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SRV records considered dubious (was: Re: DNS Choices: Was: [ietf-dkim] R

Subject: SRV records considered dubious was: Re: DNS Choices: Was: [ietf-dkim] Re: Last Call: 'DomainKeys
From: Keith Moore
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 22:07:16 -0500
The lack of protocol meta-data is a major reason for the difficulty of changing 
IETF protocols. The SRV record is a great leap forward, it would be even better 
if people actually used it to advertise their POP3, SUBMIT and IMAP services.

actually the SRV record can easily be a step sideways or backward if not carefully used. let's see...it slows down session establishment; increases the load on DNS; increases the potential for failures due to misconfiguration, link congestion, link failure, or server failure; and in some cases gives ISPs yet another hook to impose walled gardens on their customers, decrease the transparency of the network, and thus impair the ability of the network to support new applications.

there are cases where SRV is useful, but it's a big stretch to call it a great leap forward.

(and of course none of this has any bearing on DKIM.)


p.s. rather than adding more and more burdens to DNS, what we really need to be doing is figuring out how to replace it with something more robust and more flexible. (Yes, you'd have to arrange that DNS queries and queries to the new database would return consistent results; you'd also have to make sure that DNSSEC didn't break, but those are both doable.)

DNS is getting very long in the tooth, and is entirely too inflexible and too fragile. The very fact that we're having a discussion about whether it makes more sense to add a new RR type or use TXT records with DKIM is a clear indicator that something seriously is wrong with DNS. Adding a new RR type should not require a single line of DNS server or client library code to be recompiled, nor any changes to the configuration of any server not advertising such records.

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