Contact handles disappearing mysteriously from the whois database!

Randy Bush randy at
Tue Apr 27 23:44:31 UTC 1999

michael, you forgot the mandatory ad hominem attack on me falsely claiming
that i had made a personal attack.  where is your contribution to nanog
hypocrisy?  sheesh!  :-)

> I find it rather curious that QA procedures were not in place to prevent
> the bug from happening in the first place.

to paraphrase dijkstra because i am too lazy to look up the reference,
testing can demonstrate the presence of bugs, it can not demonstrate their

i.e. if they could do what you suggest, there would be very few new bugs in
the world.  this would be a truly great advance.

> I also find it curious that there are no rollback procedures in place to
> recover quickly from a bug in generating whois data.

good point.  a possible explanation is that they changed the back end, and
hence the front end.  while one might roll back the front end, the back end
could be much more difficult as
  o new updates had flowed in, i.e. can't just roll back, need to convert
    the data back, and
  o when people write database conversion code, they tend to think of it 
    as one way, and do not double the cost by writing un-conversion code.

in private email, an acquaintance suggested that extensive alpha and beta
testing might have caught it.  with a product such as whois this might be
hard.  i.e. alpha/beta tests are usually done by shipping product to a
select few.  how would one do this with whois?  with registration services?
etc.?  not saying one could not, just that this is far from trivial or

as i have said before, i would not want nsi's job.

randy, who spent 20+ years in software development

More information about the NANOG mailing list