Below I look through options to add ad-hoc mesh support to Thali. I evaluate Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, Serval, OpenGuardan and Commotion. It’s clear to me that at least the open source mesh technologies are not ready yet for prime time. They need more time in the oven. But both Commotion and Serval (which are working together) are exciting and I can easily imagine in a few years them reaching the point where they are ready for prime time. But not today.
This leaves Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth. Both are pretty seriously flawed for our mainline scenarios which involve opportunistic synching. They are really only useful when dealing with a small group of peers on a regular basis over a long period of time. We do have those scenarios but they aren’t as high priority at the moment. So for now I’m just not going to worry about it.
[Note: Originally published on 9/4 but updated on 9/5 thanks to Ben Mendis who kicked me in the rear to take a better look at Commotion. I updated again on 9/10 thanks to comments by Michael Rogers around limitations of Wi-Fi and options around Bluetooth. On 9/15 I updated the Bluetooth section based on more of the excellent conversation with Michael Rogers and added a section on AllJoyn]Continue reading ... Picking an ad-hoc mesh network for Thali