There is a concept that's been hovering around for a while, but seemingly nobody has made a serious attempt at it. That is, a desktop client that can read imageboards
. There's a lot of advantages to this, but you can take it a step further and reach a whole another level by also making a server that's designed to co-operate with the client.
This thread is for me ideaguying and probably posting actual progress on such a system (from here out named NIBS
for "N-ImageBoard System"
NIBS is 2 different things, a desktop client for browsing imageboards, and an imageboard server that's designed for the client. The basic idea behind it's operation is that whenever you get information from the server, you cache it locally on your computer, and when you view a page it's loaded from the cache, and you only ask the server if anything has happened after that. This results in colossal speed gains for the user and bandwidth savings for the server, the experience is better for the user and the server costs are much lower for the owner. The auto-update system will also be able to tell you everything about every thread/board you have open/watched across the entire webring, instantly as soon as something happens anywhere.
By default, NIBS imageboards will be impossible to access directly from a web browser, and the NIBS client can't directly access traditional website imageboards. Instead both the NIBS client and server will be split into 2 parts; one for the NIBS core system, and another optional "plugin" that can translate to/from web protocols. The plugins will allow the NIBS client to read traditional imageboards, and the NIBS server to be accessible from a web browser like any other imageboard (some features will be disabled however because web browsers can't do certain things that NIBS client can, and traditional servers don't support certain NIBS server features). On the server side, this also allows you to detach the imageboard from the web by removing the plugin, thus only people with the NIBS client can access it.
NIBS will have a "webring" by design, in fact the whole system revolves around a webring-like operation. It works similarly to the current webring except servers only store links
to other imageboards, they don't share board lists. Instead the user's client will retrieve all the board data from all the different servers, and stores them locally. It will also be able to include the current webring boards.
Pic related is a shitty graph that attempts to roughly describe how NIBS server and client communicate and how the "web plugins" play in. (just replace "NC" with "NIBS")
Nchan ( >>4
) will likely be "cancelled" and replaced with NIBS (that's where the N comes from). The web translator plugin should eventually be able to provide a website that basically looks like Nchan anyway though. However finishing NIBS will take a much longer time than it would to finish Nchan. NIBS is the true true thing I've really want to make, more so than a normal imageboard, and more so than just a handmade server. I just didn't have enough understanding of networking to think about this seriously.
A desktop program for browsing imageboards.
A new imageboard engine.
A completely new model of operating which has huge advantages.