Edward S. Marshall emarshal at
Thu May 28 04:27:13 UTC 1998

On Wed, 27 May 1998, Al Reuben wrote:
> 1) Should the Internic be retaining this X Headers? 

Should they? Sure, why not. :-) But they don't. However, subject lines
tend to be left intact, so you can use them for tracking purposes (I built
a tracking system this way, but it gets outdated every time they change
the templates they send back for acks, completion messages, etc).

If you're really trying to build a unified tracking system for InterNIC
messages, you're going to complain about a lot of the same things I did:

- Why isn't there a simple connection-oriented protocol in place for
  communicating this stuff instead of using email and templates? I asked
  this question around last August of Network Solutions, and they said
  "Real Soon Now". Hasn't happened yet. I've given up hope on it.

- Why can't they tag their email in a machine-readable manner? Tacking on
  a single -reliable- header (X-InterNIC-Data: or some such) which
  contains machine-parsable information about the message would be a
  godsend for people trying to build tracking schemes like this.

- Machine generated messages, for no really good reason, seem to come from
  semi-random addresses (faxmaster, hostmaster, domreg, etc). Why can't
  they pick one, for easy tagging of InterNIC machine-generated email?

I could go on for hours. The email-based system could be usable, but they
refuse to address a number of concerns about it that would greatly ease
the development of reliable tracking mechanisms. A simple, authenticated
client-server protocol for domain and contact management would be a next
logical step, and their email support staff have even suggested that such
a scheme was in the works, but that's never happened either.

But hey, people who can reliably manage domain issues might compete with
WorldNIC. We can't have that, now can we? ;-)

-------------------.  emarshal at  .---------------------------------
Edward S. Marshall  `-----------------------'

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