US Domain -- County Delegations

Michael Dillon michael at
Thu Jul 27 06:46:32 UTC 1995

On Wed, 26 Jul 1995, Paul A Vixie wrote:

> > This would seem to indicate that geographical domains are a bad idea and 
> > that domain names should be based on some characteristic that is less 
> > likely to change over time.
> > 

> On the other hand, SMITH.FAM would be a pretty huge undertaking and I'm leaning
> more toward something that service providers could do as a third-party.  I
> don't know what that is yet.

I think the key is to let people choose. The county name system and the 
.FAM system do not give people a choice. If cousin Ned wants to be in the 
.KLINGON domain and Aunt Sarah wants to be in the .SEWMISTRESS domain, 
why not let them? Realistically, in order to keep the root under control 
these should be .KLINGON.ROLE and .SEWMISTRESS.ROLE but maybe Aunt Martha 
is happy with the .SMITH.FAM domain.

I think the better solution will com out of a judicious expansion of the 
root domains to allow for international choices similar to what .COM, 
.NET and .ORG already provide.

> let the directory services people handle the mapping of real-world object names
> like countries and cities and families and companies, into funny-world objects
> like host names and URLs and so forth.  Assigning hexadecimal strings at random
> would be better than what we have now -- in terms of scalability to the next
> order of magnitude in network size -- just so long as the strings were unique.
> Sort of the "social security number" concept only on a wider scale.

Now I am one of those unusual people who knows their number off by heart 
which is good since the card has long since disappeared into a Northern 
river back in 1979. However, I would not wish to break the substantially 
mnemonic tradition of DNS. If we are going to have funny-world objects, 
lets allow people to be creative rather than forcing a mapping scheme on 

Lets not forget that domain names are "names". As such, they should be as 
rich and vibrant as real-world names. In the real world we have Mister T, 
Prince, and Wim Vandeneerenbeemt, why can't the funny-world have these 
kind of names too.

> That said, ".HACKER" would probably not be a useful top level domain given that
> the majority of DNS registrants will not be computer or network professionals
> for very much longer.

Right. Top levels should be reserved for general categories. It should be 

> So far I'm headed toward "Label.Hash.COM.US" where Label is something
> like SUN or IBM or VIX, Hash is a variable sized token generated from Label

Those 5 digit FIPS county codes sound like a good hash. Even if they 
didn't exist, just get a list of US counties, number them and there you 
are, hash!

> Closing .COM and moving to this new structure is going to be a huge
> undertaking, of course.

.com is international. It will never be closed. However an attractive 
.com subgrouping system within .us could entice many businesses with 
regional or local focus to go for or or

Michael Dillon                                    Voice: +1-604-546-8022
Memra Software Inc.                                 Fax: +1-604-542-4130                             E-mail: michael at

More information about the NANOG mailing list