Resolving without TLD

Simon Waters Simon at
Tue Oct 23 17:04:35 UTC 2001

Barry Margolin wrote:
> >Some web-browsers has built-in logic that does this - if you enter a
> >hostname that's not fully qualified, some web-browsers try to connect to
> >www.<name>.com, <name>.com and perhaps a few other variants as well.
> But when they do that, they fill in the location bar with the actual URL
> that they translated it to.  At least, Netscape and IE do that.  Notice
> that it automatically added the "http://" prefix.

Curiously the Netscape localhost example isn't quite like that,
as whilst first time Netscape rewrites the URL, to, when you refer to the URL
http://localhost/ the second time it can access the cached copy
under the shorter name.

Do you ever get the feeling there is too much going on in the
space between URL server name, and DNS?

> If the location field wasn't modified like that, it usually means that it
> was "DNS voodoo", usually the automatic appending of a default suffix by
> the resolver.  Since the resolver does this without telling the browser, it
> has no way of knowing that the URL should be rewritten.

Of course this could be non-DNS name resolution voodoo as well,
hosts file, netbios names or lmhosts etc etc.

With smtnet compare and contrast "dig smtnet any" and "ping
smtnet", if neither of these does anything exciting it points to
the browser being clever (or trying to be clever).

It wouldn't surprise me if there is more than one way to get
this behaviour, and if it is a client reporting smtnet, it
wouldn't surprise me if the cause would be fairly obvious to you
if you see it yourself, too much PC support experience.

It's unlikely to be the DNS itself, it will be a feature or
result of the client PC's configuration. Could be a feature of
an HTTP cache as well if one is being used, or say the cache
machine has a host table and is at the ISPs hosting site......

What's amazing these days is that you can go to a webserver with
a URL it doesn't know and get a webpage back dedicated hosting,
and only one website, getting rarer and rarer.

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