Bob, Alice, and rootless Top Level Domains
Day: Friday May 24, 2013

The difference between the rooted domain name system and a rootless one can be seen in the parent child relationship.  You can speak with a parent and they can introduce you to their two infant children, Bob and Alice.  However, Bob and Alice do not have the ability to communicate so they can’t give you their names.  As the children grow to independent adults, you will be able to ask either Bob or Alice to name their siblings and they can do so.

The DNS root dates back to the 1980s and the children have grown up.  Perhaps the adult child “.com” should be able to identify his siblings “.org”, “.net”, and the others.  This is the objective of ShofarDomain’s rootless domains.

Standard DNS Query

Currently if I want to find ShofarDomain.com first I must query a root, for example the “A” root.

The root tells me where the “.com” TLD servers are and now I can query one of them.

Now I am given the “ShofarDomain” name servers and must query one of them.

In these three steps I have the results that I am looking for.

Rootless DNS Query

When we speak with the adult Bob or Alice, we don’t have to contact their parent first.  If we want to talk with Bob we can ask Alice where he is.  Rootless domains are similar.  The standard query starts with an assumption that I know where the roots are.  The rootless query starts with the assumption we know where at least some of the TLDs are.

If my list has one or more IP addresses of popular or unpopular TLDs, in the rootless system I can resolve all TLDs, irrespective of who owns the TLD.  If this were applied to “.com” and my initial list only included “.org”, I could query “.org” and it would return “.com”.  However, the more likely case is that I would already have “.com” and my three step standard query sequence is reduced to two.

If it is a new TLD that I don’t have in my list, any TLD will tell me about their siblings, just as Bob or Alice could tell us about their new sibling Julia.

ShofarDomain’s TLDs

ShofarDomain based TLDs go one step further in that there are no longer delegated authorities from the TLD.  The TLD is the authority for all subdomains.  This was not practical in the 1980s but well within reason today, even for the massive “.com”.

For example, ShofarDomain.com is also available at ShofarDomain.own.  If my local list of TLDs included the “.own” TLD I would make a single query to resolve the domain.  There is not additional traffic behind the scenes and response times overall are reduced.

Alternative roots

ShofarDomain’s resolver looks at TLDs as the reference and not the root.  Therefore it can get TLD information from multiple sources including multiple roots.  By doing this inherently rootless TLDs, like “.own”, ICANN rooted TLDs, like “.com”, or any TLD from alternative roots all resolve correctly and the playing field is leveled.

Conclusion

Bob and Alice have grown up and they have a lot of siblings with more on the way.  If it Bob and Alice’s parent dies, we can still communicate with Bob, Alice, and their siblings.  If one of the siblings becomes unavailable, there is no impact on those who remain.

We don’t have to live with the restrictions of a design that was limited by the capabilities of computers in the 1980s.  We don’t need to be submissive to a single authority for the root if we eliminate the need for the root.

Rootless TLDs put ICANN and all the alternatives on the same equal footing.  This is a concept whose time has come.

ShofarNexus™ ● ShofarNexus.com

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