Re: DNS: defining "official" domains

Re: DNS: defining "official" domains

From: David Keegel <djk§cyber.com.au>
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 11:52:22 +1000 (EST)
] Rick Welykochy wrote:
] 
] > (*) *.au domains will go on forever ... they are THE sanctified
] >     TLD's in Australia
] 
] Like many others I have a gut feel that some domains are "official"
] while others aren't.  It might be interesting to elaborate on what
] this means.
] 
] Rick points out that no fees need to be paid to renew the domain.
] That seems to be a necessary condition, but not sufficient.
] 
] There needs to be a chain of delegation authority from IANA.  Again,
] necessary, but not sufficient.
] 
] Continuing to mull...

I've mulled over this for a while in the past, trying to work out what
it is that is common between wattle.id.au, com.au, and com, but different
from id.au, au, and the root on one hand, or domains keegel.wattle.id.au,
cyber.com.au, and aust.com on the other.

What I've come to decide is that the defining characteristic is:
	whether the domains were delegated from the parent domain with
	the intention that they would be available for registrations by 
	the entities unrelated to the domain authority (eg: the public).

That may sound straight-forward and obvious at first reading, but the
key thing is what the *parent* domain authority was intending the domain
to be used for when it was delegated.  So rather than looking at the
policy of the domain itself, you would look at the policy of the parent.

It would be nice it we had an acronym for these domains which were delegated
to take public registrations (from suitably qualified applicants, in line
with the domain's policy) regardless of what level they are (not just TLDs).

To put this in context, I think there are three (orthogonal?) properties 
of domains which accept registrations from unrelated entities :-
	1. whether the domain has a chain of authority back to IANA
	   (which we seem to be calling "official")
	2. whether registrations/delegations are portable.
	3. this property, of being delegated by the parent for the
	   purpose of taking registations from unrelated entities.

Domains like AUS don't have property 1, and do have property 2.
I'm not sure whether property 3 makes sense in this context, but if
there was a COM.AUS for example then it would have property 3.

Domains like aust.com have property 1, but not property 2 or 3.

Domains like au.com have property 1 and property 2, but don't have
property 3.

Domains like com.au, com, wattle.id.au have properties 1, 2, and 3.

Property 1 is relevant in the real world because domains with property
1 are visible throughout the Internet, while those without property 1
are not visible everywhere.  Property 2 is obviously relevant to the
real world, as soon as you try to change ISPs or whatever.

The relevance of Property 3 in the real world (ie: for your average
user who doesn't care about DNS, and just wants it to work) is left
as an exercise for the reader.

I don't think the property of whether fees are paid to renew the domain
is relevant (it's not necessary, at least).  We can imagine in one
possible world having ADNA in charge of au, and charging the holders
of the various 2LDs in *.au with renewal fees to help pay for ADNA's
budget.  In this theoretical world, each 2LD has a single registrar.

I would prefer to register in a domain with properties 1, 2 and 3,
but other people may not be so fussy about some of these properties,
and that's fine as long as they know what they are getting into.
__________________________________________________________________________
 David Keegel <djk&#167;cyber.com.au>  URL: http://www.cyber.com.au/users/djk/
Cybersource P/L: Unix Systems Administration and TCP/IP network management
Received on Fri Jun 19 1998 - 12:44:33 UTC

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