[Freedombox-discuss] Distributed naming, again
clint at debian.org
Mon May 16 15:57:17 UTC 2011
I am going to anger Jonas by discussing something that
interests me, and even though UX is the very most
important thing about the FreedomBox project, it is
only a small part of the text below.
A group of us got together recently to discuss the state
of distributed naming technology. We talked about
Zooko's Triangle, Netsukuku ANDNA, i2p,
PetNames, Namecoin, and Tom Lord's proposal[5a,5b].
We omitted dot-p2p, IDONS, Tor Hidden Services.
Some questions were raised, which hopefully will be
communicated to the appropriate mailing lists shortly.
The part I would like to get into the mailing list
archive before it is lost is this ASCII art diagram
expressing what some people think is necessary from
a system or a pair of systems working in tandem:
nickname (legacy) global
[secure backup] \ / [control retention]
[introductions] \ /
[intelligible UX] \ / [resource conservation]
| [reachability over arbitrary transport]
Starting from the lower half, there should be a mechanism
to look up a public key and get one or more addresses.
The address specification should be flexible; in other words,
the destination should not be restricted to a member of
a particular overlay network. The public key should enable
the cryptographic verification of the destination/peer.
There should be two different methods to map a name to a key:
one where names are meaningful only locally, and one that can
be used through a DNS gateway.
For the former, there should be a methods of secure backup,
so the name mappings are not lost when a person's trusted
computer experiences data loss; introductions, so we can
find the keys we are looking for; and intelligible UX, so
we can record the mappings in a sane and pleasant way.
When names are locally meaningful there is no need for
reservation and renewal, but in the other case, there
needs to be a process for ownership and maintenance
thereof. This should not require extensive resource
usage; if my small, low-power computer needs to burn
enormous amounts of CPU, storage, or network traffic,
it will not be able to retain its name.
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