what problem are we solving? (was Re: ICANN opens up Pandora's Box of

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Sat Jun 28 13:46:33 UTC 2008

> On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 9:01 PM, Jean-François Mezei
> <jfmezei at vaxination.ca> wrote:
> [snip conflict examples]
> > Finally, will there be any performance impact on DNS servers around the
> > world (thinking of caching issues) ?
> more to the point ... what problem is ICANN trying to solve with this
> proposal? What about the current system that's broken, does this new
> system fix? It looks like a lot of thought went into the process
> (thanks for the PDF link, DRC), and most of the issues raised here are
> addressed (conflicts, abuse/phishing grabs, etc.) - I'm just still
> unclear what the motivation for this new system was in the first
> place.
> I'm not opposed to it if it solves a legitimate technical/operational
> issue that's germaine to either the operators of the Internet or the
> users of the Internet, but so far I can't see that this serves either
> of those communities. In fact, it could very well be argued that a
> slew of new TLDs (whether a few dozen or a few hundred) will only
> serve to increase complexity and add additional confusion to a system
> that the standard user has just now come to grips with
> ("www.company.com will get me Company's official, legitimate page").

Yes.  It completely marginalizes the remaining positive qualities of the
Domain Name System as a way to find things, in the name of giving people
"more options."

Let me start by saying that I believe that the trends in the DNS have been
going the wrong way for well over a decade.  The insistence on the part of
many that the namespace be flattened is just a poor choice.  People are now
used to trying "<foo>.com" to reach a company.  In some cases, this makes
fair sense; I can see why "ibm.com" or "seagate.com" are that way, even
though in some cases there are namespace collisions with other trademarks.
In others, it's ridiculous - why the heck do I get someplace in California
when I go to "martyspizza.com", rather than our local very excellent pizza
place?  (sadly this example is less effective now, they managed to get
"martyspizza.net" a few years back).

We never had any business allowing small, local businesses to register in
.com, or non-networking companies to register in .net, or non-organizations
in .org...  but a whole generation of Internet "professionals" "knew better"
and the end result at the end of the road is that DNS will end up being
almost as useless as IPv4 numbers for identifying the more obscure bits of
the Internet.

It would have been much better for us to fix some of the obvious problems
with DNS back in the day.  Instead, we didn't bother, and instead allowed
"market forces" to dictate what happened next.  This of course got buyers
whatever they wanted (which was generally "short names!"), but what buyers
wanted didn't necessarily map well into what would have made sense for 
/users/ of the system, which would have been "predictability of names."

We are now reaping the evolution of that into even further mayhem.

I look forward to many more years of having to remember that Marty's
Pizza is "martyspizza.net" instead of "martyspizza.brookfield.wi.us", 
that Milwaukee's Department of Public Works is at "mpw.net" instead of
"dpw.ci.milwaukee.wi.us", etc.

I've kept this short and have omitted lots.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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