--On Monday, 29 July, 2002 21:09 -0700 Peter Deutsch
IMO, a good summary of some of the real issues. Let me add
one more piece of the story, which I'm surprised you didn't
Well, I *was* trying to keep it short, since I've an
undeserved reputation for *long* postings... ;-)
The two of us in combination... :-) But I won't even claim my
reputation in that area is undeserved.
... Several of us have made, and are making, significant
efforts to get directory-like "above DNS" services in place to
address the clear user need for more and better naming. Those
efforts have gotten good responses from some parts of the
Hmm, do you have a pointer for this?
In no particular order, and at the risk of turning this into a
technical discussion (horrors)...
And you might have a look at the minutes of a Salt Lake City BOF
called "IRNSS". Your comments would be very welcome on any of
But, from others, including (apparently) most of the
"alternate root", "multiple root", and "superroot", crowds,
the response is "more TLDs" or "more root choices, but ICANN
is expected to cooperate and accept whatever names we come up
with first", or things that are semantically
indistinguishable from "the only problem with a single root
is that I should be in charge, not ICANN". And that leads
some of us to start wondering what species of snake is being
used to produce all of that fragrant, multipurpose, oil.
I was actually making a conscious effort not to get into
this aspect of the debate, since I believe that it's been
too emotionally charged and in such an atmosphere it's too
easy to paint everyone with the same brush.
That is reasonable, and I was trying to be careful to not do so.
certainly a few folks in the alternative root movement that
I would not want to share a cabin with on a long sea voyage,
but I also like and respect a number of folks who happen to
think multiple roots are an eminently fine idea. Frankly, I
don't have any problem with the concept myself, but I can
justify this to myself now I've concluded that it's an
"apples and hand grenades" issue. I don't want to break the
legacy DNS, I just happen to want to do stuff that the
legacy DNS folks don't want in their root.
I think that both the legacy DNS and virtually anything built on
the DNS protocols (fundamentals) is unsuitable for most of that
stuff (which is what the first doc cited above is about), but I
could be wrong, especially if I am focusing on the wrong set of
I know this idea makes a lot of folks spit coffee all over
their keyboards, but all it really means is that the
fundamentals of DNS are more useful than the basic service
people are using it for right now. So maybe we need to be
talking about extending the protocol, maybe even asking for
a new port number, but in any event I believe it's time the
IETF recognizes that it's time to move beyond what are
really the politics of ICANN and focus on the technical
issues surrounding extending the current technologies to
make them more useful. If we do that without touching the
legacy systems for now, fine but this would imply the need
to set up some alternative roots for experimentation and
proof of concept.
Back when I believed that the implementations and practices were
the problem, I did a piece trying to explore moving toward a
new, replacement, DNS Class with less legacy baggage. Such a
Class could, at least as I understood it at the time, imply a
completely different root, tree structure, and administration.
If you want a pointer to a recently-updated version of that one,
see draft-klensin-i18n-newclass-02.txt. But I no longer believe
a useful solution to the problems I was interested in lie in
Pity that such a notion has become *so*
overloaded with political implications but it's time to look
beyond that, or sit back and tell our users that Google is
as good as it's going to get.... ;-)