GW Hits The Bong!
October 26, 2000 11:11 AM   Subscribe

GW Hits The Bong! Well it's been rumoured for years... But now we have the proof! Light it up Georgie Boy!
posted by Niccola Six (11 comments total)
I've never seen an underscore in a domain name before.
posted by Succa at 11:24 AM on October 26, 2000

Y'know, I don't think the underscore is legal in some older DNS systems... I think the old rule was no underscores, use dashes instead. But I think the latest rev of the spec says underscores are okay. But that's really recent from what I understand. Anyone have trouble accessing this site?
posted by daveadams at 11:53 AM on October 26, 2000

So it's that legendary texas swamp-grass. I knew he couldn't really be that stupid.
posted by snakey at 12:07 PM on October 26, 2000

Is self-linking acceptable as a technical example? Back when I started my first blog at Pitas, I signed in with the userid "c_harmful" (I would have used "harmful" except for some ugliness with the apostrophe in "O'Keefe"). Therefore, my Pita was addressed either as "" or as "". I got a couple of e-mails (that's the abbreviation I've almost always used, so bite me) from Opera users, and another guy behind a firewall, who couldn't access my site at the latter address. Don't think everybody had trouble with the underscore in the filename part of the URL.
posted by harmful at 12:27 PM on October 26, 2000

mmm... texas swamp-grass. hee.
posted by sugarfish at 12:28 PM on October 26, 2000

i give you pictures of bush with a bong.
i get nerdy discussions about coding.
posted by Niccola Six at 12:33 PM on October 26, 2000

Sorry, N6. I thought his favorite implement would have been one of those little McDonald's spoons, though?

Anyway, RFC 2181 actually states
Implementations of the DNS protocols must not place any restrictions on the labels that can be used.
.... Note however, that the various applications that make use of DNS data can have restrictions imposed on what particular values are acceptable in their environment.
So underscores being forbidden was more practice than proscription.
posted by dhartung at 1:11 PM on October 26, 2000

harmful, yes underscores are okay in URLs in general, but the DNS protocol used to not support them, so the for the machine name, underscores were once off-limits. Interesting that it seemed to be an Opera problem and not just a DNS server problem...
posted by daveadams at 1:24 PM on October 26, 2000

Thanks for the link to the spec Dan. Note that RFC2181 was published in 1997. Although that should have been plenty of time to resolve the issues, there are still DNS systems that don't like underscores (we had one until just a few months ago...).

Anyway, RFC1035 is the original definition of DNS, and has this to say about naming:
The labels must follow the rules for ARPANET host names. They must start with a letter, end with a letter or digit, and have as interior characters only letters, digits, and hyphen. There are also some restrictions on the length. Labels must be 63 characters or less.
posted by daveadams at 1:34 PM on October 26, 2000

Hasn't the 63 character restriction been removed as well? I seem to remember hearing that it was no longer an issue. Not that anyone would really want to register a domain name over 63 characters, but.. I guess if you're working for a law firm with lots of partners you can fit them all in there so as not to damage any egos.
posted by zempf at 2:47 PM on October 26, 2000

Hee hee. Somehow I knew this would happen. Geek speak takes precedence over everything here at MeFi, just so you know. Sorry Niccola Six.

But the laughs at Dubya's expense were most welcome. Thank you.
posted by Succa at 3:15 PM on October 26, 2000

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