[messaging] Pijul for messaging based collaboration tools

Jeff Burdges burdges at gnunet.org
Mon Apr 11 06:44:24 PDT 2016

There are occasionally secure messaging or "distributed internet"
related projects that want to evolve into secure collaboration tools.
Initially, these often imagine using git under the hood, but either they
figure out that's a bad idea, or else it goes poorly. 

I just learned about Pijul today : http://pijul.org/faq.html
see also : https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10470281 

It's a distributed version control system that combines the patch theory
based approach of Darcs with the snapshot-based approach of git,
mercurial, etc.  see also :

It appears that patch-based version control handles merges better under
the "send these updates" type model that one expects from a
collaboration tool built on top of a messaging protocol. 

Of course, a patch-based DVCs is NOT a substitute for a conflict-free
replicated data type (CRDT) when merges must work.  It nevertheless
seems closer to human intuition when some errors can be tolerated.

Also, Pijul is written in Rust, making it memory safe and runtime
free-ish, i.e. callable like C through other languages FFIs.  It's
structured as a library, avoiding some headaches around trying to use
git under the hood.  And maybe making tweaking the merge algorithm
easier for data formats used by some collaboration tool. 


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