by Darius Kazemi, October 16 2019

In 2019 I'm reading one RFC a day in chronological order starting from the very first one. More on this project here. There is a table of contents for all my RFC posts.


RFC-289 is titled “What We Hope Is An Official List of Host Names”. It's authored by Richard Watson of the SRI-ARC Network Information Center and dated December 21, 1971.

The technical content

This RFC is “what we hope will be accepted” as the host names and nicknames for each host. Watson provides a brief history of how we got here, beginning with RFC-226. The current system of a short “formal name” and a long “nickname” is painted as a “reasonable compromise” that was reached at a Network Working Group meeting.

The list published here reflects input from “almost all sites”.


Watson closes with this note:

I think people should feel free to change their host name when ever the situation warrants.

I smell trouble, though I could be wrong.

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About me

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.