Joost Peer-to-Peer WTF

I had a bit of a WTF moment earlier today regarding this:

Swarm: Distributed Computation in the Cloud from Ian Clarke on Vimeo.

You don’t have to watch it far. Just go to the “about me” bit, and you hear the guy mention that he worked on the P2P video streaming layer that was later part of Joost.

Err, what? Who’s that Ian Clarke guy that I didn’t work with while I was working on the P2P video streaming layer powering Joost? That rubs me the wrong way, I’m proud of my work there, and happy to give credit to everyone involved1. So how come I never heard of Ian before?

I mean, I’m on file for having worked in that capacity, and Ian is not:

The Anthill team was a small team of elite engineers who had direct access
to the GI Software and its underlying source code. The goal of the Anthill
team’s work was to manipulate and transform the GI Software code to allow
for video delivery over a peer-to-peer internet network.
The Joost employees who had access to the GI Software code included the
members of the Anthill team, which consisted of Martijn Boekhorst, Jens
Finkhauser [sic], Paul Querna, Garrett Rooney, Sander Striker and
[Justin Erenkrantz].

Turns out that Ian Clarke was part of Cematics LLC, which was hired by Janus and Niklas to do some video-over-p2p work prior to The Venice Project.

Aah, that explains it. So my initial reaction isn’t entirely fair, and I’d like to shout out some kudos to Ian with this post! I’m sure that his work has helped in TVP getting started properly. Which means I wouldn’t have been part of a wonderful (if ultimately doomed) project without him. I can’t thank Ian enough for that! And weird what sort of things you learn about your place of work years after the fact…

At the same time, I’d like to slightly correct Ian’s claim. Joost’s P2P layer was based off Joltid‘s GI Software, not off something he built. It seems whatever he has done was discarded before my joining Joost in January 2007. Again, though, that doesn’t mean his contributions haven’t been valuable to the project as a whole, just — oddly enough — not to the people working on the actual P2P video streaming layer.

There, internet history is corrected, and hopefully without either Ian’s claim to fame tarnished, nor my own, small as it may be.

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  1. Hell, give me least credit of them all and I’d still be happy as a happy can be! []