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Request For Comments - RFC625

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Network Working Group                             Mike Kudlick (SRI-ARC)
RFC # 625                                         Jake Feinler (SRI-ARC)
NIC # 22152                                                March 7, 1974

                       ON LINE HOSTNAMES SERVICE

We agree with the suggestion in RFC 623 that more than one Host should
be responsible for maintaining a copy of the Hostnames data base. The
NIC is certainly willing to continue to maintain the master data base,
and make it available to any secondary Host that volunteers to maintain
a copy. We would be pleased to have UCSB serve as one of the secondary

However, we disagree with the suggestion in RFC 623 that a server
process should  be implemented to give user processes access to the
official Hostnames file at the NIC.  The file in question is a
sequential file and it seems to us that FTP is entirely appropriate for
this need.  As far as setting up common login parameters among the
servers, this doesn't appear to be a major problem.  Even with a
user/server process there would be a requirement for additional protocol
agreements, so it doesn't seem that much of an added burden to decide on
common login parameters when using  FTP.

We are puzzled by the apparent distaste for FTP.  In our opinion the
goal has been to set up a network file transfer mechanism that everyone
can use for a variety of needs without further programming required.  If
FTP is that bad, shouldn't the criticism and work be directed towards
improving or replacing it, rather than making end runs around it?  FTP
is surely more complex than is required for any particular application
including this one, but isn't that true by definition of a general

We also prefer to maintain the file in ASCII.  It is easier, it seems to
us, to check out data or data transfer problems in that form rather than
in binary.

       [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
       [ into the online RFC archives by Alex McKenzie with    ]
       [ support from GTE, formerly BBN Corp.            10/99 ]

Kudlick & Feinler                                               [Page 1]

©2018 Martin Webb