"It is extremely unlikely that any other TLDs will be created"
March 20, 2020 9:09 AM   Subscribe

"On the 11th of January 1982 twenty-two computer scientists met to discuss an issue with ‘computer mail’ (now known as email). Attendees included the guy who would create Sun Microsystems, the guy who made Zork, the NTP guy, and the guy who convinced the government to pay for Unix. The problem was simple: there were 455 hosts on the ARPANET and the situation was getting out of control." The History of the URL (The Cloudflare Blog)
posted by not_the_water (10 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
 
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Also available:
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itisextremelyunlikelythatanyothertldswillbecreated.memorial
itisextremelyunlikelythatanyothertldswillbecreated.fail
posted by oulipian at 10:55 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


The fun top-level-domain trivia I have is that TLDs can be valid hostnames or MX records. http://dk is a valid URL. root@ai is a valid e-mail address (or at least theoretically valid, if there's a root account on that system). I assume there's some DNS magic one can do to find every such hostname/MX record.
posted by jackbishop at 11:05 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


> I assume there's some DNS magic one can do to find every such hostname/MX record.
If you want a copy of the root zone (which contains all of the current TLDs) you can simply ask a root server and it will give it to you. Root servers are named [a-m].root-servers.net, so for example:
dig @?.root-servers.net . axfr
(replacing the question mark with one of the thirteen possibilities, a-m.)

That will get you a copy of the root zone, after which it is a simple matter to parse it to find all of the top-level domains and then do successive queries to find out which ones have published MX records or A or AAAA record types for that label.

Disclaimer: I work for an organization that runs one of the root nameservers. And even though that actually means a pretty large collection of anycast instances served by many pieces of physical hardware distributed around the globe, nevertheless please be kind to the root nameservers.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:42 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


A list of all the TLDs is available at iana.org.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:55 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


What if the TLD was on the other end?
posted by wierdo at 2:58 PM on March 20


In 1996 Keith Shafer and several others proposed a solution to the problem of broken URLs. The link to this solution is now broken.
lol
posted by clawsoon at 4:36 PM on March 20 [9 favorites]


...it’s possible the best URN format today would be a simple way for files to point to their former URLs. We could allow the search engines to index this information, and link us as appropriate:

<!-- On http://zack.is/history -->
<link rel="past-url" href="http://zackbloom.com/history.html">
<link rel="past-url" href="http://zack.is/history.html">
That seems... ripe for abuse? What's to stop me from doing:

<link rel="past-url" href="https://www.google.com/index.html">

...?
posted by clawsoon at 4:39 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Fascinating history. Great to have it all together in one story.
posted by clawsoon at 4:44 PM on March 20


My favorite TLD fact is that .su is still in use despite the Soviet Union dissolving only a bit more than a year after it was first created. Russia administers it, of course. They don't use it for much, but it's still out there.
posted by sotonohito at 9:12 PM on March 20 [5 favorites]


Thanks not_the_water! This is really fun stuff. The history of computing stands on the shoulders of geeks which makes for a lot of fun and unexpected weirdness.
posted by ensign_ricky at 12:25 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


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