by Darius Kazemi, August 25 2019
The NIC weighs in
RFC-237 is titled “The Nic's View of Standard Host Names”. It's by Richard W. Watson of the SRI Network Information Center and dated October 5, 1971.
The technical content
The host name saga continues. The names that the NIC uses for hosts and the names that the other ARPANET sites use for hosts have never agreed, and the NIC would like to change that. Watson says that any names chosen need to take the following into consideration.
- Names should include both the site and the host. The host is the computer itself and the site roughly corresponds to the IMP that the host is connected to (a geographical clustering).
- Names should be based on institutions and organizations, rather than on computers, since the computers at a host will change more rapidly than the name of the organization.
- At least 8 characters should be allowed.
- Host names at a given site should be “
unique in the first six characters”.
- The NIC should be responsible for maintaining and assigning new standard host names.
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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.