After my latest post about the exponential size of a potential Gentoo / Portage database of binaries (indexed by use flags, build dependencies, etc) I just came up with a fairly interesting idea.
Who else (who we all know and love) has as much (and likely far more) data to index? Obviously, Google ;-) Googles method of indexing data is using their distributed filesystem.
So why couldn't binaries based on Portage ebuilds be indexed in such a fashion. Well, since the volume of data, indexed by use flags, build dependencies, etc, would be so massive, it's unlikely that any single, community-driven server could host such data alone.
If the community was involved, though, it wouldn't be too far fetched to make the binary-distribution distributed filesystem available on Peer-to-Peer networks. The same hashing technique could be used for each of the various packages that's being built. Furthermore, as has been pointed out by others already, the environmental impact that Portage has is probably intriguing, considering that every package installed by the average user is compiled from source.
And let's be honest with each other - the bottom line in using software is using it, and not building it.
++ for P2P networking AND Gentoo :)
Update [ 2007-11-30 ]: I also mentioned this once on Daniel Robbins' blog - Funtoo