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Two way web

The web is historically an asymetric medium, where one party initiates contact and consumes data and the other passively accepts contact and provides data. Peer to peer, by contrast, is a more symetric medium, one where data flows in both directions. The first wave of peer to peer applications, Freenet, Napster and Gnutella, all created their own protocols to accomplish this, because HTTP is explicitly a client/server design. Some partisans of an evolutionary approach to change advocate instead combining a web client and web server into one program, which would overcome the asymetry and allow data to flow in both directions. The principle reason for this evolutionary approach is to be able to build on the maturity of the HTTP protocol, as well as the high availability of web browsers, web servers, libraries for programmers, and pre-existing knowledge. Advocates of new protocols say, for the most part, that it is easier to create entirely new tools than to change HTTP. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, originally intended for the web to be a more asymetric medium.

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