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Re: WorldNIC

  • From: Michael Dillon
  • Date: Tue Jun 09 19:32:51 1998

On Tue, 9 Jun 1998, Jay R. Ashworth wrote:

> Hierarchicality is almost forced by the architectural design of the
> current implementation of DNS; and I got a hot scoop for you: you won't
> get a flag day on DNS.

The only hierarchy that is forced by DNS is the hierarchy of delegation of
subdomains and the hierarchy of search paths to resolve a name to an
address. The DNS does not favor any particular categorization scheme. You
can just as easily use and as you
can use and

> > Dream on. DNS is an addressing scheme just like "123 Any St., Anytown,
> > USA". It does a job that needed to be done, more or less well. If you want
> > something different then find people who will pay for it and build it. I
> > suspect you will find that there is little demand and no money available
> > to build a universal index of everything there is.
> It would be you, would it not, who "wants something different"?

No. The naming schemes that people currently apply to the DNS are diverse
and chaotic. I don't want to see that changed by imposing a top-down set
of rules on the DNS and that is what everyone else in this thread has
suggested. It matters not if there was some historical understanding that
was followed by the DNS registry 6 years ago. That's not how things work
now. And so far as I can see the Magaziner white paper has given the green
light to IANA to go ahead and expand the top level namespace in an orderly
fashion. It is unlikely that they will impose any rules on the end-users
of domain names, only on the registry system itself to ensure that things
proceed in an orderly fashion.

> You're correct, making DNS into anything except a very coarse index is
> infeasible.  But I don't see any reason to specifically _avoid_ using
> DNS as at least a classification tool so people know what to expect
> when they go somewhere.

Here's one reason. Because it is impossible to make DNS into anything but
a very coarse index. I remember seeing a documentary of a scientist in
Florida that was studying alligators. He was using a computer to record
and analyze his data. The video showed him entering data into a DOS
machine running EDLIN and then using GWBASIC to process the data. Other
people will swear that you need ORACLE and Mathematica to do scientific
data analysis and recording. If you have a nail that needs hammering then
every tool looks like a hammer. I took my kids to a birdhouse building
class this spring and there weren't enough hammers to go around so I went
out into the parking lot and got a rock. It did the job and they were
pleased to learn that you can hammer nails without a hammer. But if I were
recommending tools for a birdhouse-building factory, you can be sure I
would not recommend hammers. Thus the fact that DNS *COULD* be used as an
indexing system is irrelevant. The real question is: given that the
Internet would greatly facilitate the use of an indexing system, how could
one best be built? And I think there is a real answer to this question
that could be discovered if enough folks would pull together an IETF
working group that includes some librarians and some protocol designers.

> We're veering far off-topic for NANOG here, quick; let's get back on
> topic before everyone flies home.  :-)

Nobody but you and I are reading this thread anymore.

Michael Dillon                 -               Internet & ISP Consulting
Memra Communications Inc.      -               E-mail:           -  *check out the new name & new website*

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