Mapping and Variants

Andrew Sullivan ajs at
Fri Mar 6 14:57:46 CET 2009

On Thu, Mar 05, 2009 at 02:48:09PM -0800, Erik van der Poel wrote:
> them. One is to always display domain names in lower-case. Some
> organizations may not like this because they like to advertise their
> domain names with certain letters capitalized.

Well, it's not just that "they may not like this".  It may be a
violation of STD0013 -- specifically, the sentence in RFC1034, "When
you receive a domain name or label, you should preserve its case."
1034 was before 2119, and that 'should' has always been interpreted as
much stronger than SHOULD -- effectively, MUST.  So such a plan would
require, I think, an explicit update of RFC 1034.

Now, I am not actually personally opposed to such a plan, assuming
it's the only really effective way to solve this (I'm not actually
sure about that, but let's make the assumption for the sake of
argument).  But I'm pretty sure you're going to get some serious
resistance because of this problem.  Moreover, this leads us right
back to the "we're going to change the behaviour of DNS" discussion
that John recently (correctly, in my mind) pleaded we stop having

I appreciate, however, that what you're suggesting is not strictly a
change to the DNS protocol -- it's really an operational convention
for things before they go into the DNS, or after they come out.  But
to me, that just moves the problem around.  We're already running into
this problem with IDNA, where I've been arguing both (1) that we need
to be perfectly clear which parts of the protocol are about resolution
as such (i.e. "none") and (2) that naïve users are going to treat
several of the cases we know are _not_ matters of resolution as though
they _are_ opportunities for resolution (this is the idea behind the
term "resolution context".  But I hate the term).  Your proposal just
moves the stakes around that problem, without attacking it head on.



Andrew Sullivan
ajs at
Shinkuro, Inc.

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