RFC 3467 (rfc3467) - Page 1 of 31


Role of the Domain Name System (DNS)



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Network Working Group                                         J. Klensin
Request for Comments: 3467                                 February 2003
Category: Informational


                  Role of the Domain Name System (DNS)

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document reviews the original function and purpose of the domain
   name system (DNS).  It contrasts that history with some of the
   purposes for which the DNS has recently been applied and some of the
   newer demands being placed upon it or suggested for it.  A framework
   for an alternative to placing these additional stresses on the DNS is
   then outlined.  This document and that framework are not a proposed
   solution, only a strong suggestion that the time has come to begin
   thinking more broadly about the problems we are encountering and
   possible approaches to solving them.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction and History .....................................  2
      1.1 Context for DNS Development ...............................  3
      1.2 Review of the DNS and Its Role as Designed ................  4
      1.3 The Web and User-visible Domain Names .....................  6
      1.4 Internet Applications Protocols and Their Evolution .......  7
   2.  Signs of DNS Overloading .....................................  8
   3.  Searching, Directories, and the DNS .......................... 12
      3.1 Overview  ................................................. 12
      3.2 Some Details and Comments ................................. 14
   4.  Internationalization ......................................... 15
      4.1 ASCII Isn't Just Because of English ....................... 16
      4.2 The "ASCII Encoding" Approaches ........................... 17
      4.3 "Stringprep" and Its Complexities ......................... 17
      4.4 The Unicode Stability Problem ............................. 19
      4.5 Audiences, End Users, and the User Interface Problem ...... 20
      4.6 Business Cards and Other Natural Uses of Natural Languages. 22
      4.7 ASCII Encodings and the Roman Keyboard Assumption ......... 22



Klensin                      Informational


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