Re: [mmox] Global Object Identification

Jon Watte <> Sun, 05 July 2009 21:41 UTC

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From: Jon Watte <>
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Cc: "" <>, Dave CROCKER <>
Subject: Re: [mmox] Global Object Identification
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Mike Dickson wrote:
> On Sun, 2009-07-05 at 17:50 +0000, Dave CROCKER wrote:
>> Mike Dickson wrote:
>>> I like the handle system because its been around for a while, proven to
>>> scale reasonably well, etc.  
>> So, the metric I use for scaling, when talking about Internet standards, is many 
>> millions of independent users and at least many thousands of independent 
>> administrations, all participating in the same system.
> I can't think of alot of "systems" that would satisfy your definition
> (other than perhaps the current web infrastructure w/DNS).  That being
> said the factsheet from the handle site has some details. 

If I want my web servers to scale, I can easily buy all kinds of 
acceleration hardware -- edge-mounted CDNs, load balancers, caching 
proxies, 1000-core Java accelerators, you name it!
If I want my DNS to scale, there are several solutions I can buy to 
scale it to whatever load I need.
I can't find any product that will allow me to accelerate handle 
resolution. This, to me, is evidence that resolving URLs is at least an 
order of magnitude better supported than handles (and, in most 
likelihood, several orders of magnitude).

I believe that, if you need a unique ID for something, then using 
DNS+URL is the best way. You can legislate what you get at the end of 
that URL -- an XRD document, for example. Thus, code to deal with an 
entity becomes trivial, because every software stack in existence 
(including cell phones, Nintendo DS, and friends) all can fetch a URL 
and parse XML.

Meanwhile, resolving a handle to an actual object or service means that 
you first have to resolve the handle, and then turn that around and 
resolve a URL anyway.

The main reason for Handles to exist is that a document may "move." 
However, that "move" only matters if the domain of that object can't 
move with you. With modern DNS, that's basically a non-problem. Either 
put up a sub-domain for your coroprate, organization or vanity domain, 
or outsource it to someone who will stay around. Handle providers must 
also stay around, and given that the business is much smaller than the 
DNS business, the longevity of a handle provider is rather less assured 




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