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Fewer NAs than DNS Hosts

From: Fisher Mark <FisherM@is3.indy.tce.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 95 11:25:00 PDT
To: "'URI'" <uri@bunyip.com>
Message-Id: <2FE7143A@MSMAIL.INDY.TCE.COM>

Although the assumption that there will be many fewer NAs than DNS hosts is 
unprovable without the assistance of a time machine :), it would appear 
unlikely to me.

One vision of the future would have all named, Internet-accessible data 
possessing a URN.  Once the Web becomes a read-write medium, in this vision, 
not only would many (if not most) people produce works requiring the use of 
a URN, it could well be possible that many (if not most) people would set up 
their own NA (or multiple NAs) for their own works.  I see this in contrast 
to the current world of hardcopy publishing, as the current Web directions 
would seem to point to a world where many people "publish" directly; i.e. 
placing a document on the Web as something closer to shareware, except that 
Web mechanisms could assist in enforcing payment.

Part of the whole "re-engineering thang" is the elimination of 
middle-people, whether distributors, managers, or a select cadre of NA 
providers.  This (IMHO) is part of a whole trend towards flattening the 
hierarchies that served humanity during the periods of mass populations with 
low literacy rates.  I don't see a lot of people saying, once Web publishing 
becomes easier ("draft-ietf-html-fileupload-02.txt": are you listening, 
Netscape?), "Gee, I think I'll send all my documents to Fisher, Andropov, 
Kwanzaa, and Chin Publishing Ltd. Corp. to be placed on the Web!".  I see 
more publishers, NAs, etc., etc. in the future, not just a few.

The engineering of such distributed systems is a hard problem, but is being 
tackled right now (witness DCE among other systems).

We are going to have to handle the increasing decentralization of life.
Mark Fisher                            Thomson Consumer Electronics
fisherm@indy.tce.com                   Indianapolis, IN
Received on Tuesday, 20 June 1995 12:32:11 UTC

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