Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld-05.txt

Warren Kumari <> Tue, 13 September 2016 01:02 UTC

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From: Warren Kumari <>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 21:02:07 -0400
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To: George Michaelson <>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld-05.txt
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On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 8:27 PM, George Michaelson <> wrote:
> Alt being semantically overloaded in times past, contextually even in
> domain names (Usenet, the great renaming)  It seems highly unwise to
> ignore that historic understanding that people thought it meant the
> same thing as "burning man"
> The string >not-dns< has two useful properties: its not currently
> semantically loaded, and its meaning is unambiguous.
> It has a third useful property: Its ugly.
> Personally, I favour use of the unicode U+FFFD � REPLACEMENT CHARACTER

This (and your third property) is where we disagree -- there is
nothing that we can do to prevent people from simply squatting on
names. We are not the namespace police. This means that whatever we
select needs to be as attractive as possible if we want any hope of
people using it. Making it ugly, or impossible to type, or in any
other way implying that other resolution systems are second-class
citizens simply means that people won't use it, and will just squat on
whatever they choose.

I'm assuming you were actually meaning "not-dns" and not ">not-dns<"
-- if you were actually proposing the latter, we have a larger gulf --
the names need to be useable anywhere current domain type names are -
this includes things like browsers, but also includes other apps, like
SSH, FTP, etc.

foo.alt (and foo.not-dns) both are accepted by OpenSSH (as an example):
ssh: Could not resolve hostname foo.atl: Name or service not known
wkumari@ron:~/tmp$ ssh foo.not-dns
ssh: Could not resolve hostname foo.not-dns: Name or service not known

foo.>not-dns< (obviously enough) isn't:
wkumari@ron:~/tmp$ ssh foo.>not-dns<
-bash: syntax error near unexpected token `newline'

If we don't provide people an (acceptable) alternative, and at least
try and meet their needs, we lose any sort of right to shake a finger
and say "Bad dog!" when they widdle on the namespace...


> -G
> On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 9:57 PM,  <> wrote:
>> A New Internet-Draft is available from the on-line Internet-Drafts directories.
>> This draft is a work item of the Domain Name System Operations of the IETF.
>>         Title           : The ALT Special Use Top Level Domain
>>         Authors         : Warren Kumari
>>                           Andrew Sullivan
>>         Filename        : draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld-05.txt
>>         Pages           : 10
>>         Date            : 2016-09-12
>> Abstract:
>>    This document reserves a string (ALT) to be used as a TLD label in
>>    non-DNS contexts or for names that have no meaning in a global
>>    context.  It also provides advice and guidance to developers
>>    developing alternate namespaces.
>>    [ Ed note: This document lives in GitHub at:
>> . Issues and
>>    pull requests happily accepted. ]
>>    [ Question for Working Group.  It has been proposed that the string
>>    .ALT should be replaced with something else e.g. .NOT-DNS.  As naming
>>    discussions in the IETF are always short, simple, and not
>>    controversial, we figured we should open these for discussion now.
>>    We would appreciate clear feedback on preference and rationale. ]
>> The IETF datatracker status page for this draft is:
>> There's also a htmlized version available at:
>> A diff from the previous version is available at:
>> Please note that it may take a couple of minutes from the time of submission
>> until the htmlized version and diff are available at
>> Internet-Drafts are also available by anonymous FTP at:
>> _______________________________________________
>> DNSOP mailing list

I don't think the execution is relevant when it was obviously a bad
idea in the first place.
This is like putting rabid weasels in your pants, and later expressing
regret at having chosen those particular rabid weasels and that pair
of pants.