RFC 819 (rfc819) - Page 1 of 18


Domain naming convention for Internet user applications



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Network Working Group                                  Zaw-Sing Su (SRI)
Request for Comments: 819                               Jon Postel (ISI)
                                                             August 1982



      The Domain Naming Convention for Internet User Applications




1.  Introduction

   For many years, the naming convention "@" has served the
   ARPANET user community for its mail system, and the substring
   "" has been used for other applications such as file transfer
   (FTP) and terminal access (Telnet).  With the advent of network
   interconnection, this naming convention needs to be generalized to
   accommodate internetworking.  A decision has recently been reached to
   replace the simple name field, "", by a composite name field,
   "" [2].  This note is an attempt to clarify this generalized
   naming convention, the Internet Naming Convention, and to explore the
   implications of its adoption for Internet name service and user
   applications.

   The following example illustrates the changes in naming convention:

      ARPANET Convention:   Fred@ISIF
      Internet Convention:  A

   The intent is that the Internet names be used to form a
   tree-structured administrative dependent, rather than a strictly
   topology dependent, hierarchy.  The left-to-right string of name
   components proceeds from the most specific to the most general, that
   is, the root of the tree, the administrative universe, is on the
   right.

   The name service for realizing the Internet naming convention is
   assumed to be application independent.  It is not a part of any
   particular application, but rather an independent name service serves
   different user applications.

2.  The Structural Model

   The Internet naming convention is based on the domain concept.  The
   name of a domain consists of a concatenation of one or more .  A domain can be considered as a region of jurisdiction for
   name assignment and of responsibility for name-to-address
   translation.  The set of domains forms a hierarchy.

   Using a graph theory representation, this hierarchy may be modeled as
   a directed graph.  A directed graph consists of a set of nodes and a


Su & Postel


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