by Darius Kazemi, August 21 2019
Four characters is enough
RFC-233 is titled “Standardization of Host Call Letters”. It's authored by Abhay Bhushan and Bob Metcalfe of MIT and dated September 28, 1971.
The technical content
This RFC is a response to RFC-226. As with RFC-229, it offers up an alternative naming scheme for host site mnemonics. The authors suggest that 4 characters is enough for a good mnenomic, and also offer an 8 character alternative. Compare this to Postel in RFC-229 who says that 6 characters is not enough.
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I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm an independent technologist and artist. I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with ActivityPub, including a Node.js reference implementation, an RSS-to-ActivityPub converter, and a fork of Mastodon, called Hometown. You can support my work via my Patreon.