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Re: rwhois

  • From: Leo Bicknell
  • Date: Wed Sep 16 22:06:03 1998

> Have you been by http://www.rwhois.net/rwhois/ or the rwhois@rwhois.net
> mailing list?
> 
> There exist a few different clients and servers.  The current/draft spec
> is at http://www.rwhois.net/rwhois/rwhois1.5/rwhois-1.5.txt, if I recall
> correctly.

	Yes, I have been there.  I have also talked with some people
at the Internic.  My words come from experience, not what is written
there.

	For instance, root.rwhois.net actually has two A records,
presumably two machines that perform the same function.  For the week
that I looked at it one responded with "connection refused" for
the entire time.  So, maybe they have multiple servers, but there's
none us mere mortals (who get their info from DNS) can use.

	Another example, "-forward on" has not been implemented in
the rwhois server that they distribute.

	And finally, to make my point that what is there is not useful,
I point to my web query engine.  Check out my script,
http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/rwhois.cgi (change .cgi to .txt to get
the code).  I don't profess it's a "cool product" or fully developed,
or anything like that.  It's about 4 hours of hacking that frankly
in both formatting and usefulness blow away the "web query" engine
on http://www.rwhois.net/rwhois/products/web/index.html.

	Use my script to query a network address.  It's the data from
before ARIN split off, still being served up as authortative.  It's
plain wrong, and has generated a lot of questions.


	Please don't get the impression I think it's garbage, it's 
actually quite close to being useful.  At the same time for all
the info I want to get out of the database my experiment has
proved that it is at best, no better than whois.  In fact, whois
returns more nameservers to a server query than any of the 
Internic servers.  I'd run my own server, but the one on the ftp
site (1.5.2) doesn't compile on FreeBSD out of the box.  (Ok,
I fixed it in 10 seconds, but I still couldn't understand from
the docs how to make it answer/cache any useful query, I gave
up).

	If ISP's are going to use this it has to be simple to set
up, and provide a quality of service that is _better_ than whois.
Until that happens, no one will be interested in it, plain and
simple.

	I do hope I can spark some discussion/movement on this.
I'm sure there are more people close to it who can make rwhois do
a lot of great stuff.  If they can just help push it to a wider
deployment, and add a few more fetures that users want, it will
be there.

-- 
Leo Bicknell - bicknell@dimension.net
Network Engineer (CCIE #3440) - Dimension Enterprises
1-703-709-7500, fax, 1-703-709-7699




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