Lottery Players (was Re: [RC5] First Impressions)

Joe Zbiciak j-zbiciak1 at ti.com
Fri Mar 6 18:30:31 EST 1998


'Robert Brooks' said previously:

| Could d.net reach a broader audience by allowing the user to configure the
| client to search whatever non-duplicate section of the keyspace that the
| user may desire? 

I doubt it.  There are two different variations to consider here -- ordering
within a key-slice, and selecting which key-slice to focus on.

Within a key-slice, the key servers are being coordinated through a
central database.  For the client to know what a "non-duplicate
section" is, it would have to query this database.  The keyblocks that
are currently handed out serve this purpose pretty well; however, what
you propose would require providing the client (and thus the user) a
complete menu of regions to check, which seems woefully impractical.

Having a user-selected key-slice is another ball of wax altogether.
(Marc Sissom first described the scenario I'm about to describe. I
don't know how close it is to the actual implementation, but it is
sensible.)  I imagine the key servers are actively tracking only one
56-bit slice at a time (holdover from rc5-56 days, probably), and
random keys are being selected from a secondary slice, and are probably
processed "offline" for stats purposes.  They're probably using one
database file for each 56-bit slice, and so sending key blocks from N
arbitrary slices would require N databases to be active.  The current
scheme requires only one primary database, and one secondary database
which can be updated much less frequently.


Essentially, this is the same reason individuals are asked to not 
set their own randomprefix, since the coordinators are trying to 
keep the clients relatively focused, at least within one key-slice.

Regards,

--Joe

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