Friday, December 02, 2005

Build your own web

(Thanks to Arne for the link) After the news that ICANN is to remain in control of the web (was there ever any doubt they would?), there are people out there asking whether this should be the case. There is an alternative, build your own root nameserver. The internet currently works with 13 root nameservers,which make up the backbone of the current domain name system. The root is distributed, but eventually the control is in ICANN. The current system allows only for the top level domains and country top level domains that we know and loathe (.com, .org,

Dutch company UnifiedRoot provides an alternative root system that allows for the existence of ad hoc domain names, such as parking.schiphol and news.cnn. They have already sold several names, but the question must be asked, is this feasible? The whole point of having a new internet is that they need to be updated in DNS servers around the world. To do this, ISPs will have to include a set of addresses into their tables. I tried with my home ISP and with the University of Edinburgh's, and neither recognise the set of UnifiedRoot addresses. I could do this manually by adding their DNS servers into my own server list, but this is cumbersome, and would require extra steps from the user. Besides, most DNS setting nowadays are set by dynamic settings.

This is a very interesting idea, but I am still a bit sceptical about it.


Tony Finch said...

Alternative-root services are all scams. They want to sell people domain names which the vast majority of the world cannot use. Money for nothing.

Andres Guadamuz said...

I would tend to agree :)

I finally got this to work, but I had to replace the DNS server in my laptop to one of theirs. They would have to get everyone to do it, which I really cannot see happening.