Decentralised solid domains?

@melvincarvalho wrote:

Solid Name System

Many decentralized web advocates come to solid but raise concerns about the dependency on the DNS system.

I wonder if we could in parallel to the web design a system to use .solid domains. Similar systems are .onion and .bit

see more :

I’ve had informal conversations with IETF people and they seem to think this is technically feasible.

Open Questions

So this issue is a place holder to brain storm design out the possibility of .solid domains.

  • How would they be looked up
  • What would the URLs return
  • How would you prevent people squatting lots of domains

It would also be good if we talk to someone at ICANN and ask them save this for us.

  1. How would they be looked up?

Initial thoughts on how the routing could work.

Create a special nick solidns (solid naming service) that will manage routing.

Then in various pods you would have

This would map to the domain example.solid

This would return machine readable data (turtle) which would be equivalent to a DNS name server.

Via a bootstrap .solid supporting user agents would look up the .solid record using HTTP, and then route the request accordingly.

The governance of /.well-known/solidns would be a different question. We would have to create a technical set of norms managed by the community.

2. What would the URL return

There are two URLs the .solid URL (used for content) and the solidns url (used for lookup)

What does the .solid URL return?

Would return a standard web document

After the routing you will end on a solid pod that contains the content

What does the solidns URL return?

Well this would be RDF of course

A simple starting point would be to create a minimal subset of the DNS system (which can be modeled in RDF)

An ontology could be developed to capture the common terms

Perhaps the devil is in the detail in some cases and this will tie in to (1) also

This section is partially incomplete needs more work

3. How would you prevent people squatting lots of domains

This is perhaps as much a social problem as technical one. But solid is designed to be social.

The community would have to create a sensible set of rules that makes sense for the system and worked practically. A web of trust which is used in GPG may be leveraged to prevent one person registering too many domains.

There is also the concept of a strong set in the web of trust. We could perhaps have an sss (like the www on its side) to mean the Solid Strong Set , where members were part of the community and have agreed to a code of conduct.

The community would need to come up with sensible rules to get the system going. This would require reading some literature and brain storming. One possible way would be :

  • Each user is allowed to claim one .solid domain
  • In order to get a new domain they have to give up their old .solid domain

These are just rough ideas. Hopefully they can be fleshed out into a proposal and working system. Feedback welcome.

There has been some discussion on with @megoth, @kjetlk, @daniel-albrecht, @steven-tomilnson, and @tiagosomda and would like to invite more here.


@Mitzi László I deleted a couple of posts I made on this forum because I have changed my mind, I agree with you that a .solid domain should be reserved and Inrupt should contact ICANN to reserve the same. Not sure if I agree with you on the domain squatter issue of 1 to 1, and/or 1 for 1. A “domain squatter” a/k/a, “investor” should be welcome because this is an ecosystem. If we were to really breakdown the domain squatter issue, they are and should be considered investors, the same as an individual who purchase stock/units in a startup considers perceived value. Because investors perceive that the value of a .solid domain in the future will be greater than the current price tag, is not so different than someone purchasing stock in a company that’s trading at 20 times earnings. That being said, I look forward to hear your thoughts.

Why do you need domains, when data can have fingerprints?

DNS requests have to go somewhere.

I was actually surprised that no one here has brought up

You send a DNS request when you go to a website.
What if we live on the latest linked data packages. We wouldn’t need websites.

The GNUnet project might also have an alternative: GNS

The GNU Name System (GNS) is secure and decentralized naming system.

I did not take a deeper look into it, yet, but perhaps one of you will

new gTLDs can stipulate rights and uses. For instance, the general public cannot register a .bank domain - they must be an accredited, certified bank with a certain level of secure infrastructure. Same with .ong/.ngo - they must prove their status as NGOs.

.SOLID domains hence could be reserved for those who successfully deploy qualified and authenticated Solid servers. For fundraising, the premium variants could be reserved, though ideally nothing crazy like the 100s of thousands some cost - further wasting otherwise wonderful domains. For an idea how NOT to run a gTLD program, see .ART.

As an aside, we are looking at an alternate, distributed DNS through our Holochain development, and continue to research current ideas already out there. I think we need a paradigm of thought for next generation DNS, and that’s what we’re exploring. Once we have a better handle on Holo, and Solid, we’ll have more to share.

Let’s set up COLLABORATIVE networks, not COMPETITIVE.

Good work all on this question.

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Not sure to which level this applies to Solid (and not being an export in both subjects), I want to add reference to:


Web of Trust, DID, SSI

Rebooting Web-of-Trust: RWOT: Specs & White Papers
Their Github repo’s:

An issue (to me at least) is that many discussions about Decentralized Identifiers and Self-Sovereign Identity require blockchain solutions (to which I am very sceptic). But they do not require blockchain per se. There was an effort to create IPFS SSI without it (but not continued).

You, Solid experts, of course know about these developments. I am only familiar with these as a potential user of this technology, without deep technical knowledge. We have an ongoing forum discussion where I mention (from the top of my head) potential benefits and use cases of this kind of ‘Web-of-Trust’ (and may not have used the proper terminology). Solid was mentioned too. You may find it interesting:

I would be curious to know how Solid relates to all this.

(PS, Send me a PM if this last subject should be a separate topic)