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[ih] Impact of history on today's technology [was: why did CC happen at all?]

On 9/4/2014 1:21 PM, Eric Gade wrote:
> Based on my own research and work in this field, there's a real
> disconnect between what's observed and what people discuss on this list.
> What I mean is that all technical decisions are in their own way
> political,

In the abstract, that's probably true.  In the concrete, it often is
not.  Of course, often is not the same as never, of course.

When engineers acquire a relatively well-defined problem to solve and
work in a relatively collaborative manner to solve it, it is difficult
to discern forces or processes that can reasonably be called "political"
in any practical sense.  Such situations do occur.

> The example I will use is DNS and domain names, because that's what I've
> written about. While in the early 80s there was a need for a naming
> system do deal with several pressing issues (email header nightmares,
> for one), the system that was eventually put in place was neither
> obvious nor inevitable. There are ccTLDs and gTLDs. They both exist in
> the system because some people thought that recognizing international
> domains would be important not just from a basic geographic standpoint,
> but because OSI would eventually subsume or operate on top of whatever
> ARPA implemented, and so might as well have ccTLDs for that forthcoming
> future.

I wasn't in the middle of the decision to create ccTLDs but my
understanding is that it had nothing to do with OSI.

For name administration, the DNS' prime directive is delegation.  That
creates the task of figuring out who to delegate to, and how to make a
model -- or in the case of TLDs model/s/ -- that scale.

It did not take much DNS growth before countries became an obvious
delegation model.  Trying to figure out things like what is a country
motivated Postel to look for an acceptable list maintained by someone
else.  That was his basis for landing on the ISO table.

But that had nothing to do with OSI.

> On the opposite end, gTLDs were intended to be a fixed set
> containing everything else, a set with global (in the geographic sense)
> applicability.

Intended?  "Fixed"?  Wherever did you get that idea from?


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking