RFC 6940, or RELOAD, provides a spec for a p2p signaling network.
It basically creates an overlay network that can send messages between nodes and store small amounts of data. It specifies an abstract interface to the 'overlay layer' to easily allow for pluggable overlay networks (ex: friend-to-friend network), while also specifying a default (chord DHT) overlay algorithm.
Although it looks like it was originally designed to support the IETF P2PSIP working group, it can handle more generic message passing, and has some intriguing features for our space.
Pros: + Support for Clients - It suggests having simpler client nodes that are able to participate on limited resources. This could allow for mobile clients to still participate in the whole whisper aspect of Ethereum without resorting to centralized gateways.
+ Pluggable overlay algorithms - Mentioned above, it allows for other types of routing to be added after the fact. This could have uses for social networks.
+ P2P by default - default routing overlay is a chord DHT.
+ NAT traversal - ICE NAT traversal is standard in this spec. This allows for possible interoperability across all platforms, including web (webrtc).
Cons: - Security model - Assumes a central enrollment server. This would necessarily have to be scratched and reworked.
- Possibly overkill - This spec is quite long and boring(?). It might be wy more trouble than its worth to implement all of this, maybe some 'good' ideas can still be pulled from this...
Anyone who knows more about the intent of the whisper network, I'd love to hear what works/doesn't work with RELOAD.