what problem are we solving? (was Re: ICANN opens up Pandora'sBox of
jabley at ca.afilias.info
Sun Jun 29 13:14:58 CDT 2008
On 28 Jun 2008, at 22:31, Joe Greco wrote:
> For example, I *ought* to be able to find the Police Department for
> the City
> of Milwaukee at something reasonable, such as
> If I then needed the police for Wauwatosa,
> "police.ci.wauwatosa.wi.us", or
> for Waukesha, "police.ci.waukesha.wi.us".
About as much as I ought to be able to reach the Canadian army at
army.mil, or the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration department at
There is no single namespace that makes sense for everybody. For every
single person who says "I ought to be able to do X to find Y" there
will be someone else for whom Y would be a surprising result for X.
The boat sailed on enforcing regulations for appropriate registrations
under particular TLDs long ago. I remember when registering a .NET
name for a small, south-western Ontario ISP in about 1995 being told
"sorry, that TLD is for ISPs only" and having to prove that I was, in
fact, working for an ISP before I could get the delegation. Imagine
that happening now?
The DNS had its origins in a desire to use names instead of addresses,
because names are easier to remember. But really, the fact that naive
users type raw URLs into browsers is an indication that we have more
work to do, not that naive users will always need to be exposed to raw
URLs. We are already at the point where a significant proportion of
the Internet population types names into Google or Yahoo! or Microsoft
Live Search, and never reference URLs in the raw unless they are
accessed through bookmarks. An increasing number of people use
Facebook more for e-mail than they use e-mail for e-mail. If this is a
trend, then perhaps we can imagine the day where the average Internet
user pays about as much attention to domain names as they do to IP
All these conversations about what should or should not be possible in
the namespace are pointless. The degrees of freedom are too enormous
for any single person or organisation to be able to make even a
vaguely accurate guess at what the stable state should be.
The only decision that is required is whether new generic top-level
domains are desired. If not, do nothing. Otherwise, shake as much
energy into the system as possible and sit back and let it find its
own steady state.
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