Korede Aderele
korede [at] drexel.edu

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decentralized naming

Nov 19, 2018

just a theory that has been sitting in my head: the problem of being able to absolutely locate a place/resource/anything really is distinct from the problem of creating a parseable/human-readable “address” for said thing.

prime analogy for this is the fact that (37.422160, -122.084270) is different from “1600 Ampitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA”. similarly, and this is what i’m trying to get at, it’s necessary for decentralized systems like the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) storage network to have a name service system (IPNS in this case) running alongside it to identify resources outside of their absolute addresses, same thing with ethereum and ENS or, classically, WWW and DNS.

i’m wondering if it’d be worth the effort to create standards around decentralized naming and formalize abstractions/tools to simplify the creation of decentralized networks. i suppose there’d be a demand for this as more and more of the internet is accessed via decentralized networks and more services are hosted in a decentralized manner.

to give some background, about a year ago i was really fascinated with the idea of upspin.org with it’s distributed namespace platform (kind of like a global filesystem with an intuitive permissions model). but there was the fundamental problem of their nameserver’s being hosted with google, which kind of undermines the whole “decentralized” thing.

perhaps some kind of dedicated protocol for providing distributed nameservers for different distributed services could be a major stepping stone in web3.0

i think solutions like handshake (https://handshake.org/) are aimed at solving this and i’m excited to see how that turns out.

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