IPFS problems: Dynamic links

Content-addressability is cool and we all like it, but we all also know we can’t live in a world without readable and memorizeable names. IPFS has proposed IPNS, the Interplanetary Name System (the names are very cool indeed), since its beggining (or maybe it was some months after the first IPFS idea, which would indicate this problem arrived as an afterthought).

It has been said IPNS would work in a manner similar to Git heads and branches (this was probably part of Juan Benet’s marketing pitches that were immensely repeated in the first years, that IPFS was a mix between Torrents, Git and some other cool technology). This remains a distant promise, however. IPNS has been, for the last years, a very slow, unrecommended by their own developers and unusable way of addressing content that is basically just a pointer from a public key to an object hash.

Recommendations fall on using a domain and dnslink, the way to tell IPFS nodes you own a domain and that can be used to identify an object hash. That works, but it is not the wonder of decentralization that was promised, and still, it’s just a pointer. Any key-value store, database of filesystem can do pointers.


Here I’m not saying, like tons of stupid people have on the internet, that IPFS should support dynamic links so we can build web apps on it. No, I would be pretty fine with just static links for static content, and continue to use the other internet protocols for things that needed to be dynamic.