[At-Large] whois, weirds, and slaves

John R. Levine johnl at iecc.com
Sun Jan 20 17:43:44 UTC 2013

> Isn't WHOIS a "standard protocol" itself?

Just barely, see RFC 3912.

The standard says that the client sends a line of stuff, and the server 
sends back a blob of stuff that is somehow related to what was on the 
client's line of stuff.  If any of the stuff can't be expressed in seven 
bit ASCII, too bad.

For gTLDs that have thick WHOIS, the ICANN agreements describe in fair 
detail what the queries and responses are supposed to be, although the 
details differ from one agreement to another and none of them address 
IDNs.  For gTLDs that have thin WHOIS, there's basically no spec, and the 
various registrars just make up whatever they want.  I have 3000 line perl 
module that handles a lot of this, but far from all of it, and I 
constantly have to tweak it as I come across registries with formats that 
I haven't seen before.

John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

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