[mif] bare names (was: [dnsext] 2nd Last Call for MIF DNS server selection document)

Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com> Wed, 19 October 2011 13:26 UTC

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Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:26:34 -0400
From: Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com>
To: mif@ietf.org, dnsext@ietf.org, dnsop@ietf.org, dhcwg@ietf.org
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Subject: [mif] bare names (was: [dnsext] 2nd Last Call for MIF DNS server selection document)
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Note: I trimmed the cc:s down to just the lists, but if we're going to
pursue this dicussion we probably ought to follow up in mif, since
that's where the draft comes from.  That's why I set reply-to.  Also,
I sent this first from the wrong address, so apologies to those who
see it twice.

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 07:23:15AM -0400, Keith Moore wrote:

> I don't see why IETF should give a flying *#&(*#$ what the owners of
> brand-name gTLDs want.  Brand-name gTLDs are an exceedingly stupid
> idea, and treating single label names as anything other than local
> abbreviations flies in the face of 25+ years of practice.

If you said, "25+ years of practice illustrating how broken the
search-path mechanism is," I'd agree with you.

I think it is largely true that single-label domain names are going to
fail to work in all sorts of amusing ways that will surprise gullible
people who forked over a pile of cash for the privilege of registering
them.  Nevertheless, the search path mechanism has never worked very
well and is notoriously unreliable in the face of split-brain DNS.
Still, too many people continue to rely on the search path for this
document to be the place to deprecate it.  But I agree with Ray (and
apparently Paul Vixie) that the mechanism ought to go away.

Now that Ray has mentioned it, however, perhaps a sentence along these
lines in the second paragraph of 4.6 would be useful:

    It should be noted that the DNS search list mechanism may cause
    surprising results when used with more than one network at a time.

That addresses the other point that Ray was making: search list-style
bare names are often broken if you're not on the right network, and
the point of this draft is precisely that you're _not_ on only one
network, so it isn't clear what "the right network" is.

> The best thing that IETF could do is to make sure that use of
> single-label gTLDs is so unreliable that no megacorporation would
> dare use them.

And clearly that will work, because the IETF has a long record of
success of standing before the tide and telling it to stop.

Best regards,

A

-- 
Andrew Sullivan
ajs@anvilwalrusden.com