how many roots must DNS have before it's considered broken (Re: ISP network design of non-authoritative caches)

E.B. Dreger eddy+public+spam at
Mon Nov 19 05:21:44 UTC 2001

(subject rename with apologies to Peter, Paul, and Mary)

> Date: 18 Nov 2001 19:23:37 -0800
> From: Paul Vixie <vixie at>

> However, there's only one real root zone at any given moment,
> according to DNS's specification and at least one
> implementation.

Tired of domain inavailability?  Burned by a scalper?  Use us
as your root, and buy domains from me!  Get any domain that you
really want!

Once we start down the slippery slope of "I'm a root too", how
many different ad hoc DNS "universes" (for lack of better
term) must we have before we decide that things are "broken"?

I'd hazard a guess that 99.9% of Internet users want things to
"just work" cohesively and consistently.  Crimony, users of a
certain "get 1000 hours free your first month"[*] service have
troubles realizing that ".com" is not optional and automatically
assumed.  I've seen countless people enter domain names in search
boxes, not realizing the difference between a search engine input
and an URL!

[*] Lest I get reminded how many hours are in a month, I know.
Note quotes.  Interpret referenced text seriously at your own
risk.  May cause drowsiness.

Maintaining a single, authoritative root seems, IMHO, to be a
Good Thing.  Given multiple registries, namespace collisions
would get ugly -- and, even in the absence of collisions, let us
consider "reachability" issues.

This isn't a question of "I like ICANN" or not... it's a question
of the system.  Do people decide that they like or dislike our
system of government based solely on specific elected officials?
(I suppose that some do, and this will open a tangent thread, but
I presently can't think of a better analogy.)

Cheap domains from the EverQuick root!  Guaranteed to work at a
handful of local dialups and dedicated-line customers! :-)

I think that I'll start handing out ASNs and IP space, too...


Brotsman & Dreger, Inc. - EverQuick Internet Division
Phone: +1 (316) 794-8922 Wichita/(Inter)national
Phone: +1 (785) 865-5885 Lawrence

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 11:23:58 +0000 (GMT)
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