ENS beta management app

On June 23, 2017, Ethereum Foundation software engineer Nick Johnson announced the beta release of an Ethereum Name Service (ENS) management application enabled on web 3.0 browsers.

The tool called ENS Manager was designed by coder and developer Jeff Lau. Users with a Metamask extension enabled can manage their existing ENS domains, set resolvers and records, create subdomains, and reassign ownership using the ENS Manager. The GUI (graphic user interface) links to several bits of preexisting functionality that formerly needed to be interfaced with command code. Johnson told ETHNews about current and future functionality. He said, "ENS already supports resolving Swarm sites by storing the content hash of a manifest file representing a site. We hope to add support for IPFS soon."

The application is built to be versatile and give users control over their data. Johnson said he thinks the ENS Manager will make it easier to build distributed censorship resistant systems in combination with Ethereum, Swarm, Raiden, IPFS, and other tools.

Johnson also explained that ENS nodes, the result of hashing a name using ENS's namehash function, can be deleted without loss of title. He said, "You still retain ownership of the second-level domain through the .eth registrar, and can restore it with that."

Johnson went on to explain features about the resolving process; going from a user defined name to an Ethereum wallet address. "Anyone can write a resolver contract and associate it with their name. For convenience, a general purpose resolver, called the ‘default resolver’ exists for people to use so they don't have to write their own for day-to-day use."

Johnson provided some information about the long and short term goals for the ENS Manager project.

"In the short term, our goals are to provide good naming services to Ethereum-native resources like Ethereum addresses, public keys, and Swarm hashes. Longer term, we're exploring ways to let ENS serve up DNS records, which would allow blockchain-backed name resolution on the wider internet, and a chain of trust with no trusted third parties. Likewise, self-signed SSL certificates could be stored in ENS, facilitating secure communications with no need for certificate issuers!"

To make the most of beta ENS Manager requires community support for testing, feedback, and to find bugs. Follow the project on Ethlance.

Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine. He is a full time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether.
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