BeShare is a filesharing/chat client for the BeOS, written by Jeremy Friesner. It uses the MUSCLE protocol (by the same author) for communication with the server and other clients. Like Napster, the client connects to the server, and all chat and file searches are routed through the server. However, file transfers are conducted directly between clients. According to the author Jeremy Friesner1:
"BeShare is a file-sharing program for BeOS. You can use it to swap files with your fellow BeOS users. If you've ever used Napster or Gnutella, you have a pretty good idea of how it works."
More important than the program itself is the community that has grown up around it. Many BeOS users have found themselves gravitating to BeShare as a place to talk to other BeOS users, or to ask questions and get quick, friendly answers. I personally spent years chatting on BeShare; filesharing was always a secondary reason to hang out on BeShare.
BeShare uses a server to route all communications through. A few servers have served as the default BeShare server. In the beginning, there was really only one server; these days, there are many competing servers. The first server to be the default was beshare.bentonrea.com. This server was hosted by one known in the BeOS community as "Ben". Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, this server was forced to close. In its absence, a new server was started by "BeGirl": beshare.befaqs.com, an extension of her BeOS-related site www.befaqs.com. BeFaqs suffered from bandwidth problems, and at times, a less than appreciative community. Many other servers have been created. Since the discontinuation of beshare.befaqs.com, I am not aware of what the default server is, although a list of them exist at www.beshare.com.
The BeShare community has always had strong ties to other BeOS-related communities such as #beos and #beosradio on any IRC network, #openbeos on Open Projects Net, the BeGroovy forums at www.begroovy.com, and the OpenBeOS project. The community also extends beyond BeOS users to... you guessed it, former BeOS users2. The Windows/Linux/Unix program Ozone3 is a MUSCLE client like BeShare that allows users of other operating systems to enjoy all the benefits of BeShare. There is also a Java client called JavaShare4 that allows anyone with a Java-capable web browser to connect to the BeShare server, usually from the web site associated with said BeShare server.
More information about BeShare can be found at http://www.beshare.com, the central hub of the community, or http://www.lcscanada.com/beshare/, the author's page.
Update: Sadly, as of October 28, 2002, http://www.beshare.com is gone. While a WHOIS query reveals that BeFaqs still owns the domain, there is no longer a web server on it. This has not only shut down the "central hub of the community", but the automatic server lists cease to exist in any BeShare program that previously referenced www.beshare.com. I recommend using beshare.tycomsystems.com as a BeShare server in the meantime.
- Quoted from the web page http://www.lcscanada.com/beshare/index.html.
- I am personally a former BeOS user.
- More information at http://www.ozone-o3.net.
- More information at http://bmanv.no-ip.com/index.html?Category=5&Page=2.