Untangling the Web from DNS

Michael Walfish, Hari Balakrishnan, and Scott Shenker
Usenix/ACM 1st Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI '04), San Francisco, CA, March 2004.

The Web relies on the Domain Name System (DNS) to resolve the hostname portion of URLs into IP addresses. This marriage-of-convenience enabled the Web's meteoric rise, but the resulting entanglement is now hindering both infrastructures---the Web is overly constrained by the limitations of DNS, and DNS is unduly burdened by the demands of the Web. There has been much commentary on this sad state-of-affairs, but dissolving the ill-fated union between DNS and the Web requires a new way to resolve Web references. To this end, this paper describes the design and implementation of Semantic Free Referencing (SFR), a reference resolution infrastructure based on distributed hash tables (DHTs).

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