Were A record domain names ever limited to 23 characters?

Jimmy Hess mysidia at gmail.com
Fri Oct 7 23:39:49 UTC 2011

On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM, Joe Hamelin <joe at nethead.com> wrote:
> I remember tales from when there was an eight character limit.  But that was
> back when you didn't have to pay for them and they assigned you a class-c
> block automatically.  Of course it took six weeks to register because there
> was only one person running the registry.

You may be referring to a limitation of a certain OS regarding a
hostname; or some network's policy.
But the DNS protocol itself never had a limit of 8 characters.
When we are talking about the contents of "A" record names,

I would refer you to
"RFC 2181
Clarifications to the DNS Specification R. Elz, R. Bush
[ July 1997 ] (TXT = 36989) (Updates RFC1034, RFC1035, RFC1123)
(Updated-By RFC4035, RFC2535, RFC4343, RFC4033, RFC4034, RFC5452)
(Status: PROPOSED STANDARD) (Stream: IETF, Area: int, WG: dnsind) "

Elz & Bush                  Standards Track                    [Page 12]
Occasionally it is assumed that the Domain Name System serves only
   the purpose of mapping Internet host names to data, and mapping
   Internet addresses to host names.  This is not correct, the DNS is a
   general (if somewhat limited) hierarchical database, and can store
   almost any kind of data, for almost any purpose.
11. Name syntax
The length of any one label is limited to between 1 and 63 octets.  A
full domain
   name is limited to 255 octets (including the separators).  The zero
   length full name is defined as representing the root of the DNS tree,
   and is typically written and displayed as ".".  Those restrictions
   aside, any binary string whatever can be used as the label of any
   resource record.


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