North American Network Operators Group

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Re: US Domain -- County Delegations

  • From: Kevin Oberman
  • Date: Thu Jul 27 12:35:55 1995

> Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 09:13:18 -0400
> From: Curtis Villamizar <[email protected]>
> That a great idea.  Just replace the dots in your numeric address with
> underscore and make it part of the domain name.  :-) :-) Then you have
> to remember that cnidr is in reston and what their numeric address is.
> I hope people recognize friendly sarcasm.  No offense intended Bill.
> The whole point of a name space is to make things easier to remember.

Exactly! And there are few schemes as unfriendly as long string of
numbers. But that does not mean that the idea is not a good
one. Adding a 2 digit random number to the top or second layer of the
DNS hierarchy is less than ideal, but mnemonic research has shown
that short numbers (actually, up to 4 digits, if I remember the research
correctly) are easily remembered, especially when grouped with other
familair values.

How many people on this list were ever at Paul Vixie's house when he
actually was in SF.CA.US? But the mnemonic keys of familiar
abbreviations ("SF", "CA", and "US") are still easy for people to
remember. Even if people don't know the meaning of the symbols or if
they are meaningless, as long as they are short, they are
memorable. How many people know what ANS means? I'll bet not nearly as
many as know who [email protected] is (in a network, if not personal

Adding 2 or 3 random digits to .com would not significantly impact
memorability of names any more than old postal zones did. (You must be
at least 30 and probably near 40 to remember these ancestors of US ZIP
codes.) People would quickly come to "know" that IBM was
just as millions of Americans knew the postal zone of Spiegel, Chicago
9, Ill.

John Romkey was one of the first to truly understand the future scope
of the network with his "Romkey toaster" comment. About 6 year ago I
sat in meetings in DC to discuss the future of Internet directory
services and could not get most of the attendees to begin to
understand the magnitude of the scaling problem the Internet would
someday see. The meeting included many very bright people and the
final report (RFC1107) called for planning for directory service to
eventually support 10 million users in up to 100,000 organizations in
the US. It was explicitly assumed that only the "science and research
community" needed be accounted for. My suggestions that these numbers
were at least an order of magnitude too small did not get serious
attention. But today I would suggest I was also too conservative.

The world is a big place and naming on a global basis is a not easy. I
believe there will be some ugliness and the sooner we start working on
the problem, the sooner we may have a workable, if not wonderful solution.

R. Kevin Oberman
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
National Energy Research Supercomputer Center (NERSC)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
EMAIL: [email protected]      Phone: +1 510 422-6955