[nc-whois] issues with uniformity
Just in case it's helpful, here's a brief list of my favorite issues
with WHOIS data format and element uniformity.
1. Format framework
- Technical standardization: XML or e-mail header like formats (*)
are obvious candidates.
(*) registrant-name: Thomas Roessler
Anyway, what to choose is not our decision or discussion: Stick to
specifying requirements, do not go into technical details.
Key requirements: Easily parseable; data fields must be able to
take non-ASCII content. Possibly desires for alternative values in
different scripts (think about countries where two kinds of
scripts are in use; think "western names" in China)?
Consult, in particular, with ccTLD managers from countries using
non-Latin scripts in order to understand this.
- Doesn't this enable inappropriate mass data gathering through the
This boils down to the "keep it crappy as long as privacy isn't
solved" kind of argument.
2. Data elements
- Clearly a policy question. Use framework identified above to
- Current environment: Thin registrar whois services have the "RAA
data set", thick gTLD registry whois services have the slightly
extended data set also identified in WIPO's ccTLD best practices.
ccTLD whoises: zoo.
- Some registries may have good reasons to have different kind of
data elements: .biz has provision for extensions, .name has
different WHOIS model; future sponsored gTLDs may wish to have
still other changes [additional data elements useful for their
communities, for instance]. ccTLDs certainly have to respect
national law. (See, for instance, the .de compromise which in
particular concerns the selection of data elements.)
- Interaction with the fundamental WHOIS privacy question: "Who gets
access to *WHAT DATA ELEMENTS*?" vs. "What data elements are
needed in order to fulfill WHOIS' function?"
- Not clear that a uniform balance can be found.
Thomas Roessler (mobile) <firstname.lastname@example.org>