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Comments on on-line host name service (RFC0623)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003696D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Feb-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 2 page(s) / 3K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

M. Krilanovich: AUTHOR

Abstract

Peter Deutsch in RFC #606 pointed out the desirability of having a single host maintain a data base containing official host names and host addresses, as well as other information of secondary importance. Mike Kudlick in RFC #608 agreed with the concept, and proposed that the NIC would implement Peter's ideas. I would like to add my voice to those in support of such a service, and express a few ideas for its modification.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 85% of the total text.

Network Working Group Mark Krilanovich

RFC # 623 UCSB

NIC # 22004 February 22, 1974

Reference: RFC #606, 608

Comments on On-Line Host Name Service

Peter Deutsch in RFC #606 pointed out the desirability of having a

single host maintain a data base containing official host names and host

addresses, as well as other information of secondary importance. Mike

Kudlick in RFC #608 agreed with the concept, and proposed that the NIC

would implement Peter's ideas. I would like to add my voice to those in

support of such a service, and express a few ideas for its modification.

The notion of having a single host maintain this data base clearly

has the weakness that anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the data may be

faced with the situation that the serving host is not available when the

data is desired. It is true that each host could save a copy of the

most recently obtained data, such that whenever a current copy cannot be

obtained, at least a very recent copy is available. This is not a

particularly attractive idea, since it requires a non-trivial amount of

bother on the part of everyone. Therefore, I propose that the NIC

maintain the master data base, and one other host be responsible for

maintaining a secondary copy, which is to be updated to be equal to the

NIC's at periodic and often intervals, such as once a day. This way,

anyone wishing to obtain the data can first try the NIC, and if that

fails, try the secondary host, thus much reducing the probability that

the data cannot be obtained, while requiring additional software to be

written at only one additional host. Further, I volunteer UCSB to be

that secondary host.

The proposal currently underway calls for the host names data base

to have the format of ASCII file. RFC 606 makes the point, with which I

completely agree, that this data base should be formatted in an easily

machine-readable form. To this end, I propose that the data base be

retrievable in binary form rather than ASCII. Using this concept, for

example, would be a one-byte (eight-bit) binary number,

would be a one-byte length field followed by that many ASCII

characters, and the possible 's for the STATUS

would be one-byte binary numbers. This modification

would clearly make the data base unintelligible to a human user, and,

just as clearly, much more easily interpreted by a program.

RFC 608 states that the data base will be maintained as a file and

retrievable through FTP. I question the wisdom of basing such a simple

process as keeping a host table up to date on such a complex protocol as

FTP. Therefore I propose that the data base be available via a program

running under its own socket at the NIC and at the secondary host. This

also avoids the necessity for the accessing program to know the login

parameters for the guest account at the ...