best practices for PTR naming and whois (was, sadly, Re: Arrogant RBL list maintainers)

Michael Thomas mike at
Thu Dec 10 11:27:44 CST 2009

On 12/10/2009 09:06 AM, Joe Abley wrote:
> On 2009-12-10, at 16:42, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> On 12/10/2009 08:38 AM, Mark Andrews wrote:
>>> The way to do this is to put other data in the and
>>> stop trying to infer things from the PTR records.
>> Sigh. What is the "this" to which you refer?
> I think Mark means "the question of whether a particular address is statically-assigned or dynamically-assigned", but...

Which assumes that that's the question that actually needs to be answered.

>> The problem space here is what's important. And I think it's worth considering
>> that port 25 isn't the only abuse vector anymore.
> ... I agree that there's no clear limit to the kind of questions we could come up with that we could answer in such a way. Maybe we don't need to boil the ocean, though.

Sure, but positing the deployment of any infrastructure comes at a huge cost.
Making certain that you're solving the right problem should be the first
concern, since it's so expensive.

> @ SOA ...
> @ NS ...
> ;
> 13 PTR
> 13 HINFO Apple-Mac-Mini "Mac OS X Server"
> 13 RP .
> 13 TXT "dynamic"

See, that makes the assumption that that is the right question. Is it really
though? Dynamic vs static is a placeholder for "authorized for this role or not",
right? And not a very good one when you start to consider the larger world of
protocols. I don't think it's "boiling the ocean" to ask the question of what
the producers and consumers of that information are actually looking for.


> ;
> * RP .
> * HINFO Nothing "Unallocated"
> * TXT "unallocated, should source no traffic"
> Joe

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