PeerPoint An Open P2p requirements Definition and Design Specification Proposal

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An Open P2P Requirements Definition and Design Specification Proposal

Google Doc created June 6, 2012

Last updated October 19, 2012

PeerPoint shares a vision of “Sovereign Computing”:
To be the true owner of your information and of your computer's hardware resources, as well as to share these things in any way you want and only with whomever you want. To participate in the Internet free of the middleman, as an autonomous, independent and sovereign individual.” (Klaus Wuestefeld)

PeerPoint’s version of the sovereign individual is the peer. A peer is a critter of the bio-digital ecosystem. The bio-digital ecosystem includes nature, human culture, machine devices and the internet. The term "peer" can apply to a person or a machine, and either kind of peer can play different roles in various groups, networks, and communities. But there are no "second class" peers but trust relations between sovereign peers. A sovereign peer may choose to interact through any kind of network and with any entity whether it be a trusted equal or an untrusted corporate giant. A peer always retains an autonomy of agency to consent to or reject any relationship. There is no particular entity, group, or service in the “internets” that a sovereign peer can't go around or do without.

Arguably life on the internet is already like that and always has been. The problem is that for most internet users their agency, or sovereignty, is severely compromised. They submit to many relationships and services without really being informed. Is it their own fault? No, because the deck is stacked against them. Important facts and choices are unknown, withheld, or obfuscated. There are either insufficient alternatives or so many choices no human person has time to evaluate them all. Out of necessity we put our trust in proxies (others who make decisions for us), and that trust is very often betrayed.
The PeerPoint project is intended to serve several communities of interest from average internet users to social entrepreneurs and technology innovators. The project will need to present different faces and appropriate on-ramps to these different communities. This document is only a beginning.


The Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, Los Indignados, and similar uprisings around the world demonstrate that a new, open society and open democracy is struggling to rise from the bottom up. But the internet has been captured by giant corporations whose business models are based on centralized infrastructure, proprietary technology, user surveillance and censorship, and unilateral terms of service. These developments threaten the success of our collective aspirations.

The PeerPoint Open P2P Requirements Definition and Design Specification Proposal describes an evolving, crowdsourced design specification for sovereign computing in the form of a suite of inter-operating peer-to-peer (p2p) applications to include (but not limited to) social networking, real-time project collaboration, content management, distributed database management, voting, trust/reputation metrics, complementary currency, crowdfunding, and others. This specification overlaps with existing p2p projects but also goes substantially beyond anything currently in the pipeline.
The PeerPoint Open Design Specification is not meant to replace or down-play existing p2p initiatives. It is intended to complement such efforts by providing an open vehicle for cross-community collaboration involving users and developers alike and by working to facilitate technical interoperability and synergy between open P2P implementations. PeerPoint aims to involve a broad base of stakeholders to jointly:

  1. identify detailed user requirements across a broad range of social and digital collaboration needs

  2. document best practices and solution sets favored by the technical community

  3. make informed and detailed correlations between the requirements and prefered solutions

The project is intended to clarify and prioritize what the user community needs from the technical community, in order to prevail in the social, political, and economic struggles facing our digital society now and in coming years. With the participation of the developer community it could also become an open reference and repository of best practices and prefered solution sets in p2p technology.

Members of p2p projects, interested programmers and designers, power users, activists, and others are encouraged to participate in the collaborative development of the open PeerPoint Design Specification and to adopt any part of the specs they can use in their own work.


The initial methods for collaboration are limited, and one of the first priorities is to expand them.

  • PeerPoint (This Google Doc) Editing is open--see below.

  • PeerPoint Candidate Software Components (Google Spreadsheet) This comparison matrix is very incomplete--please contribute to populating it.

  • PeerPoint on GitHub (Bare bones at present)

  • PeerPoint (This document as a web page in HTML format)

Joining the Next Net Google group automatically enables edit permission for the present document.
As soon as an appropriate wiki-based platform is selected the project will move there. A GitHub wiki was created but it was too bare bones. A better wiki platform is desired and suggestions would be appreciated. We are considering the Referata hosted semantic mediawiki platform. If you know of an existing Referata wiki that might welcome this kind of content please let us know.
To begin actively participating in the PeerPoint project, please read the PeerPoint topic thread at the Next Net Google Group.
Editing of this document by Next Net members is encouraged but please:

  1. don’t delete existing material without permission (discuss at PeerPoint topic @ Next Net)

  2. do add new text in a color other than black-on-white and add your name below in that color (I suggest including the RGB values so you can reproduce your selection later)

  3. Or, if you prefer, make a copy of this doc and edit that, but please share what you come up with!


  • Poor Richard (black-on-white)

  • Example (blue-on-gray - 0,0,225 / 204,204,204)

  • David Bowman (green-on-gray -12, 52, 61 / 204,204,204)

  • Rebentisch (violet on white)

  • Nathan (as such)

  • Michael Maranda (green on black)

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