[ih] Funny how things work out

John Day jeanjour at comcast.net
Mon Feb 1 14:48:39 PST 2021

As long as we are harping on these sorts of things, I will throw in my pet peeve, not limiting a domain request to something reasonable. For example, there is small grocery in Harvard Square called Cardullos. They have Cardullos.com. They are small, they will never be nationwide, let alone worldwide. Why weren’t they asked to take Cardullos.ma.us?  Now who knows how many other businesses the greater Cardullo family has spread around the world. ;-) But there might be other more common names where taking a more localized domain name would be better and save all of the hassle and legal fees when world-wide Smith Co. finds out that that Smith.com is owned by a plumber in North Dakota. (I have no idea who has Smith.com, but you get my point.) ;-)  Look at MacIntosh:  computers, amplifiers, raincoats, an actual kind of apple, and who knows what all else!


> On Feb 1, 2021, at 15:55, Jack Haverty via Internet-history <internet-history at elists.isoc.org> wrote:
> Hi Dave,
> I agree that the DNS was never intended as a searching mechanism.  It
> has always done "lookup", converting strings into IP addresses.  
> That's a view from the Technology side.  I was thinking as an end User,
> where the History of the Internet looks somewhat different.
> From the User side, DNS also, at first, provided two other mechanisms
> useful for Users - Delegation and Organization.  Delegation solved Jon's
> problem, spreading out the work for managing the namespace to multiple
> people and organizations.  Organization provided a means of structuring
> the namespace so that it made some sense to Users.
> As a User, I knew that a school site likely ended in .edu, a company
> site in .com, a US government site in .gov, etc.  So instead of
> "searching", a User knowing that old simple DNS organization of the name
> space could guess that MIT was mit.edu, UCLA was ucla.edu, yahoo was
> yahoo.com, Social Security was ssa.gov, etc.   Names were predictable,
> guessing was reliable enough.
> That organizational structure broke as the Internet grew, and name
> collisions became common (like my examples).  The growth worldwide made
> the US-centric domain choices less palatable, and the explosion of TLDs
> has made it almost impossible to understand or remember the structure of
> the namespace or the "name" of a particular site.   Guessing and
> predicting has become much less successful for the Users, and
> remembering, even short-term, almost impossible.
> So, IMHO, DNS still does an admirable job of maintaining and operating a
> distributed database translating between "names" and "addresses", and
> provides the mechanisms needed for delegation.  But its utility to Users
> has decayed over time as the Internet grew.  It's now a mechanism for
> translating between two obscure (to Users) character strings, one of
> which (IP addresses) they rarely see.   DNS mechanisms are still an
> important part of the internal machinery of the 'net, but DNS names seem
> no longer very relevant as part of the "Internet UI".   Names are just
> an arbitrary stringofcharacters that you have little need to remember or
> type.
> Since Marketing cares mostly about Customers (Users), that's what leads
> me to wonder when the marketing forces will recognize that paying lots
> of money to "protect the brand" in the DNS namespace is still worthwhile
> -- except to the companies charging for the naming rights.
> /Jack
> On 2/1/21 10:58 AM, Dave Crocker wrote:
>> On 2/1/2021 10:30 AM, Jack Haverty via Internet-history wrote:
>>> Fast forward to today, and I no longer have a clue what name to use to
>>> find what I want online, and the proliferation of TLDs and explosion of
>>> names isn't helping.
>>> I'm wondering if, from the Users' perspective, the DNS mechanisms have
>>> simply become unusable and irrelevant.
>> The model you describe is for searching.  The DNS doesn't do that.  It
>> does lookup. As already noted, there's a basic difference between
>> being able to guess a string versus being able to remember a string. 
>> There's also a difference between longer-term vs. shorter-term
>> remembering.
>> The mnemoics of domain names is useful for shorter-term remembering
>> and sometimes useful for longer-term remembering.  Since it isn't
>> intended for searching, there shouldn't be any surprise that it's
>> terrible for that function.  Always has been.
>>> So, as a user, I don't really care any more what the DNS "web address"
>>> is, whether asiangarden.gv or 19876.weirdname.whatever.something.   I
>>> never remember those, and never type them in anymore.
>>> That's why I'm wondering if DNS and TLDs and all the name structure is
>>> worth all the trouble anymore.  It's still useful as a level of
>>> indirection to separate "names" from IP addresses that may change.   But
>>> as a mnemonic for Users, it's devolved over time to become useless.  At
>>> least for me...maybe other Users too?
>>> I wonder when the "brand defenders" will realize this...funny how things
>>> work out.
>> What you describe has always been true.  The problem has been the
>> re-application of long-standin (pre-digital) brand protection models
>> to this very different world.
>> d/
> -- 
> Internet-history mailing list
> Internet-history at elists.isoc.org
> https://elists.isoc.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history

More information about the Internet-history mailing list