Computer: Network: BitTorrent
TorrentWeb   (+2, -3)  [vote for, against]
Use BitTorrent for the WWW

I'd like a protocol that is similar to BitTorrent, but for the World Wide Web. It would work something like this.

The client requests a page. If the site has implemented Torrent WWW, and the client has identified in the UA string that it supports Torrent WWW, the server returns the equivalent of a .torrent file. The browser connects and downloads the page. The browser continues seeding for a user-set time, U/D ratio, or until the browser closes.

WWW page downloads are usually much smaller files than are usually downloaded with BT. Because of this, there is a potential for a shortage of seeds. To remedy this, the server acts as a seed, as well as offering access as a traditional HTTP server.

Since web sites are updated, the server would need to have a way to tell the swarm to stop downloading the file and switch to the new one. This would be implemented by giving the server access to controls on the tracker, or having the server run the tracker program itself.

For dynamic pages, the torrent-downloaded files would only contain the static content and pointers to the dynamic content.

Torrent WWW would allow owners of popular sites to have less expensive equipment and connections, and give faster load times to their viewers. Imagine, the Slashdot effect wouldn't slow down downloads of a page, but speed them up.
-- -----, Jul 28 2005

How BitTorrent Works
[-----, Jul 28 2005]

Coral Cache
A Peer-to-Peer load balancing system. No work on webmaster's or user's part. [Acme, Jul 28 2005]

i think for just web pages, the size of files is so low you dont really need to use bit torrent. it would probably take longer in fact, when u use bit torrent it takes ages to connect sometimes.

you may as well just use it for the big files like video or programs, but the bbc already does this with video, and a lot of programs use bit torrent downloads.
-- jonplackett, Jul 28 2005

I thought about that. I think that it would only be feasible for very popular websites, or as a temporary measure for a spike. However, I have known ABC (my Torrent client) to connect and download small files in about 4 seconds.
-- -----, Jul 28 2005

random, halfbakery