Does the network already hold some unique checksum on a file?..
and this not a unique compound of [file and owner or location] but just what the file is; so, the equivalent of what sha256sum achieves.
While it is not appropriate for the network to have any opinion, it is appropriate for the network to empower users and a one-off checksum available, could have a number of benefits relative to users knowing what is available on the network.
? One benefit from having sha256sums would be to more easily spawn discovery services offering users real choice about content relative to their interest; that then without duplicate effort of services both downloading and then calculating sums. Whether those services are for public services or just some business doing its own indexing, this I wonder would prove much faster - and reduce GETs and hassle of databases the detail. The opinion on what the file is, not for network but that it exists, is for network.
? Another benefit, if a file is known to exist, is that there might be no need to upload again, at cost be that money or in time/effort/energy… some dependency perhaps on who owns the file, if there’s a risk of its being removed but depends on a users interest… if some shared domain has the file or where the file is known to be permanent and public.
? Another benefit to the network perhaps that it would reduce GETs for that interest of just indexing/servicing files, if GET-file-attribute is minor action. Equally a check on if a file has changed since last pass would be faster… noting this as I wonder at the volume of traditional internet traffic that is just the indexing of Google… let alone all the other search-engines and bots.
and for clarity I’m not suggesting the network holds any list of these, rather than it is sat as attribute of file, discoverable for those aware and with access to the file.
Simple idea then offset by that perhaps its trivial to implement that difference…
This obviously would require an untamperable network confirmed stamp at creation, rather than just another r/w field.
If the network does what it can to enable users to do what is for them to do, then that in contrast to normal traditional offerings that try to maximize the effort and cost that must be for users to absorb.