Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-terminology-bis-05.txt

"Paul Hoffman" <> Fri, 07 April 2017 18:40 UTC

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From: Paul Hoffman <>
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Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2017 11:39:53 -0700
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-terminology-bis-05.txt
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(I'm surprised our philosophy-minded folks didn't answer this. I'll take 
a stab, acknowledging that I'm only a philosophy tourist.)

On 30 Mar 2017, at 13:41, Andrew McConachie wrote:

> If a domain name is made up of labels, and labels are made up of 
> octets, then can there be non-digital representations of domain names?

Yes. The octets in the labels can be encoded into writing systems, and 
there can be a commonly-recognized display format for the representation 
of a group of labels.

> For example, if I spray paint 'www.example' on the side of a bus, is 
> it not a domain name because it is made up of paint instead of octets?

It is a rendering (in paint, on a bus) a domain name in a 
commonly-accepted display format. Neither the paint nor the bus is the 
domain name.

Some history related to representation versus essence:

> I don't see anything in this document restricting the terms to 'on the 
> wire' definitions. So I assume that the scope of 'domain name' 
> includes non-digital instantiations. Perhaps what's needed isn't so 
> much a new definition for label, but clarification on the scope of 
> these terms and their definitions.

I'm not sure that us going into the ontology of domain names would help 
someone reading the document.

--Paul Hoffman