Host names on-line (RFC0606)
Original Publication Date: 1973-Dec-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
Now that we finally have an official list of host names, it seems about time to put an end to the absurd situation where each site on the network must maintain a different, generally out-of-date, host list for the use of its own operating system or user programs.
Netork Working Group L. Peter Deutsch
Request For Comments: 606 PARC-MAXC
Host Names On-line
Now that we finally have an official list of host names, it seems
about time to put an end to the absurd situation where each site
on the network must maintain a different, generally out-of-date,
host list for the use of its own operating system or user
For example, each of the TENEX sites to which I have access
( SRI-ARC, BBN-TENEX, USC-ISI, and PARC-MAXC) has a slightly
different mapping between host names and host addresses: none
is complete, and I believe each one differs in some way from
the official List.
Since the NIC has responsibility for maintaining the official
list, lt seems appropriate for them to maintain an on-line file,
accessible to anyone, which Lists names and host addresses ( and
certain other information which I will suggest in a moment) in an
easily machine-readable form.
This rules out, in my opinion, providing this information only
in the form of an NLS structured file, since there are no
facilities for accessing such files from the network and since
many sites would not want to accommodate themselves to this
structure even if there were.
The file I have in mind would be devoted principally to that
information needed by programs, as opposed to people, since the ;
former want their information in compact, easily parsed form,
whereas the latter appreciate more verbose expression and more
sophisticated facilities for browsing or querying. Therefore, I
propose that the following information be included in such a file:
Of course, the official name and host address for each host.
This would be the primary content of each entry.
Some information about the options of the various protocols
supported by the host, including ( for FTP ) the preferred byte
size and ( for TELNET) the preferred duplex mode. The former
can have an enormous effect on the efficiency of file
transfers. Since the new TELNET allows negotiation of options,
the list need not be complete or accurate.
The function o f the host vis-a-vis the network ( user, server,
TIP, etc.). This may aid NCPs in deciding whether to poll the
host or give useful information for statistical purposes ( e.g.
I would like to make my NCP collect statistics on traffic with
TIPs vs. other hosts).
Since the file will be generated centrally by a single program,
but used widely by a variety of programs, it follows that its
format should be organized for ease of interrogation at the
expense of ease of construction. I feel a reasonable way to
achieve this is to store it as an ASCII text file with the logical
structure of a "property list".
In other words, aside from the two basic facts in each entry
( name and address), the information will be expressed in the
attribute be recognized...