[dns-operations] _nicname._tcp

Jim Reid jim at rfc1035.com
Mon Jul 26 09:22:13 UTC 2010

On 26 Jul 2010, at 00:38, Jay Daley wrote:

> And may I take opportunity to remind people of "_nicname._tcp SRV"  
> to locate WHOIS servers.

Why? There are plenty of other ad-hoc ways of locating whois servers  
already. Adding another seems pointless. Most registries provide a  
link to their whois service on their home page. IANA publish the names  
of the whois servers for those TLDs who provide this service. Then  
there are generic whois lookup services like uwhois.com.

A standardised naming convention for locating whois servers would be  
of marginal use at best. [And why only whois servers? Why not provide  
SRV records for the TLD's DNS, web and EPP servers too?] Besides, as  
everyone knows, criminals *always* put their contact details in whois  
because ICANN makes them.

The long-dead draft-sanz-whois-srv-01.txt didn't get very far the last  
time it was discussed. So what's changed to make it more likely to  
gain acceptance now?

IIRC there were two problems with this idea. The first was it didn't  
work for thin registries where registrars run the whois servers that  
hold registrant data, not the registry. The second was/is it is clumsy  
when there are sub-registries under the TLD. You had to walk up the  
tree, pre-pending _nicname._tcp to the QNAME until you hit the  
"closest encloser" registry for the domain name.

Oh and I would have expected _nicname._udp to be a wiser choice for an  
SRV record since most whois queries use UDP.

This discussion probably needs to move from this list as the thread's  
not about DNS operations....

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