by Darius Kazemi, October 7 2019
Closure at last?
RFC-280 is titled “A Draft Set of Host Names”. It's authored by Richard Watson of SRI-ARC and dated November 17, 1971.
The technical content
Could this be it? The end of the arguments around host names? To refresh your memory, this has spanned eight RFCS over two months:
- RFC-226: Standardization of Host Mneumonics [sic], Karp
- RFC-229: Standard Host Names, Postel
- RFC-233: Standardization of Host Call Letters, Bhushan
- RFC-236: Standard Host Names, Postel
- RFC-237: The NIC's View of Standard Host Names, Watson
- RFC-239: Host Mnemonics Proposed in RFC #226, Braden
- RFC-247: Proferred Set of Standard Host Names, Karp
- RFC-273: More on Standard Host Names, Watson
Watson provides a list of Formal Names and Nicknames, per his RFC-273 guidelines. 17 of them are chosen by their host sites. The remaining 28 are assigned by the NIC.
One thing that stands out to me is that MITRE clearly insisted on their institutional mnemonic being “MITRE” instead “MITR”, which means their institutional mnemonic is longer than the prescribed 4 characters. This just shows that a lot of flexibility went into this list in order to placate people and meet their emotional needs around what their host names look like.
Also, in his last RFC Watson wanted to have everything settled by November 5 but it looks like we're already almost two weeks past that deadline.
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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.