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Re: Merging RRP and Whois


I realize the deadlines involved, but it is also important to
understand that the decisions made now will affect many people for
years to come.

It is not by accident that most of the great achievements in modern
times involved the discovery of some unifying principle.  The process
of unification allows more general constructs to emerge, and these
constructs ultimately prove more practically useful than a fragmented

Deadline pressure is today's universal disease -- I am not aware of
any recent undertaking that has been given a sufficient amount of time
(or money, for that matter) to be properly completed.  Even in such an
environment, however, calm and steadfast respect for the fundamental
nature of the task at hand is the only thing that can assure success.

The loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger readily comes to mind as an
example of what happens when fundamental nature is ignored.  As
Richard Feynman said, nature cannot be fooled.  A looming deadline is
not a reason to try something dangerous.

In many cases, however, a little thought can safely accomodate a
deadline.  The RRP-Whois unification is one such case.  Already, the
RRP is being designed to be an extensible protocol.  Given that the
Whois deadline is still far away, all that would be needed from the
RRP group is to recognize that there will be one protocol, and leave
enough hooks so that the Whois part can eventually be built.

The small effort required to unify the two protocols now will save a
great deal of effort in the future.

On Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 06:11:34PM -0500, Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine wrote:
> George,
> I brought this up during the BoF in San Diego, if only because I'd spent
> the last half of the previous week in Munich with the data commissioners
> from Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein ... Jaap made much the same point in
> the ietf-whois list w.r.t. the Dutch commissioners in his mail of Jan 19.
> Whois (as we know it, aka the absurdly underspecified thingee on port 43)
> if used correctly, repurposes and adds 3rd-party recipients to registrant
> data, without notice or consent of the registrant. 
> As you note, RRP and Whois both provide views into repositories of data
> associated with a transaction, however, the interests of registrants (and
> their associated jurisdictions) and the interests of registrars (and their
> competitive business models, and eventual liquidators, ala toysmart's) and
> the interests of the registries (and their competitive business models, and
> eventual successors), aren't trivially reduced to some sensible service model.
> I wouldn't assume that the views are equivalent, or the scope of repository
> examination (temporal and spatial), or the underlying data, or even the
> basic original transaction. Maybe there is just one type of "original
> transaction", but I suspect legacy, transfer, bulk and so forth will have
> some property which distinguishes them from transactions in which the role
> of the registrar is minimal. I'm certain that the underlying data isn't
> equivalent, given the repurpose and recipient (marketers, law enforcement,
> original jurisdiction) aspects. I'm open on the unified vs disjoint model
> for repository examination, and examination ordering. Views just revisits
> the purpose and recipient issue, modified by the view construction policy.
> One of these two activites is critical infrastructure, the other is not.
> One of these two has a hard implementation date, as Ed mentioned, and the
> other does not, or has a schedule which requires ICANN's participation,
> if not other complications.
> Cheers,
> Eric

George Belotsky
Senior Software Architect
Register.com, inc.
212-798-9127 (phone)
212-798-9876 (fax)