[tor-dev] Draft of proposal "Direct Onion Services: Fast-but-not-hidden services"

Paul Syverson paul.syverson at nrl.navy.mil
Mon Apr 20 10:59:22 UTC 2015

On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 12:04:24AM +0200, Moritz Bartl wrote:
> Thanks George!
> On 04/09/2015 08:58 PM, George Kadianakis wrote:
> > - We really really need a better name for this feature. I decided to
> >   go with "Direct Onion Services" which is the one [...]
> Why not simply "onion service"?

Because we have already started using "onion service" to cover what we
previously called "hidden services" until we realized that, among
other things, that term is misleadingly narrow concerning the benefits
such services provide. Cf. e.g., "Genuine Onion"

My latest thinking about the terminology is that we should call them
something like "client side onion service" (CSOS, suggested
pronunciation C-sauce). All these terms seem to have limitations of
one form or another, and this is no exception.  This is long when
compared to "hidden service" but "CSOS" is not longer to say the
"HS". See the comments about pronouncability earlier in this thread.
We could go with "client protecting onion service" but that doesn't
differentiate it from ordinary onion services, which also protect
clients.  "Client only onion service" or "client oriented onion
service" does that (either would be COOS, which is nicely one
syllable---rhymes with 'loose').  We could use "clientside onion
service" or "COS", which could be pronounced see-oh-ess or simply cuz.
This would be as pronounceable as COOS but isn't as direct in
connotation IMO.)

An advantage of using 'side' in the name is that this can generalize
to the obviously complementary server side onion service (SSOS), both
of which are onesided onion services (OSOS). Note that Tor2Web
effectively converts ordinary two-sided onion services to SSOS. Most
of this probably won't see much use unless someone writes a bunch of
papers about them or some serverside use takes off. But I think the
one we're talking primarily about, CSOS or COS, would.  COOS would
also complement "server oriented/only onion service" (SOOS, in honor of Theo
Geisel ;>) but the one sided generalization becomes something like
"one side only onion service" (OSOOS). Fortunately, as I said, I don't
think we actually need such a term for regular use.

Of these I currently think COOS comes closest to conveying what we
want and balancing out the various goals. And I lean towards the
'oriented' rather than 'only' de-acronymization.


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