Hostname Naming Compliance

John Wobus jw354 at
Tue Feb 24 20:12:41 UTC 2009

It's an excellent idea to make your systems handle such hostnames
without problems (e.g. not crashing) when they run across such a
name on the Internet.

It's unfriendly to propagate such hostnames when doing so impedes
others' ability to do something.

It's against your own interests to propagate such host names if it
impedes others from doing something you'd like them to be able
to do, such as visit your website and buy your stuff, or answer your

The amount of harm in a specific instance depends upon what the
app does and who is trying to use and what client software they use,
etc.  But in any case, whatever problem there could possibly be
is easily avoided by simply not using underscores.

If we all decide to allow underscores in hostnames, we give future app
writers and users the best shot at avoiding problems if we run the 
through the RFC process so they can easily look up what the rules are.
However, some folks do promote and make use of these sorts of
Internet improvements without bothering to do that.


On Feb 24, 2009, at 2:24 AM, David Ford wrote:

> Here's a question.  Are we incapable of dealing with things like
> underscores in hostnames?  Is there any significant harm in adapting?
> -david
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