Thanks for all the great feedback folks. Sorry about the delayed response.
Even though Dat content "requires" you to have a server always online, what it brings as a benefit is that it separates availability from addressing.
With the web, a URL is both the availability and the address of the content. If the server for that URL dies, you cannot find the content elsewhere, the content's address is strictly attached to the availability of the content. - @andrestaltz
I had not pondered that aspect of it.
To me they are separated in http but in a slightly different perspective. addresses exist, and are valid, regardless of if the server's up. they just don't get you anything if it goes away. When the server is up it can interpret the address however it wants to serve up stuff from a db (or whatever) that has no resemblance to the folder structure shown in the url. They feel pretty decoupled to me. BUT i get that that's not exactly what you were saying.
So yeah, to me Dat is a big deal, because it decouples content availability from content authorship.
I feel like that's really important, but that i'm missing something. Lets say i put up a dat page. What causes someone else to have a copy of it? I'm not clear on how i "seed" it. I assume that Beaker (or whatever) handles that behind the scenes for me, and i don't need to worry about it, but how does anyone know it's there? What causes them to download it and have a copy for replication? Surely you wouldn't want a copy of everything up there. Assuming I'm using beaker, do i only have a copy of dat urls i've visited? If so i'm slightly mind-boggled that that results in enough people having a copy that i see it when i happen to be online.
I feel like with dat we have an address that... I dunno it feels like a weird state. It may or may not work depending on if the content has propegated out of the original host or not. So, it's almost as if you've got a shrodinger's server with dat.
Since Dat is a distributed (peer-to-peer) data sharing tool, a computer must be actively sharing a dat for it to be available. If you're sharing files over Dat, you might want to set up a dedicated server that re-hosts your dat. This means that it'll still be available even after you turn off your personal computer. - Dat Documentation
Things like this are the big roadblock for me. I get the theory of what you're saying Andre but it seems like the practical reality is that we're in essentially the same world as before. If I want you to see my stuff when it's convenient to you I have to set up a server.
Please, (not sarcastic) tell my why i'm wrong.
There's WIP to be able to publish your dat:// links directly to DNS txt records - @Powersource
Thanks for the link