I’ve seen several threads here that circle about the Introducer feature sometimes re-adding devices that should not be. That gave me an idea for a new feature, a “soft introducer”.
My background is actually trying to maintain a mesh without total everyone-knows-everyone topology. Every device owner gets to choose what other nodes to connect to. There IS a central cluster node that everyone should have in their list. However, if everyone sets the introducer flag, the mesh will be completed automatically – not my goal as it could lead to performance problems with large clusters.
So I was thinking about putting a list of device IDs as a text file within some share, so everyone can pick their desired connections. However, the data is already there in BEP’s cluster config message.
So I propose for discussion:
Memorizing the known other device IDs for a folder after a cluster config message (not persistent).
Adding a link to each share in the GUI, with tooltip “List other devices you might want to share this with”. It will be hidden if all devices are already in our connection set. It should be non-intrusive so the user can easily ignore it if a complete mesh topology is not desired (so not a notification box).
Show a list of “unknown” devices with the same share when clicking the link. Choosing an entry there will a) add the device ID and b) set the folder’s flag to be shared with that device. Note: The other end will have to acknowledge the connection request after getting a notification box and possibly verifying the device ID over an independent channel.
For devices that are already known to us, but do not directly share a folder we both have, maybe also suggest enabling the respective “share with” flag. Haven’t thought out a GUI concept for this yet.
All of this is not meant to automate trust management, like introducers do. It just tries to simplify device ID distribution and manual setup of network topology.
Looking forward to your comments, regardless of who will have time to possibly implement which parts. I think it could be useful even to less sophisticated users that would not mock about with introducers, but don’t like reading long device ID strings over the phone.