Aether and IPFS: Propagate CIDs using the Aether Network

Valuable content on Aether disappears from view after 6 months. Valued content could be archived using IPFS, for example using a system like text-drop:


Propagating IPFS CIDs (Content Identifiers) through IPFS without relying on a centralized IPFS gateway takes a while and might not reach many nodes at all. For example, one user might value some Aether content, archive it on IPFS and publish the CID on Aether for others to reference and archive. However, if Aetherians try to download that archived content, their node may struggle to find the CID, and they would be unable to download and pin it too.

So, would the Aether network additionally be able to propagate through the Aether community the CIDs of content that Aetherians value? This would help the community archive trhe content they value.

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It depends on what format those CIDs are. We have capability to share any sort of text information, which I presume what CIDs are in the end. However, if they involve actual sharing behaviour instead of being just flat text, that might be more of a problem since we don’t have any IPFS specific logic.

That said, we have some announcements in the works where there’ll be more manpower available to Aether shortly, A collaboration with IPFS is on the wishlist, and I’ll investigate this further. It might be CID sharing or it might be something else, but it seems IPFS and Aether communities do intersect quite a bit so it seems it’s worth it to at least to take a deeper look.

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I am very happy about this @b and it is great news that you have rallied some more support.

IPFS CIDs are plain text. Here is a breakdown of one:
https://cid.ipfs.io/#QmY7Yh4UquoXHLPFo2XbhXkhBvFoPwmQUSa92pxnxjQuPU

From the documentation:

Version 1 (v1)
CID v1 contains some leading identifiers that clarify exactly which representation is used, along with the content-hash itself. These include:

A multibase (opens new window)prefix, specifying the encoding used for the remainder of the CID
A CID version identifier, which indicates which version of CID this is
A multicodec (opens new window)identifier, indicating the format of the target content — it helps people and software to know how to interpret that content after the content is fetched
These leading identifiers also provide forward-compatibility, supporting different formats to be used in future versions of CID.

You can use the first few bytes of the CID to interpret the remainder of the content address and know how to decode the content after being fetched from IPFS. For more details, check out the CID specification (opens new window). It includes a decoding algorithm (opens new window)and links to existing software implementations for decoding CIDs

Thanks. I think @benedict has some connections to th IPFS community so I think that would be a good start once we get ourselves through the onboarding and ship the merged Aether.