OpenFT is a file sharing protocol developed by the giFT open source project.
The name OpenFT stands for "Open FastTrack". The OpenFT protocol is an entirely new protocol design and only has a few ideas drawn from what little is known about it. When one says OpenFT, it can mean either the protocol itself or the implementation of it in the form of a plugin for the giFT project.
From the giFT homepage:
Like FastTrack and Napster, OpenFT is a network where nodes submit lists of shared files to other nodes to keep Track of which files are available on the network. This reduces the bandwidth consumed from search requests at the price of additional memory and processing power on the nodes that store the information. The transmission of shared lists is not fully recursive: a node will only transmit its list of shared files to a single search node randomly chosen as that node's parent, and the list of those files will not be further transmitted to other nodes.
OpenFT is also similar to the Gnutella project in that search requests are recursively forwarded in between the nodes that keep track of the shared files.
There are three different types of nodes on the OpenFT network:
Most nodes are USER nodes; these do not have special functions.
These nodes handle search requests; they search filelists the the Child nodes have submitted to them. These nodes must have a capable Internet connection and at least 128Mb of RAM and a modern processor.
Nodes with fast connections and lots of memory can be INDEX nodes, which keep lists of available search nodes, collect statistics and try to maintain the network structure.
A node can be both a SEARCH and an INDEX node. USER nodes will pick three SEARCH nodes to be their Parent nodes. They will submit their shares list to them if the Parent accepts the USER as its Child. By default, SEARCH nodes will be Parents for a maximum of 500 Child nodes.