[dns-operations] Hearing first complains about failing internal resolving due to .prod TLD

Paul Vixie paul at redbarn.org
Fri Sep 12 02:47:56 UTC 2014

On 9/11/2014 7:08 PM, Mark Andrews wrote:
> ...
> I just wish I had been able to convince Paul to remove support for
> partially qualified names back when RFC 1535 came out.  We knew
> then that they were a bad idea.  ndots minimises the damage of using
> partially qualified names.  It doesn't remove it.

at the time (1993?) i felt it was best not to break anybody's existing
configuration. that seems insane now.

> The real fix is make the resolver libraries not append search lists
> entries to names with multiple labels.  Yes, people need to type
> slightly long names or add more search list entries.  Yes there
> will be some pain but it is something better done sooner rather
> than later.

partially qualified names (so, has an interior dot) should never have
been allowed to work, anywhere, not even for a day. once they existed,
it should have been somebody's job to stomp them to death. for my part
in these events, i apologize to one and all.

in fairness, had we adopted the left-to-right presentation format
preferred at first by our UK colleagues, we would have always had to
write fully qualified names as .tld.sld.3ld, that is, the "root dot"
would not have been optional, and there would have been no confusion
between unqualified, partially qualified, and fully qualified domain names.

or with a little bit of arm twisting at the right time in the right
place, search lists could have been explicit, as in, if you want FOO.BAR
to be looked up in the client's preferred local contexts, you'd write it
as FOO.BAR.+ or similar.

the presentation layer is where DNS shows its greatest design
weaknesses. (just ask the IDN folks, they'll tell you.)



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