[ppml] Directory Services - Take 2

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Mon Jun 13 05:50:15 EDT 2005

> > And even though the IETF hasn't finished working on
> > IRIS, ARIN should at least support XML-encoding of the
> > whois data.
> In what form? You want ARIN to create its own standard?

That seems to be the historical precedent...
But by reusing the IRIS XML schema, ARIN isn't really
creating it's own standard. It's more like a partial
implementation of the most useful part of some work that
has not yet completed its track through the IETF.

> BTW - I think IRIS needs to be explicitely mentioned in the proposed
> policy - by the time policy is approved (probably within a year if not 
> longer) and then implemented, it'd be IETF proposed standard fore sure.

I disagree. Just because something is an IETF standard doesn't 
mean that ARIN ever needs to use it. IRIS was primarily created to
meet the needs of domain name registries and registrars. And we
simply don't know if it will actually meet anyone's needs or be
widely deployed. ARIN's needs are more simple and we would be
better off to sit on the sidelines and wait until the dust settles.

I don't see LDAP as a competitor for IRIS, but more as a replacement
for rwhois. All of the larger ARIN members already run LDAP servers
in their company and have staff who know how to set up and run an
LDAP server. But precious few have anyone who knows how to run rwhois.
Also, LDAP has a security model that could replace SWIP, i.e. I could
put all my address data into my LDAP server and give ARIN a password
that allows them to read the private data that they need to evaluate
my new address applications.

If we officially deprecate rwhois in the new policy, then I would
like to see something there to continue ARIN's support of 
distributing the address data rather than centralising it all
into a single SWIP repository. I think there is real social value
in the distributed database model and I want ARIN to continue to
support that. I see LDAP as the easiest way to continue to do this.
It is easy for the ISP to set up an operate an LDAP server. And it
is easy for those who need to query the data to get it from my 
LDAP server because LDAP is widely supported by scripting languages
and by email server software. Often the queries of the ARIN whois
directory are directly or indirectly supporting email spam filtering
which is why the support of LDAP in email server software matters.

--Michael Dillon

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