What Is the Difference Between Patchwork and Scuttlebutt?

And what is patchbay, and ssb, and every other mysterious term I've been hearing?

Scuttlebutt is the general idea or concept around all of this. It's definition is loose, and is often just meant to refer to this entire thing, in the way someone refers to "the internet" or "this afternoon". In this case, the thing is the idea of a network organized similar to an actual social graph, which communicates messages in a way similar to gossip.

SSB stands for SecureScuttleButt. It is the protocol through which we can exchange messages, read each others' feeds, and make friends. You could compare it to TCP, which is an underlying protocol for how devices connect to one another on the internet. TCP is a network protocol, though, while SSB is a local protocol. This means it doesn't require any sort of internet connection to work.

Patchwork,Patchbay, and Patchfoo are different applications used to interpret and display the various messages transmitted through SSB. A rough analogy would be that if SSB was like TCP, then an application like Patchwork would be like a web browser.

A better analogy for all of this would be that Patchwork is a car you ride in and SecureScuttlebutt is the road you drive on. There are other types of cars that drive on the same road and you can drive a different car to the same place (car = application, road = protocol).

  • With this analogy, the current car models for driving on ssb are:
        \- Patchwork: family station wagon
        \- Patchbay: pickup truck
        \- Patchfoo: jeep
        \- git-ssb: digger.


  • The answer is compiled from multiple posts from this thread:

Shoutout to @dominic for the car analogy.

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