Over the course of the last six months - and in addition to a few major feature additions - a lot of polishing work, bugfixing and quality improvements have gone into the reference implementation of Reticulum.
It's been quite a ride to get here, and it took far more work, dilligence and persistence than I had ever imagined. It also would not have been possible without the many contributions from the community, both in terms of code, bugfixes, error reporting, donations, ideas, testing and everything else that has been generously given to the project. I am so grateful for everyone that has shared the vision of Reticulum, and helped make it a reality.
What started out as a pretty far-out idea, almost ten years ago, has now been realised to the point of proving itself to be a solid and functional system, build on a sound conceptual framework. For the first time, a realistic alternative to the ubiquity of the TCP/IP stack is within reach, and IP is no longer The Internet Protocol, but a protocol for inter-networking, with Reticulum being a possible alternative.
Will a global internet powered primarily by Reticulum ever become a reality? I have absolutely no idea. Functionally, it could happen. In time, and when a variety of native code implementations exist, Reticulum can essentially be deployed as a software update to the existing terrestrial internet, and exist alongside the old IP-based applications and systems.
In the long term, I truly believe that an internet running Reticulum is a better internet. Better in the terms of individual and collective human freedom, agency and prosperity, and in respect for human-centered values. The protocol stack that powers the current internet has inherent problems that can never be solved in-place, and the only long-term solution is to replace it. Reticulum offers a sensible and realistic path to that.
How, when - or indeed if - that happens, however, is currently not something I will concern myself with much. Reticulum already has so many use-cases and problems that it solves right now, that I think it is much more valuable to focus on those in the short to medium term, and that is where I will continously place my efforts.
But don't mistake it: Reticulum was designed from the beginning to potentially power everything from the smallest network of just a couple of low-power devices, to an interplanetary network spanning the entire solar system, with many billions of active endpoints, all operating in unison even in a dynamic and ever-changing topography. Reticulum is currently the only communications technology that even comes close to allowing something like this.
That I can finally say "The Reticulum API is complete" is a relief. I feel now, that what I set out to do, almost a decade ago, has been completed. I know there's a number of you that have been very patiently waiting for the time to start building other implementations of Reticulum, in other programming languages, and tailored for specific system types, and finally, that time is now.
In accordance with this, I will also take on a more passive and supportive role in the time ahead, focusing more on supporting the activities of anyone that builds out the Reticulum ecosystem, and on maintaining and improving the qualities of the Reticulum reference implementation. Who knows, maybe I will even have time to write some of the fun programs I always dreamed of making with Reticulum? Either way, the time to start building on and around Reticulum is now. Go for it!
And let me just send a shout-out of amazement and support to those who could not quite wait, and just went ahead and started Reticulum implementations in C# and Java already. That's awesome.
I also want to say a particular thanks to all of you who helped contribute code and bugfixes in this last stretch of development, and especially to acehoss for his invaluable and substantial contributions of the
Buffer implementations, and his amazing work in bringing the Reticulum ecosystem our very own version of
ssh, running purely over Reticulum: the rnsh program (which even works well over very low-bandwidth links).
Also thanks to everyone running nodes and hubs on the Reticulum testnet. I am so delighted and grateful to see all the nodes connected, and exploring all the interesting things that people are building with NomadNet and LXMF is awesome.
Thank you everyone, for the ride so far! Both to all the supporters, and also to all of you who critisized the very idea, said it couldn't be done, and that I was mad. I can't wait to see where we take it from here!
Maybe, just maybe, we will one day have a universal and uncensorable communications fabric spanning our solar system, ensuring full reachability, connectivity, anonymity and security for everyone. Reticulum is a first tiny step in that direction, and I am grateful and proud to have been a part of that.