[Linux-aus] Linux Australia Council teleconference minutes for 050309

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Thu Mar 12 06:36:04 EST 2009

Robert Brockway wrote:
>> * linux.conf.au domain - after negotiation, linux.conf.au will be
>> available to us for 6 months of each year for administering LCA.
> That's bizarre.  Is there an example anywhere else in the world of a 
> domain that is cyclically disabled like this?

The .conf domain was intended for temporary conference networks. In
previous eras some applications would not accept connections from
IP addresses which did not have a reverse DNS entry, and this domain
provided a space for those entries outside of the more controlled
domain name systems of ISPs. The policy was written with this
temporary nature in mind.

> Were the negotiations with Ausregistry, auDA or someone else?

In 2002-2004 AuDA told the LCA organisers that the conf.au TLD would be
"shortly" altered, with policy control moving to AuDA, and thus
with a change in policy which would allow permanent registrations.
We were assured the linux.conf.au allocation would be grandfathered,
and I reallocated linux.conf.au to Linux Australia after reaching that
understanding with AuDA (I was the titular assignee of l.c.a prior to
Linux Australia, due to the historical fluke of the domain being
registered on AARNet's DNS servers).

For some years prior to that Robert Elz and friends had a pile of shit
dropped on them by domain name spivs for every little deviance from
the domain name policy documents, as part of the campaign which led
to the creation of AuDA. So, despite common sense, the lads had
no choice but to strictly enforce the domain's policy that the LCA
allocation be temporary.

Despite "shortly" AuDA still haven't altered the policy of conf.au
(because despite the policy causing regular disruption to Australia's
premier computing conference, it's low on their agenda, presumably
because not much money is likely to be made).  In a marvellously ironic
development, AuDA now finds itself under legal attack when it steps beyond
its DNS policies. So common sense can't apply there, either.

You'd need to ask others about more recent developments, but that's
the history in a nutshell.

> I'm with John. A domain which is inactive 6 months of the year is useless. 
> Either some other solution to the problem needs to be found or the domain 
> should be dropped.

I would seek renewal so that when the conf.au policy eventually changes
the domain is grandfathered to Linux Australia.  Otherwise we'll need
to jump legal hoops or to participate in an auction against speculators to
get it back.

This isn't to say that the prime site shouldn't be lcaXXXX.linux.org.au
with linux.conf.au simply being a CNAME to a conf.linux.org.au page which
lists the years of the conference and their websites.

  Glen Turner   <http://www.gdt.id.au/~gdt/>

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