How feasible would it currently be to stand up a more decentralized alternative to ipfs.pics? The driver would be that the site has poor up-time (at least anecdotally speaking based on when I try to use it and can’t). Because of the claims the site makes about images being hosted in the “IPFS cloud”, the poor up-time also doesn’t make for good feelings about IPFS’ reliability.
It seems like an alternative to the site running the IPFS node on the web server would be to use js-ipfs, which should save the server some bandwidth and ideally make it easier to keep a service running. Unless we wanted people’s images they’ve uploaded to immediately disappear once they close their browser I’m guessing there would still need to be another IPFS node requesting the images that have just been added to IPFS in order to make sure it’s available for some time.
Probably the main problem if I’m thinking about this right is decentralized tracking of image hashes and upvotes/downvotes for the random/featured/best pages.
Guess you could do something that works like this:
- Starts js-ipfs node in the browser
- Once image is added, add to IPFS and share the hash via pubsub
- Any open browser pages will receive that and download the image
- Offer people to be able to host “helper-nodes” that would be running on people’s server, to help hosting the content
In the future, Filecoin could be added to help hosting permanent images rather than ephemeral ones.
Filecoin would be an interesting solution, but is it the right one? I usually upload images (e.g. screengrabs) to embed them on discussion boards, and (semi-) permanency is important. However, uploading and storing on imgur is free of charge, so I don’t see why people would switch to an IPFS solution, where they need to pay. So an in-app or in-browser solution might be preferable: the pubsub idea for the whole community would be nice, of course, but I can also think of a “pin-at-access” solution, i.e. if a user accesses the image (or rather: a webpage containing this image), his browser will auto-pin it to the local storage of his in-browser node, ergo it’s being distributed only by those who accessed the file. Could cause problems, if the webpage isn’t visited by many people, but that’s an inherent problem in IPFS, it seems… distribution is great, permanency might be a problem.
Users would need some sort of “clear ipfs storage” functionality, though, or auto-clear after 1 year etc.
For photo collections, high-resolution stuff, etc. I can see a market for Filecoin-based solutions, but for a quick grab not so much.
As for ipfs.pics… I’ve never managed to access their website anyway. Seems to have been offline for ages.