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Drilling on the persistence problem

From: Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 19:04:12 +0100
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <f5b1wpyzeqr.fsf@erasmus.inf.ed.ac.uk>

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One strand of responses to the drafts of URNsAndRegistries-50 [1]
which have appeared has been devoted to the question of persistence,
and in particular to potential failure points of any system which
depends on the 

 Extract domain name, look up using DNS to get IP address, send HTTP
  GET message to port 80 of that address, interpret response

pathway.

In this message, I want to try to enumerate the potential failure
points that have been identified, in some detail.  I'll use an example
URI

   http://www.example.org/space/subspace/obj.html

minted by ExampleCorp, the owners of the example.org domain.

as the starting point.

All of the following scenarios mean that attempting to dereference the
above URI will fail, or fail to produce the intended resource:

1) ExampleCorp are too poor to run a webserver at www.example.org;

2) ExampleCorp repurpose the URL and serve completely new material
   from it;

3) ExampleCorp reorganise their website by year so that that
   representation served from the URI is now served only from
   http://www.example.org/2006/space/subspace/obj.html;

3) ExampleCorp go bust, and the domain's registration with IANA lapses;

3a) ExampleCorp go bust, the domain's registration with IANA lapses,
    and is bought by PexAmp, who use if for selling bodybuilding
    steriods;

4) AmpleX buy ExampleCorp, and redirect http://www.example.org/* to
   http://www.amplex.org/;

5) AmpleX buy ExampleCorp, and bind www.example.org to the same IP
   address(es) as www.amplex.org;

6) AmpleX succeed in a hostile takeover of ExampleCorp, and
   intentionally arrange http://www.example.org/* to be 404, because
   they want to stamp out the name.

Does this cover the major failure scenarios that are of concern?

ht

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/URNsAndRegistries-50
- -- 
 Henry S. Thompson, HCRC Language Technology Group, University of Edinburgh
                     Half-time member of W3C Team
    2 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9LW, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
            Fax: (44) 131 650-4587, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
                   URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
[mail really from me _always_ has this .sig -- mail without it is forged spam]
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Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2006 18:04:22 GMT

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