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Re: DNS timeline
From: David Conrad <david.conrad () nominum com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 17:30:13 -0800


As with all good marketing and/or tabloid periodicals, spinning events such
that they have one or two grains of truth makes the stories more believable.
Not true, just more believable.

To be clear: a fracture does not indicate fragmentation -- if so, the DNS
has been fragmented ever since people figured out how to do firewalls and
have their own internal domains not be published externally.  As for Bill
Manning representing the IANA, it typically requires the consent of the body
being represented as to who is doing the representation.  As I was not at
the meeting in question, I have no idea the truth as to how Bill presented
himself (I am, of course, skeptical of your assertions, but stranger things
have been known to happen).  However, Jon Postel _always_ (at least when I
asked him) denied anyone could represent the IANA except himself or Joyce.
As you say, who am I to argue with Jon?  I'll not comment on your assertions
regarding "alt.roots".  Suffice it to say we view things differently.  Oh,
and how is the DNS server you are writing coming along?

In any event, rehashing this ancient history (and in particular, your
"interesting" interpretation of events) is all very amusing, but I seriously
doubt anyone actually gives a shit.  Perhaps we can agree to disagree?
Didn't think so.  Feel free to have the last word -- you've entered my
"delete unread" filter.


On 2/26/02 11:43 PM, "Simon Higgs" <simon () higgs com> wrote:


At 06:09 PM 2/26/2002 -0800, David Conrad wrote:
Is your revisionist history part of a stand-up routine?

Aside from it being factually correct, with verifiable documentation (see
below) that would stand up to courtroom scrutiny, the answer is that I'd
never considered it. Tell you what, maybe you could be one of the featured
characters of the "Buggy BIND" sketch. It will (no doubt), go down well
with the hacker crowd and, at the same time, scare the bejeepers out of the
Critical Infrastructure folk. Got any good BIND jokes that you can share
with us (I already have v8.x and v9.x)?

The DNS root fragmented in 1996?

The first alt.root that posed any kind of challenge to the IANA root
existed in 1996. Postel described that as a root fracture to me, to my
face, and I'm not going to argue with Postel. It didn't do any damage as
there were no conflicting TLDs (like there are now) and consequently no-one
noticed. Vixie and Kashperuff had a delightfully jovial banter over it at
the IETF, where Vixie coined the phrase "DNS pirate".

The reality is that the root permanently fragmented because there was
nowhere to put the IANA TLD applicants. Should there have been two roots
back then? No. The IANA TLD applicants should have been allowed into the
IANA root and then AlterNIC, son of AlterNIC, eDNS, ORSC, Name Space,
New.net, et al, would not exist. This scenario of an open root and no
alt.roots is described by the Green/White paper and that is partly due to
the input provided by ORSC at the time (who unsuccessfully attempted to bid
for the New Corp role which was sole-sourced to ICANN). Those are called
facts. You can't vote on them.

If you care to look in the link below you'll find the background
documentation and, under the paragraph "Why The Concern?" is my dated
prediction from 1996 that has now, unfortunately, come entirely true with
Stuart Lynn's recent announcement:


Are you getting it yet?

Bill Manning was an "IANA-rep"?

That's documented. For a while it was even on IANA's web site until IOD
sued IANA, and then poor Bill got shafted by the consequences and had to
deny everything (remember I was there, and I don't believe he actually did
anything wrong). This is exactly what I call a piece of revisionist history.

Alternic chosen as the test root?

By the registry applicants, not by IANA. Not that it matters, they had to
go somewhere to meet Bill Manning's criteria for operational readiness.
When IANA said "do this", and we did, somehow we're now wrong? I don't
think so:


The fact is, people like Randy Bush are now waking up and calling "BS" to
what we have been calling "BS" for the last 6 years. You, on the other
hand, are apparently still in heavy denial while your beloved ICANN is
smashing itself on the iceberg. So I guess you must have a place on the



Thanks for the amusement.

No, thank you.


On 2/25/02 6:38 PM, "Simon Higgs" <simon () higgs com> wrote:
At 01:40 AM 2/25/2002 -0500, Sean Donelan wrote:
Since it appears DNS goofiness is about to return, I put together
a timeline of significant events that affected DNS service technically
over the last 20 years.


Here's some that you missed:

7/31/1996. DNS root fragments (no-one notices). IANA-rep authorizes Draft
Postel TLD applicants to go live with new registr(ies) as proof of concept.
AlterNIC chosen as the "test root" until 10/1/1996 when TLDs were due to go
live in IANA root. Process hi-jacked by ISOC/ITU/WIPO whereby new TLDs
forced to exist outside IANA root.

?/2001. ICANN introduce the first intentionally duplicate TLDs
(.BIZ/.INFO), de-stabilizing the DNS and causing cross-root pollution (now
everyone notices).

?/2001. .US domain moved to .BIZ name servers creating permanent state of
DNS root cross-pollution and creates new .US resolution problems.

And the latest major internet outage:

2/2002. Randy Bush starts sounding rational (Go Randy, go!):


Best Regards,



Best Regards,

Simon Higgs

"Never underestimate the power of corruption to rewrite history."
--Oliver Stone (San Jose Mercury News, July 16, 2000)

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