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RE: Statements against

  • From: Roeland Meyer
  • Date: Thu Mar 15 00:00:35 2001

> From: Vadim Antonov []
> Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 12:46 PM
> On Wed, 14 Mar 2001, Mathew  Butler wrote:

> If it is machines communicating there's no need to do any 
> mnemonics.  In
> fact, it is still humans communicating, with the aid of the machines.
> So... we have two design constraints:
> 1) people need to be able to locate and revisit somethings in 
> the network
> 2) any meaningful hierarchial labeling of the real world is quite
>    impossible, and runs into problems of scaling, adversity, and 
>    entrenched notions of ownership.

> My proposal is to create a special hierarchy (similar to 
> which
> can _only_ be used to register numeric "names" on first-come 
> first-served
> basis.  The "current" DNS then can go down in flames, for all i care.
> Actually, I think this is inevitable, since some day someone 
> will find a
> way to win a lawsuit against the whatever central naming authority is.
> Anyone who thinks numeric IDs do not work when "better" 
> alphanumeric IDs
> are possible needs to take a look at the ICQ.  It is _very_ 
> successful in
> case you didn't notice.  And so is telephony.

Two points, ICQ has an address manager add-on and my contact manager makes
it so I don't have to memorize phone numbers. I scroll down select and talk.
New SprintPCS systems even eliminate that, you speak the name and it dials
for you. Suddenly, you get into your 40's and there is more to remember than
you want to work at. I'm sure you know what I mean. What about that number
that you absolutely have to have, every six months? I just hacked a print
server because I couldn't remember the passwd, that was last used over three
years ago. I don't even know my insurance agent's name, but when someone
wrecks my car, I absolutely HAVE to have his number. Long-term human memory
is much better at names than numbers and is MUCH better at general class
names than specific identifiers. It has to do with refresh rates, just like

> fact: for the majority of world population ASCII strings are only
> marginally better than numbers in being "mnemonic" - and it 
> is much easier
> to pronounce numbers in a native language.

Okay, so you would propose yet another layer of virtualization? Let us count
the layers we have already;

1) Layer 2 to IP, used by switches and the like. Services are divorced from
IP addrs. Where you route is not where you think you are routing.
2) NAT, Site virtualization. You could renumber the underlayment of the
NAT'd space and the outside world will never know ...
3) Straight IP virtualization, used by resonate and F5, as well as local
directors, the answering host need never be the same host twice.
4) DNS, separates you from the IP addr layer altogether.

If you put design dates on each of those you will probably find that they
are pretty much developed in the order I listed. Each case was to implement
a technical solution to a policy issue, in a futile attempt to build
technical barricades between the technologist and the politicians. Give it
up, you will be assimilated. You have been in retreat for years. You just
didn't realize it. 

Vadim, you're an analyst too, how many layers of abstraction can we have
before the system becomes unusable, unwieldy, non-performing, and more
difficult to maintain than the tower of Babel? Speaking of which, your other
point about ASCII names is also moot, with iDNS.

The real answer was to stop the incursion of trademark crowd into the DNS.
You can thank Dave Crocker, Kent Crispin, and their IAHC for that smooth
move. Now if you think that they'd stop just because you have retreated
behind yet another layer of abstraction, you are indeed naieve. They will
come and hunt you out.

The inclusive root zone efforts, like that of the ORSC and PacRoot, are
actually trying to keep the root intact. We saw the probability of outfits
like, years ago. We also recognised what it meant. We spoke the
warnings, we spoke them again at the Nov00 ICANN meeting in MDR. However,
what really triggered the race was when the ICANN BoD assigned the BIZ TLD,
knowing full well that the Atlantic Root had been registering domains there
for years. That told the folks that it is okay to create conflicting
delegations. After all, the ICANN is doing it ... why can't they? There is
no law that regulates that.

There's a lot of other stuff behind that, but, I think that you get the

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