At 2:00 PM -0700 8/6/02, Fred Baker wrote:
At 03:13 PM 8/6/2002 -0500, Stephen Sprunk wrote:
Perhaps having multiple roots *with identical information* would be
workable, but that requirement inherently negates the motivation for having
from that perspective, we have multiple roots now - 13 of them - and
call it a "single root". The reason we can call it that is that they
are indistinguishable from one another from the perspective of the
information they deliver - ask any of them for example.com and they
will invariably point you to a .com server, and if you ask a .com
server, it will point you to the appropriate prefix for that name.
As you say, what is being asked for is multiple roots with different
and uncoordinated information. What this requires, of course, is for
the end system to know all the roots it might need to ask, and have
a magic decoder ring that tells it which root to ask about which
name. This is fine if the TLD itself tells you which root to ask,
but if someone adds a root to the net that is not generally known,
then most end systems trying to translate the name will generally be
unable to do so. I, personally, find that kind of service pointless
- why use a name which nobody can translate into an address?
Hi Fred -- You are hitting on some key points;-)...
Lets look at the issues of extending the "root" higher by labeling
roots with an additional root identifier. Or doing the reverse, as
WIPO appears to want to do.
Case 1 - Raise the Roof:
This moves the argument about who is in charge of everything one
level higher, but the argument does not end because all the politics
remain in place, and we just have to live the whole sequence over
Having coordinated roots is what is needed, whether roots are
multiple or singular, but this is not the only criterion that
matters. There are the economic and social issues to consider in the
context of open cooperation among the stakeholders.
If the people in control of the root servers do not consider these
other factors, so as to meet all the legitimate technical, economic
and social factors, they will at best have a rough time of it, as at
least some despotic rulers have learned over the centuries. We are
but seeing a replay of much of history.
Case 2 - Tear off the roof.
WIPO already wants to control the SLD level to avoid multiple
instances of the same SLD name, and appear to want to eliminate all
TLDs, and if they had their way, as I see it, the entire Domain Name
Space would have to be flat to satisfy their desires. (Not
considering that trademarks are not a flat structure in the first
place. They come in classes or categories.)
In this case, tearing the roof off and rebuilding it down one level
at a time, is at the least an unending process as domain name holders
keep adding new names under the SLDs that they are allowed to keep,
or until the DNS is converted to a single flat space.
Conclusion: At present we appear to be at some happy medium, but
with one primary problem in hand. It is called "learning to live
together!" It has a few technical issues involved, but mostly it is
a game of "King of the Hill".
So, moving the roof of the root up and down will not be likely to
have any effect what so ever. Aside from creating lots of pointless
Now for the other issue: The argument about whether the Brits had it
right with their big Endian logic, vice the US little Endian logic,
mostly boils down to whether we are all driving on the same side of
the road, or not.
I thought that argument was resolved when the Brits chose to go along
with the little Endian DNS game. May I ask how the Endian wars were
resolved in the binary computer and communication worlds? Are some
still one way and the rest the other? Does it really matter?
I do not see any reason to engage in either of these games;
of raising/lowering the roof;
or changing the direction of traffic.
In terms of human interpretation of the "meaning" of a domain name,
the little end is clearly the most critical distinguishing
characteristic to be seen by a human.
Knowing that my domain name ends with .com is important, but the
left hand end is even more important to humans, along with the middle.
My bottom line logic is that finding a way to resolve differences
through constructive resolution processes is what we need, vice
lobbing written grenades over walls, and building fortresses to close
But, I fear this is off topic because it is not technical enough;-)...