and will they bee resolved in the next release?

Jason: Speed in general, and compatibility with Windows 98/ME. And from the feedback of my users, I’ve made great strides in these areas.

Nothingface5384: What new features can we expect in this next release?

Jason: After a 3 month hiatus, I released Swapper.NET 3.0, a major revision, on 8/5. It sports an entirely new user interface, has better performance and reliability, and supports all accepted Gnutella standards and proposals including items like data compression.

Nothingface5384: What features will you be implementing in future versions you want to add or didn’t have time to add before?

Jason: I will work to identify Swapper and other advanced up to date servants in order to perform clustering. This should provide a better experience as my users will be able to take advantage of my advanced features.

Nothingface5384: How do you feel about certain developers adding crapware bundled w/ their software and implementing blocking features?

Jason: So long as the vendors disclose the name AND nature of the bundled software BEFORE it is installed, I have no problem. Servent vendors need to make money, and at the present time, this is the easiest model to follow.

Nothingface5384: Will swapper ever become bundled with ad/spyware and or become a pay service?

Jason: I can’t stand the ad/spyware and delete software that installs it. I have no plans to add this to Swapper.

Nothingface5384: How do you feel about all the clones and how most of them are outdated and leach off the network, what’s your thought on that?

Jason: Gnutella is an open protocol, and needs the cooperation of its inhabitants to thrive. While the protocol is still in flux, servent vendors need to be more proactive in convincing their users to upgrade to fuller featured, up to date, less buggy software. This is even more important for the large more established vendors than for vendors with small market share.

Nothingface5384: What do you think of the new programs such as Shareaza, Qeerpeer, and Ares?

Jason: I have not used any of these programs, but in general new software is unpolished and incomplete (see Windows 1.0). Hopefully these vendors will continue to improve their products they can get to a point where they are able to improve the protocol and increase its uses and popularity.

Nothingface5384: Do you feel like your client is still being overlooked cause of the fact that you need the .NET framework to run it?

Jason: Yes. I had hoped that the .NET framework would have been deployed on more machines by now, but this will come with time.

Nothingface5384: Have you ever thought about making Swapper open source and will you ever in the future?

Jason: I’m not a big fan of open source software. The customization is not needed for 99% of my users, the infrastructure needed to support contributions from other programmers is sizeable, and it reduces my options to license the software.

Nothingface5384: Have you ever had the chance to work with the other developers and will you ever in the near future?

Jason: Developers of the majority of Gnutella servents work together in a forum. We bounce proposals and ideas off of each other and discuss common issues. In fact, many of us met at the P2P conference last fall.

Nothingface5384: In what direction do you think the Gnutella network is heading?

Jason: The protocol will start to appear in non file sharing software like online games where developers need a highly scalable network and do not want to host a server farm.

Nothingface5384: What are the know problems with the Gnutella network and what can be done to fix/advance this network?

Jason: Two areas that I’m interested in concern reliability and horizon. If I find a resource using the gnet, I want to be able to contact it. To this end, we are working on a Push and a Transparent Proxy which will improve the communication to firewalled hosts. Increasing the horizon allows us to find rare resources more easily.

Nothingface5384: Will Swapper ever connect w/ other Networks besides the G-net?

Jason: The GNET should be invisible to the end user. If I can find another network that will provide a better experience for my users, I will adopt it.

Nothingface5384: Is there a Solution for lechers, if not will leeching always be apart of every p2p community?

Jason: One solution is to make leechers more active in the role of routing packets and have them act as a proxy for firewalled hosts.

Nothingface5384: How do you feel about programs such as Overpeer and Ranger flooding p2p network with decoy files and there attempt to chock off file sharing?

Jason: If they advertise content that requires payment to activate, they will help the network. If they obey the routing and forwarding rules, they will help the network. If they simple produce files that cannot be downloaded, they are evil.

Nothingface5384: Will p2p ever seize or fall, or will it always be there in the future?

Jason: Gnutella may eventually give way to a more powerful protocol, but P2P is here to stay. It is just too useful for solving general computing problems for it to die.

Nothingface5384: When can we expect the new release or releases of Swapper?
Jason: Now that I’m back, I’m going to try to get back on a schedule of bi-monthly releases.

Nothingface5384: One last question, anything else you want to say to the rest of the world?

Jason: Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.