Hey everyone. I've been watching WinMXWorld for a long time. I haven't really held all that much hope. But not because I didn't think OurMX would mature. It was the nature of the mob, that convinced me there was not much hope. It seems that the largest issue is the concept of convenience. Having something other than a smartphone or tablet, seems to have become inconvenient. Personal data storage has also started to become inconvenient. Soon the gamers will not even own a physical copy of their games.
I have some thoughts to offer and hope to get your input.
I have long been thinking about retro computing. The still supported networks, that also existed when WinMX was in its prime, have all gained new features. IRC Has changed the least. You can still connect to IRC using 16bit mIRC from a Win3.1 computer. Many modern IRC applications would really bog down an old computer, if run at all.
I do not mean to suggest that this is the only purpose left to WinMX, or other incarnations of it. I myself prefer light resource applications, even on a more powerful machine. And retro does not always mean old hardware. You can find a nice sized group of people running Win9x on newer and even new hardware. They are doing it on bare metal, no virtual machine. However, it does require patches and/or updates.
I know WinMX was aimed at Win9x to WinXP. But that is still a good chunk of the Retro community.
It seems to be the view, of many retro users, that the modern twist on things is the inconvenience. The idea of "retro decentralized networking" has great appeal to me. Perhaps something could come together there?
I can't remember, does WinMX require hashing of every file shared? To me, file hashing is a big turn off. I know it was optional with Opennap, and mostly not used. WinMX is also unencrypted, right? I think both if these things should be done outside of the networking software.
Perhaps, if a new WinMX was to be created, it could retain the elegant nature of the lower feature bloat. If it was OS portable, it could support other Retro systems. It would also be an interesting application port to systems like Haiku, Aros, KolibriOS, and maybe even Freedos. Freepascal may be a good language choice, with maybe the exception of targeting KolibriOS.
WinMX is not the only network that would be interesting for this. I also consider early 0.6 versions of the gnutella network, older neomodus DC++, and Napster. WinMX and gnutella are nice, because they are decentralized. Older gnutella and DC++ are nice, because they only require one open TCP port. Ideally it would be nice to see them all get a breath of new life.
One advantage of gnutella over WinMX is bootstrapping. I am guessing that the WinMX patch(es) point to a newly maintained client list or 24/7 stable running clients. With gnutella, you can add the IP and Port of another client to bootstrap from. Some gnutella applications let you create your own network, independent of the default (Phex and Gnotella). I have a feeling that this could be added to WinMX via a custom patch maker.