Re: No Traffic - Whats going on (fwd)

Paul A Vixie (
Sat, 13 Apr 1996 22:13:12 -0700

>> I believe that only 5% of the population will be enough to tip the =
>> scales. As soon as 5% of the Internet recognizes a name server, the =
>> rest of the Internet will fall quickly in line. The reasons that I =
>> believe this are: [...]

This too shall pass. Let me answer you, first, with a (true) parable:

When I was a child, it seemed to me that adults had unlimited power and
I could hardly wait to grow up so that I, too, could live above the laws
of man and of physics.

Now, as a nominal grown-up, I have found that the world is a fragile place
and that there are more, rather than less, laws I must operate within. As
a parent I have found that I have to pedal as fast as I can to give my
kids the illusion that they are safe and that nothing can hurt them while
they work on growing up.

What has this got to do with the Internet, you ask? Well, it seems to me
that mob rule, whenever it has been tried, has led to things like the alt.*
newsgroup hierarchy. I can understand why you, as a child, probably feel
that Usenet is better off with the alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork group
than it was without it. So, as a child, an Internet without the general
ability for anyone who wants to create the *.EARTH naming hierarchy probably
seems almost fascist.

As the nominal grown-up in this picture, I don't see things the same way.
Keeping this stuff running takes all of my time and all of the time of a
lot of other folks as well. I don't always agree with the IANA's way of
doing things, but I recognize that we are better off under the benign
dictatorship of someone who (a) has been around a lot longer than I have
and (b) genuinely wants the Internet to grow and take over the universe,
than we would be under mob rule.

An alternate/additional root server hierarchy is an unpleasantly bad idea.
It fails to scale; its average case performance is hideous or awful (take
your pick). It does not solve any real problem, while creating many new
ones. (Your 5% number is way off.)

I am doubly damned, in that I must add features to BIND shortly that will
make this kind of well intentioned yet ignorant savagery much easier to do.
Proper use of RFC 1597 requires some code changes that happen to make the
alternate-root scenario very easy to build.

Therefore I will have to abuse my position as editor of the BIND document-
ation to rail against this kind of bullshit in the strongest possible terms.
To allow my code to be used by ignorant newcomers who might otherwise be an
unwitting part of your "5%" would be one of the worst possible things I
could do for this thing of ours called the Internet.

Please cease and desist. You won't get your way, but you will hurt people
by trying. With the energy you clearly have available, you could be doing
some good.



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