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TUCoPS :: Networks :: 22.txt

Domain Names Transition

DDN MGT Bulletin 22                            NETWORK INFO CENTER for
16 Mar 1984                                DCA DDN Program Mgmt Office
                                           (415) 859-3695  NIC@SRI-NIC

                    Defense   Data   Network

                      MANAGEMENT  BULLETIN

The DDN MANAGEMENT  BULLETIN is published  by the Network  Information
Center under DCA contract as a means of communicating official policy,
procedures and other information of concern to management personnel at
DDN facilities.  Back issues may be obtained by FTP from the directory
<DDN-NEWS> at SRI-NIC  [ and].

                     DOMAIN NAMES TRANSITION

This memo is intended to remind all host personnel that at 0800 EST on
March 21, 1984  every host on  the MILNET/ARPANET will  acquire a  new
official host name in accordance with RFC 897, the "Domain Name System
Implementation Schedule".  Briefly, all  existing official names  will
become nicknames, and the new official  name will be formed by  adding
the domain name ".ARPA" to  the old official name.  Special  attention
should be paid to  the possible problems that  your site software  may
encounter with the new names.

For example, the old entry for USC-ISIF is:

   HOST : : USC-ISIF,ISIF : DEC-1090T : TOPS20 : 

The new entry will be:


For some hosts and  programs this will cause  no disruptions, but  for
others some problems may arise.   For example, with over five  hundred
entries in the table, the addition of 500 names could exceed the space
allocated to  store  the table  in  some programs.   Another  possible
problem is that period (or dot, ".")  is not now a legal character  in
host names,  and some  programs may  not be  able to  parse these  new

An experimental domain-style name table has been available in parallel
with the regular table for several  months on the SRI-NIC machine,  as
<NETINFO>DHOSTS.TXT.  No new domains  are being introduced during  the
changeover.  There will be  only one top-level  domain to begin  with,
and that is  ".ARPA".  Other  top-level domain names  such as  ".DDN",
will be announced at a later date.  The revised table simply appends a
domain name to each  of the official host  names included in the  ARPA
domain.  Thus, programs can be  constructed to deal with domain  style
names in a general way,  without requiring any special programming  to
add or delete the string ".ARPA" to or from host names.

The introduction of  new domains is  tied to the  provision of  domain
servers by those domains.   As new domains  meet the requirements  and
are authorized, the domain names will also be included in the NIC host

Eventually, the Internet  will become too complex  and will change too
rapidly to keep a master table of  all the hosts.  The future plan  is
to simplify the master table by reducing it to entries for the  domain
names only.  By the time this happens, all normal translation of  host
names into addresses  across domains should  take place by  consulting
the appropriate domain servers.

DDN subscribers  (including MILNET  subscribers) are  not required  to
implement Domain Name servers  or protocols until  a DDN Domain  Names
schedule is published, which  will not be prior  to Oct 1984.   MILNET
subscribers who  choose to  participate  in the  DARPA Internet  on  a
voluntary basis are  free to  do so,  and may  implement Domain  Names
according to the Internet Schedule.  The NIC will continue to maintain
a  complete  host  table  of   DDN  subscribers  until  the  (as   yet
unscheduled) complete  transition of  DDN  subscribers to  the  Domain
Names approach takes place.

Please see RFC 881 [2] and RFC 897  [3] for further discussion of  the
Internet schedule, and RFC 882 [4] and RFC 883 [5] for information  on
the design and implementation of the domain style name service.


[1]  Harrenstien, K., V. White, and E. Feinler, "Hostnames Server"
     RFC 811, Network Information Center, SRI International, March 

[2]  Postel, J., "The Domain Names Plan and Schedule", RFC 881, USC
     Information Sciences Institute, November 1983.

[3]  Postel, J., "Domain Name System Implementation Schedule", RFC 897,
     USC Information Sciences Institute, February 1984.

[4]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain Names - Concepts and Facilities",
     RFC 882, USC Information Sciences Institute, November 1983.

[5]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain Names - Implementation and
     Specification", RFC 883, USC Information Sciences Institute,
     November 1983.

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