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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Steve Crocker on New TLDs | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 37 comments | Search Discussion
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    Read On
    by George Matrox on Friday March 12 2004, @07:34PM (#13182)
    User #3946 Info
    As suggested by the end of the above quote (about root servers themselves handling more TLDs: "but it's probably not the biggest issue"), right after saying these words Dr. Crocker elaborated [icann.org] on various "less visible aspects" creating technical issues, saying that there would be relatively few problems with adding "a handful of new top-level domains" but that important issues would be raised by adding "hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands".

    In its September 27, 1999, Technical Comment [icann.org], the Internet Architecture Board noted that "stability of the system calls for extremely conservative and cautious management of the public root zone". This statement was not based simply on the capabilities of the root servers to respond to queries from a bigger root zone (in this limited regard, Paul Vixie has noted that the root servers' capabilities are not theoretically different from those of the .com nameservers), but more relevantly on the broader array of technical issues inherent in management of the public root zone. That entails much more than simple service of DNS replies from the root servers.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Read On
    by KarlAuerbach on Friday March 12 2004, @10:02PM (#13183)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    I find your argument interesting but ultimately not compelling.

    I have run actual tests, not thought games, that indicate that root zones with millions, even tens of millions, of names are quite feasible.

    From the perspective of today's less than 300 total TLD's, the distance from there to 1,000,000 is nearly infinite.

    Even adding tens of thousands of new TLDs would be but a minor step when measured against those millions.

    But will ICANN take such a step? No. Instead they create imaginary dragons, creations of their own imaginations devoid even of an articulated theory of what the risks might be.

    I have spoken over the years to several people who have thought about these matters and the most cogent response came from Rob Austein (IAB) who considered that the biggest risk was not technical but rather the increased possibility of human error. And I believe that he is right - the limits will be found in the administrative procedures not in the horsepower of the servers.

    That said - the argument you put forth is one that ultimately leads to immobility and stasis through fear of the unknown and an unwillingness to make informed balances between innovation and risk.

    ICANN's map of the DNS resembles a mideval globe - covered with labels of terra incognita and "here be dragons" and without any sign of an ICANN Columbus or Magellan.

    At least I have run actual experiments - I challange ICANN to back its fears with something more concrete than fear of the dark.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Re: Read On
    by George Matrox on Saturday March 13 2004, @05:07PM (#13192)
    User #3946 Info
    The crucial point, however, is that the issue discussed in the quotation of Dr. Crocker in the article, which was also the subject of your “actual experiment” (at least as I understand what you did), is a red herring (definition: “[from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs]: something that distracts attention from the real issue”).

    It’s really no surprise that the root servers can serve up DNS replies from a larger root zone file, even one with a million names. Discussion about that point is not even very interesting, IMHO. Instead, it’s a distraction from the real technical issues: are there issues with managing (in the broader sense) a larger root zone file; if so, can they be adequately addressed while maintaining an exactingly high accuracy rate; and, if so, are the economic and other costs of doing that worthwhile? My posting was not intended to answer these questions (the ensuing discussion would bring many factors into play). But it's just a distraction to focus on how many entries the root servers can serve.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • Re: Read On by KarlAuerbach Saturday March 13 2004, @10:18PM
    • Re: Read On by Muhhk Wednesday March 17 2004, @11:36PM

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