Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld-13.txt

Joe Abley <> Fri, 25 June 2021 14:22 UTC

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From: Joe Abley <>
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Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2021 10:22:24 -0400
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To: John R Levine <>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld-13.txt
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On 24 Jun 2021, at 19:21, John R Levine <> wrote:

>>> I'd also like it to say more clearly up front that .ALT is for names that are
>>> totally outside the DNS protocols, not for names handled locally using DNS protocols.
>>> It's for things like .onion, not like .local.
>> Both .onion and .local use protocols other than the DNS, acknowledging of course that the protocol used for names under .local is quite DNS-like.
> My wording wasn't great -- .local resolves to an IP address while .alt doesn't.

I'm not sure that helps. Some (but, sure, perhaps not all) non-DNS resolution protocols can certainly be used to identify IP addresses. Not all queries under .local are for addresses, either. PTR, SRV and TXT are common, for example.

>> Did I miss the conversation where the working group decided to pivot? (Not a rhetorical question! I am very prepared for the answer to be yes :-) If anybody has a handy pointer to the relevant part of the mailing list archive I'd appreciate it.
> If you mean draft-arends-private-use-tld, that was tilting at a different windmill.

I'm quite familiar with draft-ietf-dnsop-private-use-tld; I'm a co-author.

draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld was adopted by the working group as a way to anchor a set of possible namespaces that had no requirements to be globally unique, or had no "meaning on the global context" or were not "delegated in the DNS".

   In order to avoid the above issues, we reserve the ALT label.  Unless
   the name desired is globally unique, has meaning on the global
   context and is delegated in the DNS, it should be considered an
   alternate namespace, and follow the ALT label scheme outlined below.
   The ALT label MAY be used in any domain name as a pseudo-TLD to
   signify that this is an alternate (non-DNS) namespace. section 3

The document doesn't call it out as an explicit example, but I thought it was intended that the set of candidate namespaces included private-use (non-globally-unique) namespaces that use the DNS, as well as namespaces that use other resolution protocols.

alt-tld-13 makes it much more explicit that .ALT is not intended for namespaces that use the DNS. So this is a change from the original document.

It looks like this change happened between -07 and -08 (e.g. "Made it clear that this is only for non-DNS" in Appendix A) but I don't recall any conversation about reducing the scope on the mailing list. That's what I was asking about.