DNS: Which are the core things that matter?

DNS: Which are the core things that matter?

From: Antony Barry <tony§tony-barry.emu.id.au>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 01:07:42 +1000
As a silly old duffer I've been pretty confused about the administration of
the dns since Geoff et al tried to sort out .au some years ago which in
retrospect I see as an attempt to avoid the imbroglio in which we now find
ourselves. I guess that they would not have been so pessimistic as to have
projected what transpired. New on this list I'm probably venturing into
well swum waters so get your delete keys ready

Somehow a useful technique to match mnemonic names to non-memorable numbers
has become a war of trademarks through the assignment of exclusive semantic
meaning, to com, edu etc. The costs of maintaining dns servers become
confused with the market value which a semantically constrained space
provides to its owner.

If instead of *.id.au *.gov.au *.edu.au *.com.au etc the choice had been
made to have *.aaa.au *.aab.au *.aac.au and so on to *.zzz.au there would
have been little to argue about. You would have chosen whatever three
letter group you wanted (OK there would have been BHP, ICI etc etc but at
least no four letter words!).

The argument and passions seem to be about commercial value of holding
potentially exclusive trademark territory. Destroy that and the argument
drops to one of commercial reality - providing a service at a competitive
price. The easist way to do that is to multiply the places such a name can
be and blur its meaning and exclusivity.

In all areas of technical skill there are licensing provisions before you
can set up. So running a dns server fits into patterns we already have. Get
accredited and then you can do it.

Some models assuming .com.au is the problem (Is any other area??)

1. Abolish *.com.au and replace it by any number of *.com\d\d\d.au

2. Add the series of *.firm.au, *.store.au, etc - the more the merrier

3. Segment it eg a.*.com.au, b.*.com.au or in some other way

They are a heap of other even loopier models.

While *.com.au holds value as an exclusive presence for trademark territory
that will conflict in perception and practice with whatever charges are
made for those assignments while providing a lawyer rich playground as to
whom the assignments can be assigned to.

I think what matters are -

1 Does it work
2 Are the people who run the server competent
3 Are they properly (and I use that word advisedly) funded
4 Are the users of the server only dissatisfied to an extent normal in
everyday transactions

At the moment 1 & 2 are Ok, 3 might be a curate's egg and 4 fails.

But then I'm not very technical, I don't quite understand how it all works
but I tend to trust arguments based on engineering rather than commercial

I'm tired of hearing how *.au is stuffed up when it only seems that people
are unhappy with *.com.au.  Hell, any company with half a brain will try
and set up internationally in *.com instead of limiting itself to a
geographically based domain. And trying to fix *.com.au by starting to
create new entities at a higher level is just making a flatter tree. But
then does that matter?

Received on Fri May 15 1998 - 02:38:55 UTC

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