07 June 2007

MLDonkey 2.8.7


MLDonkey was originally intended as a pure eDonkey2000 clone, running on Unix and Linux, a sector that the original client never served well. Since the release of version 2, there has also been development to access other networks (see OtherNetworksSupported), most notably the eDonkey2000 offspring Overnet.

The history of MLDonkey has been lined with controversy, mostly based on the fact that the original client has always been proprietary, in terms of source code as well as transfer protocol. This has forced the MLDonkey developers to reverse engineer the basic mechanisms, but they didn't stop at that. In many cases, new functionality has been introduced, sometimes great and sometimes questionable.

MLDonkey introduced a method to connect to several servers simultaneously, thereby increasing search efficiency greatly. This was at a time when servers were quite small, and already strained (mainly by bots). Too many users, a few servers, new solutions needed.


Later on, certain pretentious server admins became more and more interested in the numbers of users assigned to their servers, rather than in the efficiency of the network. This meant that a client connecting to more than one server was a threat to their internal "high score" competition of served users.

Complaints started to come in from eDonkey users about MLDonkey being too efficient, i.e. utilizing an unfair amount of network resources. This probably has to do with the extreme reluctance of the developers of eDonkey2000 to improve their product, which led to larger and larger servers, instead of following the approach MLDonkey stood for: increasing the connectivity of the network as a whole. But, then again, making the eDonkey2000 network too efficient would probably not be in line with the plans to develop the Overnet, which is indeed a high connectivity serverless network.

MLDonkey also featured a way to exchange file sources between clients, thereby making the servers less important, of course another threat to the pride of the server admins. Soon, a strange alliance was formed by the developer of the popular Lugdunum server and MetaMachine, the eDonkey2000 development company. This resulted in a long series of attempts to ban MLDonkey, bans which were easily worked around, and due to the nature of open source projects, also easy to deploy among users.

Homepage: http://mldonkey.sourceforge.net/MLdonkey
Download @ Sourceforge

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