Re: [DNSOP] Clarifying referrals (#35)

Andrew Sullivan <> Wed, 29 November 2017 12:11 UTC

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From: Andrew Sullivan <>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] Clarifying referrals (#35)
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On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:16:28AM +0000, Tony Finch wrote:
> Regarding the definition of referrals from older RFCs, see my
> terminology review from May 2015:

Yes, it's your review that has caused this issue :)

> I think that quote implies that other less formal uses of "closer"
> specifically mean downward in the DNS tree.

That's plausible.
> So I think unqualified "referral" means "downward referral" (from
> authoritative data)

I'm not totally convinced, but I can certainly see the argument.  If
we added to the text I proposed something like, "Many people use the
unqualified term 'referral' to mean only a downward referral," would
that help?

> answer the query. I have also seen the term "implicit referral" meaning
> the authority section from a recursive response, since the idea was that a
> downstream cache might use those records to answer future queries more
> efficiently (though doing that is no longer considered safe).

Hmm.  It seems like we ought to add that point about implicit
referral.  I wonder how this is related to the "partial referral" Mark
is talking about (see elsewhere in this thread).



Andrew Sullivan