↳ Introduction

An informal introduction to this project.

The SDMP is a language and network agnostic protocol, used to distribute encrypted messages between computers or users without requiring always-on or central servers, and is made to be simple enough that humans can understand it.

Although a simple protocol can be less efficient, by making the protocol simple it's easier to make sure that an implementation is secure.

The protocol describes the following:

There are two "actors" in the protocol:

The data objects are well defined JSON objects, and most of them can be validated using a JSON Schema, which is a JSON object which defines certain properties to be required.

An example JSON Schema might look like this:

	"type": "object",
	"properties": {
		"hello": {
			"type": "string",
			"pattern": "^[a-z]+$"
	"required": [ "hello" ]

For this schema, a possible valid JSON object would be:

	"hello": "world"

The protocol defines the container, which is a JSON object with some basic properties which describe what data the object is holding.

The object does this by listing the schema used to validate itself. To validate a container object, the object is validated against every schema listed.

An example container might look something like this:

	"sdmp": {
		"version": "0.12",
		"schemas": [
			"URI to JSON Schema 1",
			"URI to JSON Schema 2"
	"someOtherData": { ... }

In this example, JSON Schema 1 and JSON Schema 2 would be used to validate the properties of the object.

Since the schemas are known, the application is able to interpret and use the properties of the object.

Although anyone can make a schema and reference it in a container by a full URI, the SDMP defines a handful of schemas which are core to the protocol, and which are referenced by name. These core schemas must be understood by any software implementation.

The main schemas are:

Additional core schemas, used for network operations:

All of these schemas are JSON objects containing specific properties, used for operations in the protocol.

Network connections are established by nodes through a simple handshake which uses the Diffie-Hellman algorithm, which creates a new key per connection. This is done to achieve forward secrecy.

Each node sends the other node a shared_key object, which contains half of the numbers needed for the Diffie-Hellman calculation. At this point, each node has enough information to calculate a shared session key.

After establishing a shared session key, each node sends a signature object, signing the hash of the previously sent shared_key object, thus proving their identity.

Identities are created by generating public/private key pairs, and then publishing the public key to other users.

A user creates their own identity, and then creates additional identities for each application used to synchronize data across the network. These additional identities must be given authorization by the user, in the form of a signed trust object, which limits the actions the application's identity can take.

For example, a user might authorize the application on their laptop to read and write public and private data, but authorize the application on a shared server to only synchronize data.

Users send data to other users by publishing encrypted resources, encrypting the data to the end user and to every node the end user has authorized.

Messages are published by appending the resource to a journal, which is a list of known resources maintained by each identity.

Updates to this list are periodically sent out to all known identities, and those identities are responsible for requesting resources they do not have.