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

Warren Kumari <> Fri, 25 June 2021 18:03 UTC

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From: Warren Kumari <>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2021 14:02:54 -0400
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To: Joe Abley <>
Cc: John R Levine <>, dnsop <>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] I-D Action: draft-ietf-dnsop-alt-tld-13.txt
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On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 10:22 AM Joe Abley <> wrote:
> 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.

This required some archeology...

The WGLC for the document was started on March 12, 2017:
and said  (emphasis mine):
"Per the discussion in our interim meeting a couple of weeks ago, the
editors have revised this document and the chairs are opening a
Working Group Last Call.

Please let us know, on the list, whether you support advancing
draft-dnsop-alt-tld-08 to the IESG for publication.

The document has been stable for awhile except for one significant
change in the new version. *** As discussed in the interim, it now
clarifies that “.alt” is intended for use with domain names intended
to be resolved outside of the DNS protocol.***

With IETF 98 upon us, we’re giving this a little extra time (3 weeks).

Starts: 13 March 2017
Ends:  3 April 2017

Looking back through slides  and email and such:
We had a DNSOP Interim Meeting on Feb 16 2017
and [0]).  I've posted a copy of the slides here:

Slide 8 says: "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
  • Text in red seems incorrect. This was intended to be for names
outside the DNS protocol - like .onion" (with the 'or for names that
have no meaning in a global context.' in red).

The meeting summary is posted here:

So, the  change was in response to feedback from the Feb 16th 2017
joint DNSOP interim meeting. I can look further to try and find the
emails, but hopefully this is clear enough?


> Joe
> _______________________________________________
> DNSOP mailing list

The computing scientist’s main challenge is not to get confused by the
complexities of his own making.
  -- E. W. Dijkstra