[ppml] OT: What's with rwhois?

Matt Pounsett matt.pounsett at cira.ca
Tue Aug 16 17:32:43 EDT 2005

While I think this email is probably relevant to a lot of people  
here, I recognize it's far from on-topic for this list.  So, I  
apologize for the noise, and would ask that any responses please be  
directed to me personally, not to the list.

On this list, at public policy meetings, and in private conversation  
I see a lot of frustration directed at rwhois.  Considering all this  
frustration, I'm a but surprised that I don't really see a lot of  
effort being put into easing the situation in the short term.   
There's the work on CRISP/IRIS of course, but I'm not sure I see that  
work producing something that can be widely implemented for a while  
yet.. maybe I'm wrong on that, and I'm certainly willing to have my  
understanding of the state of that work corrected, if that's the case.

What I'm really wondering about, though, is where the bulk of this  
frustration is really directed.  Is it at the rwhois protocol itself,  
or at specific implementations?  I have my own ideas about a lot of  
this of course, but I'd like to take an informal survey, if I can.

Hypothetically speaking (and assuming for the moment that most  
people's problems are with the implementations of rwhoisd and not the  
protocol), if there were a lightweight implementation that didn't, as  
one person put it, "require a time investment from engineering equal  
to a second mortgage," would people use it?  Or are people using  
alternate implementations already?  I know ARIN has an implementation  
out there (though from the looks of the FTP site, it hasn't been  
maintained in a while).  I've seen references in old mailing list  
archives to a RIPE implementation, but their web site and FTP server  
no longer have references to it, that I can see.

If something new were produced, what is the absolute minimum  
functionality (directives and queries) it would have to support for  
you to use it?
What problems with the current implementation you're using would need  
to be fixed?
What sort of data back-end would you want/need to see: the current  
NSI layout, XML files, SQL, or something else?

Or, do I have it all wrong, and people are actually mostly happy with  
rwhois as it stands?

I'm really curious what people's thoughts are on this.
Again, please direct responses to me personally.  If there's  
sufficient interest, I'll summarize back to the list.

Thanks everyone,

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