Using DNS as a directory service for PSYC.

  1. Why DNS?
  2. I remember some years ago somebody investigating the possibility to use a DNS type system to distribute the user and channel information of IRC across the world more efficiently then IRC did and still does.

    The thought was abandoned as they realised any distributed data bank system relies heavily on the fact that data stays constant most of the time, while on IRC people and channel data is rather volatile.

    With the PSYC approach this has changed. Both people and groups of people have received identifications that last over time. Thus suddenly a big heap of the load that IRC suffers from can be moved into a much more efficient system, and why not something as stable and established as the Domain Name Service protocol?

  3. DNS to find PSYC servers
  4. This has been done before. The people from undernet have had that great idea of mapping every physical server to a beautiful name like or They actually mapped every country's code to the nearest server, so somebody can always find a server suited for his country.

    That scheme is brilliant and I simply want to have that, too. *wink*

    This will simply provide new users with a server they can start off from. They are free to register on an other server or install their own one. Being the server mentioned by the psyc DNS should *not* be a position of power.

  5. DNS to find well-known groups
  6. A new thing is the way groups can be registered at the primary nameserver, so that their physical URL (distributed as a TXT RR in DNS, or maybe an experimental URL RR) is efficiently distributed to whoever needs it.

    For instance resolving the name "" would give you the URL to the group that is currently playing the initials game, an old IRC tradition.

  7. DNS to find well-known people
  8. Sometimes it happens, that a person needs to be reached easily. Allowing for anyone to register in the domain would be a bit of a heavy load on the primary zone server, but some of the VIPs of Internet probably should go in here, to make it possible for people to contact them quickly.

    Then again, maybe it's not really necessary and would only turn out as yet another cool thing to have. Anyway, it could be done.

    The method then would be "" returning my personal URL. MB (mailbox) type RRs could also be provided, as soon as the mail service is capable of using that information, enabling for mail to MB type RRs are still in experimental stage however.

  9. Using DNS automatically from within clients
  10. That's the neatest part. Without any of IRCs weaknesses we get to have the feature of IRC that is the hardest to re-implement: The ability to join a channel just by typing the name, or to send a message to a person, just by knowing the name.

    So far I've assumed in PSYC that WWW pages would have to be examined to find the channels that meet your interests. But with the DNS approach it is *also* possible to just type "bsdi" as a name to join and the client will do a DNS resolve request (just as it does for host names) for the name "" and receive the URL to BSDIs internet hotline on the psyc, to name one example.

    Isn't that just wonderful?

  11. Generalized form of URLs to resources
  12. At this point we could define an alternative psyc: URL form which allows resources to be specified *without* having to name the physical location. psyc:+cert.announce could be the URL of the channel where CERT makes announcements faster than any mailing list or news group. As the URL is processed, DNS would be asked to resolve the string "" into the actual URL pointing to the psyc server where the group resides.

    Notice how the order is inverted. This allows for organizations or countries to take over subdomains of to administer their own namespace. Can't help loving the thought of it.

the symbolic LynX 1995-03-22